• Bitter Crank
    8k
    Try to make an argument against the fact that the most valuable people are the technology originators?schopenhauer1

    Creators, inventors, come up with new ideas. Labor brings them to fruition. In a capitalist economy workers are wage slaves and without paid work starve. Creators require the means to manufacture -- that means a building, machinery, and workers. Further, they have to buy raw materials (like sheet metal). All of this requires cash. That's where investors come in: IF they think the idea will make enough profit, they may invest.

    Then there are intangible factors: Does the inventor (and owner of the technology) and the engineer who figures out how to turn the patent into a product, and the factory manager, the workers, and the investor all get along? There are frequent disputes. The investor thinks its taking too long to get production going. The workers think they are not getting paid enough. The engineer feels he is expected to pull rabbits out of hats. The inventor feels he's getting ripped off by everybody else. The whole process sometimes breaks down.

    Later, the factory is turning out the Barbot, the robot that helps you score at the bar. Demand is high. Hammacher Schlemmer has ordered 10,000 units. Then problems arise. The special processor that helps the Barbot exude charm is held up by labor unrest (aka, a union drive) in China. The Indonesian chemical company that produces the Barbot's special pheromones can't get enough extract of yak gland from Mongolia. The factory floor is flummoxed. 1,000 fully operational units are shipped, which only fuels demand which can not be satisfied.

    Finally Hammacher Schlemmer*** Hammacher Schlemmer decides to drop the Barbot for the Fully Obedient Stormtrooper, which isn't as charming, but is fully stocked at a warehouse.

    The Barbot operation can't get production going again; law suits are begun; Barbot goes bankrupt. Another one bites the dust.

    Meanwhile, the 1000 Barbots that did get made, shipped, and purchased are helping nerds do a land office business at the bar. What can't be accomplished with charm and pheromones can be accomplished, it turns out, with a vice-like grip. So, the Barbot introduces the potential bed mates it has located to its owner with a soto voce message in the ear of the potential bed mate, "or else. Just remember, we have vays..."

    ***The actual Fully Obedient Stormtrooper is much larger than it appears in the illustration.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    I can come up with more scenarios, but I need positive reinforcements. Drop a quarter into the slot, every now and then.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k

    You paint a very good picture of how investment, manufacturing, engineering, and invention work. However, what I mean by money doesn't do anything without technology is literal. Money is only as good as what can be done with it. Otherwise, its just paper. So where does money get put to use? Basic survival-like needs such as homes, heating, appliances, electricity, etc. What do the taxes need to do? Other survival-like stuff at the community level. Roads, electrical supplies, stop lights, all sorts of infrastructure. Then of course, luxuries are spent on. Stuff needs to get made, is complicated to configure and make, and takes the brains to make it, and yeah the brawn to put it together.. But the workers need to have the technology as well, otherwise there is nothing to work on, build, and fix, or the building and fixing would be of a very home made, 17th century type technology.

    So, you can describe the methods for which investments promote technology, but LITERALLY money means nothing without the BACKING of the value technology gives money. Yeah money can be seen in lots of ways, as an exchange or a "store of value"..but none of it stores anything unless there is the technology for which the money can obtain. That is the final telos of the money.. It is waiting to be cashed out in technology.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    Creators, inventors, come up with new ideas. Labor brings them to fruition. In a capitalist economy workers are wage slaves and without paid work starve. Creators require the means to manufacture -- that means a building, machinery, and workers. Further, they have to buy raw materials (like sheet metal). All of this requires cash. That's where investors come in: IF they think the idea will make enough profit, they may invest.Bitter Crank

    All of this is based on the current technology which is used to make further technology. The workers and investors rely on technology. So it is still the inventors and engineers that are needed most. The very platform we are using was based on computing technology with all the computer engineering, and programming that goes into it, as well as networking technology, then forum technology, and further, the very nice format of "Plush Forums" which this particular forum is based. Of course that is not mentioning every other supporting technology, such as the electrical ones and manufacturing that goes into the devices we are using and keeping them powered.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    So, you can describe the methods for which investments promote technology, but LITERALLY money means nothing without the BACKING of the value technology gives money. Yeah money can be seen in lots of ways, as an exchange or a "store of value"..but none of it stores anything unless there is the technology for which the money can obtain. That is the final telos of the money.. It is waiting to be cashed out in technology.schopenhauer1

    True, and not true, maybe. I'm not all that knowledgeable about this.

    For a Roman, a gold coin was the value of gold. It didn't represent anything, it just was. Now the value of any currency is what the world's consensus of its value is. Value "jiggles" up and down continuously. Currency is connected to real stuff through what? Trade? A country which has (practically) nothing to sell is going to have a virtually worthless currency. If you sell stuff then you can buy stuff, and if you pay your bills, your money is good. Stop paying your bills and your currency might turn into cat litter. Value comes from the market. The currency of Zimbabwe was so worthless (nothing to sell, couldn't buy anything) that they started using other countries' currencies -- to the extent that they could get them.

    Money is itself a technology. Several hundred years ago the social infrastructure of Holland was solid enough that one could say, "Hey -- I want 500 tulip bulbs. Let me give you a check..." (which was a promissory note). You got the tulips bulbs, the bulb seller took your check to your bank and got the gold coins. That was good for a few hundred years. Then we figured out how to make the promise to pay through an intermediary -- the credit card company. You hand the man your card, he swipes it, the credit card company (eventually) pays him and (eventually) unsubtly informs you that it is time to pay up or else. (Quite a bit of money is made by the "or else" -- usurious rates of interest).

    Now we can point our phone and pay for something. Soon you will be able to merely think of something and a sale will be charged to your account. "Oh, nice shoes" -- WHAM! $600 deducted from your account and the shoes are on their way. That'll put a brake on daydreaming at the mall.

    What gives a society the ability to command respect for its currency isn't so much "technology" as "production". The major currencies (euros, dollars, yens, renminbis, pounds) are "major" because they are backed up by trusted economies that turn out a lot of goods people want. Back in the day when Japan made "cheap jap junk" (after the war), the yen wasn't worth much. When Japan outstripped Detroit as the #1 Auto Maker (1980), the yen got lots of respect.

    Economic activity doesn't have to be high tech to count. China may make iPhones, but they also take shiploads of waste paper and turn it into cardboard. Not exactly high tech. China outsells other producers by using that lowest of tech devices, low paid workers.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    So it is still the inventors and engineers that are needed most.schopenhauer1

    An economy might need consumers more than inventors. 70% of US GDP is personal consumption spending. I buy a little tech every now and then. Most of what I buy are food, utilities, health insurance, property insurance, and miscellaneous stuff -- as high tech as a kitchen pan, underwear, bike tires, etc. I bet most of your household spending is similar.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    Most of what I buy are food, utilities, health insurance, property insurance, and miscellaneous stuff -- as high tech as a kitchen pan, underwear, bike tires, etc. I bet most of your household spending is similar.Bitter Crank

    Yes I agree, but how much technology goes into all of what you described? A lot more than used to be. So tech here is meant broadly, not in the narrow definition of electronics or something similar when we think of technology
  • schopenhauer1
    3k

    Also, it is the burden of knowledge. The best must create. The best must have the knowledge. The best have to be specialized.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    You can call it technology if you want, but if it's defined so broadly enough it could just as well be called output, production, GDP, or whatever.

    I'm not minimizing the value of technology; granted, it's a component of some pretty ordinary things. But I don't like the idea of shifting the 'pivot point' of society from brute economic activity (which almost all of it is) to this entity of "technology". What Intel or Samsung does in their factories is complex manufacturing, certainly, but it isn't really all that much different than what goes on in a Ford plant. Men and machinery are combined to produce highly engineered objects. Modern dairies are much more "technological" than they used to be -- in some operations cows and robots move around in the barn as they wish. When a cow wants to be milked (and they do want to be milked at least twice a day) the cows solicit the services of a robot. Whether it's done by a robot or a guy carrying a Serge milking machine from cow to cow, milk is sucked out of mammary glands.

    High tech and low tech operate the same way in the economy.

    Ford and Intel are making a product from raw or previously processed material, then selling the product for as much as the market will bear. In both cases, there is a major markup in price between the factory and the final purchaser -- probably by a factor of 10. (Each stage--manufacturing, warehousing, selling, shipping, incorporation into another product, more warehousing, distribution, etc. adds a little more to the final cost. By the time you buy something at Target, a lot of handling costs have been added. That's true of an eggbeater from Target or a computer from Dell.

    I prefer to think of "technology" as one factor in products along with initial cost, toxicity, repair costs, longevity, convenience, and so on.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    Who are the best?

    One instance where "the best" technology is bought, where tech is tech, is in the purchase of patents. Large tech operations sometimes buy small competitors only for the value of the patents they own. Once the sale is complete and the patents have changed hands, the recent acquisition is flushed down the drain (if it isn't otherwise worth keeping).

    Oddly, the patents might not be needed for future manufacturing. They may be useful only for future litigation. It's like if some small company owned the patent for "the computer mouse" they could sue all sorts of computer makers for patent infringement, and make a nice income. Apple, for instance, keeps unneeded patents on hand to sue or counter-sue competitors. They all are involved in this "high tech" legal maneuvering.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    You can call it technology if you want, but if it's defined so broadly enough it could just as well be called output, production, GDP, or whatever.Bitter Crank

    But this is why I specifically called out technology- it is not the output aspect or the economic indicator that represents output. It is the technology that is the basis for the output.

    What Intel or Samsung does in their factories is complex manufacturing, certainly, but it isn't really all that much different than what goes on in a Ford plant. Men and machinery are combined to produce highly engineered objects. Modern dairies are much more "technological" than they used to be -- in some operations cows and robots move around in the barn as they wish. When a cow wants to be milked (and they do want to be milked at least twice a day) the cows solicit the services of a robot. Whether it's done by a robot or a guy carrying a Serge milking machine from cow to cow, milk is sucked out of mammary glands.Bitter Crank

    You think cars aren't extremely complex technology? This all takes the engineering knowledge, of course. Something as simple as a milking machine, are also engineered.

    Ford and Intel are making a product from raw or previously processed material, then selling the product for as much as the market will bear. In both cases, there is a major markup in price between the factory and the final purchaser -- probably by a factor of 10. (Each stage--manufacturing, warehousing, selling, shipping, incorporation into another product, more warehousing, distribution, etc. adds a little more to the final cost. By the time you buy something at Target, a lot of handling costs have been added. That's true of an eggbeater from Target or a computer from Dell.

    I prefer to think of "technology" as one factor in products along with initial cost, toxicity, repair costs, longevity, convenience, and so on.
    Bitter Crank

    Again, great description of the economic factors. However, it is the technology that creates the items. We survive and are entertained through technology. None of the stuff you mentioned exists without someone figuring out a better code to program the machine to make a more efficient or "superior" product.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    Who are the best?

    One instance where "the best" technology is bought, where tech is tech, is in the purchase of patents. Large tech operations sometimes buy small competitors only for the value of the patents they own. Once the sale is complete and the patents have changed hands, the recent acquisition is flushed down the drain (if it isn't otherwise worth keeping).

    Oddly, the patents might not be needed for future manufacturing. They may be useful only for future litigation. It's like if some small company owned the patent for "the computer mouse" they could sue all sorts of computer makers for patent infringement, and make a nice income. Apple, for instance, keeps unneeded patents on hand to sue or counter-sue competitors. They all are involved in this "high tech" legal maneuvering.
    Bitter Crank

    Interesting point. Consumers are not valuable. Only the creators of technology are. That's the thing. The investors are nothing without the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They are needed by consumers, owners, and investors alike. There is no real production without it.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    I don't think we are getting anywhere. Nor do we have anywhere to get to. Were we to go on a tour of factories, I think we'd both point out the same things as significant.

    Consumers are not valuable. Only the creators of technology are. That's the thing. The investors are nothing without the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They are needed by consumers, owners, and investors alike. There is no real production without it.schopenhauer1

    They are all critical to the others' success. No production without consumption; no production without finance; no technology without production -- and visa versa.

    But when you think about technology, how far back are you going? Isaac Watts? The mechanical loom? Water power?

    Manufacturing is just applied tech. In the "lithic" eras, stone tool production was not a mass operation; it was a boutique operation. The entire tribe didn't gather together to knap flint rocks for a week. It was skilled work, taking a lot of practice and time. What whole tribes did do was trade. In south central Minnesota, for instance, there are all sorts of flint tools and flint chips accumulated over 9,000 years which are not obtained from local rock formations. Some of the stone tools are from as far away as 100 to 300 miles. There is no obsidian anywhere close to south central Minnesota. They traded stuff that x tribe made for different materials that tribe y had.

    There was quite a lot of technological knowledge worked into the stone tools. A producer had to know how a type of rock (of which the traded supply was very limited) would respond to the kinds of knapping blows that it might receive. Sometimes only pressure was applies to a location to achieve the desired material removal.

    There are a lot of "home manufactured items" in our history. Fabric is a major one. Taking animal hair (like wool) and turning it into a durable garment is, like stone knapping, skilled labor, often varied out alone. There are all sorts of things made by hand, 2 hands at a time. But there were also group efforts. Ore was dug up and smelted by numerous individuals working together.

    Moving all this forward... at some point, individual workshops turned into group workshops turned into factories. Water power would have enabled the factory to use several mechanized processes.

    So, in my view, technology goes back quite a ways. I'm pretty sure that early factories (like cotton spinning factories) had to have had investors, or the founder would have needed to be rich from the start. You can't have technology without infrastructure (like a dam, a mill pond, water wheel, power shaft, over head leather pullies, a solid building, windows, etc.

    I mean, tech isn't a person. It doesn't walk in a magically transform nothing into something. Something has to be there first, and it has to be paid for early on. This hasn't changed in a long time.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    But when you think about technology, how far back are you going? Isaac Watts? The mechanical loom? Water power?Bitter Crank

    Yes, all of it. Of course the more modern we get, the more reliant the technology is on specialized engineers and scientists.

    I mean, tech isn't a person. It doesn't walk in a magically transform nothing into something. Something has to be there first, and it has to be paid for early on. This hasn't changed in a long time.Bitter Crank

    But investors, eventually need to make money on tangible products and output. Eventually, making money on money only goes so far before it needs something real that actually is producing the profits. Products need the inventors and engineers to originate and further technologies. That is the piece that everyone else needs. An inventor can just invent. But a consumer needs those inventions, and an investor needs the tangible output- whether they be stone tools for cutting meat, or any number of modern products.

    Sure, we can think of scenarios where the products are primitive to not need inventors or services with little skill, but that society doesn't exist anymore, if it ever did. The inventors and proto-engineers were always needed since civilization began (whether they were called that or not).
  • schopenhauer1
    3k

    Not sure what you mean. That seems like an incomplete thought.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k

    Bitter, one of the main reasons for this thread is to not only point to the supremacy of technology has a basis for which all society is organized, but rather to show its effects on the kind of people who can originate and maintain this technology. Its main effect is that those with the most MINUTIA MONGERING- the ability to specialize in extremely minute points of math/science/engineering are who are most valued and de facto "needed". This is interesting to me the precision of detail needed in modern times that our brains must focus on, and the kind of performances that we rely on as a society to maintain and increase technology.

    Perhaps @fdrake can chime in on the phenomenon of technology and the necessary knowledge of minutia to push it forward.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    So, I'm seeing your point here.

    Minutia mongering: Excellent.

    I submit that we have probably passed our capacity to monger all the minutia we have to manage. All the code that it takes is too voluminous, too complex, too inter-connected, for any individual or team to adequately oversee. The result is all sorts of failures (cleverly called bugs rather than mistakes) that are discovered only by putting the product into the hands of millions and letting them find all the errors by the brute force of daily use. EDIT: JUST NOW THE NEW VERSION OF iTUNES (which I didn't ask for) WOULDN'T LET ME QUIT; I COULD CLOSE THE WINDOW, BUT NOT TURN IT OFF. I HAD TO USE "FORCE QUIT" TO SHUT IT OFF. A small example.

    The stakes are not very high for a draw program running on a tablet. The stakes are rather higher if the program is running the air traffic system, a nuclear plant, oil refinery, or missiles, or a big bank, or that autonomous self-driving car everyone is waiting for. I have read that legacy systems (like that running the FAA system or Social Security) are often so complex that officials are reluctant to replace them, because, of course, errors would be catastrophic.

    So, yes: software engineers are very, very valuable.

    As time goes on, and complexity continues to grow (as it will) we will have to off-load a substantial portion of the burden onto computers, which (or who) have a much larger capacity to finagle complexity than we have. As we do so, we will, of necessity, relinquish a degree of control over the programs themselves.

    Bear in mind, though, that the drive to increase technology is top down rather than bottom up. Tech is the product du jour. The reason Apple and Samsung and who-the-fuck keep coming up with new and snazzier phones is that maintaining profits requires new phones. You don't need a new phone; I don't need a new phone; nobody on earth needs yet another version. Apple, Samsung, and who-the-fuck need new phones so that they have something to sell that is different than what they sold yesterday.

    The same thing applies to apples. There are already I don't know... around 5,000 apple varieties. One would think that those 5000 apple varieties probably suffice. But no: places like the U of Minnesota keep breeding new ones. You like Honey Crisp? That's one of the U of M varieties. They've introduced it's successor this year. Successor? Right. People are tired of The Apple of the early 21st century. Apples must be perpetually sweeter, crisper, juicier...

    Why? Because apple growers need new apples to generate consumer interest. "Consumer interest" is a different beast than "feeding people", you understand. Consumer interest is about selling stuff.

    The technologists who analyze consumer behavior are also very valuable people. More valuable than we band of brother-philosophers, certainly.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    The technologists who analyze consumer behavior are also very valuable people. More valuable than we band of brother-philosophers, certainly.Bitter Crank

    :grin: I like that reference.

    I submit that we have probably passed our capacity to monger all the minutia we have to manage. All the code that it takes is too voluminous, too complex, too inter-connected, for any individual or team to adequately oversee. The result is all sorts of failures (cleverly called bugs rather than mistakes) that are discovered only by putting the product into the hands of millions and letting them find all the errors by the brute force of daily use. EDIT: JUST NOW THE NEW VERSION OF iTUNES (which I didn't ask for) WOULDN'T LET ME QUIT; I COULD CLOSE THE WINDOW, BUT NOT TURN IT OFF. I HAD TO USE "FORCE QUIT" TO SHUT IT OFF. A small example.Bitter Crank

    Excellent point! This is really where I'm getting at. This is why I put "phenomenology" in the title. WHO is the person. What TYPE of person. Why that type of person? What are the THOUGHT PROCESSES of that person who needs to know the lines of code.. the testing of the code...the compiling of the language...the inventor of the language.. the mathematics behind all of this...the engineering behind all of that. And on and on it goes.

    What does this mean as a lived human? Where does that put the person who DOESN'T do these complex, focused, processes based in the minute understanding of the expert? What is the VALUE of the mind of a person who CAN do these things..that MOVE technology and that the cultural-economic fabric relies upon. What implication does this mean in terms of taxonomy of USEFULNESS.. What does this mean for consumers vs. producers.. What does this mean as a theory of value? What does this mean as a theory metaphysically in terms of WHAT the phenomenon is?

    I get that often technology is foisted from the top down through marketing, but we must admit that civilization relies on its substrate of technology. The technologists are the ones that carry these nuts and bolts processes and outputs to fruition. It is the phenomenon of the MINUTIA MONGERING technologist that I am trying to get at.
  • Caldwell
    179
    The problem is having no choice.
    Back to your point about the reduction..more technology producers why?
    schopenhauer1
    First off, what causes the no-choice world?

    Second, according to the State Department of Thread Title, you should remove the word "Phenomonology" from your title. It doesn't fit your topic. A socio-ecopolitical observation of our civilization does not need such word to be understood.

    Third, have you ever considered, I mean stopping even for a brief moment to ponder, whether humans actually enjoy conforming to the same thing? Have you ever thought that doing similar things and following similar path are actually happiness-inducing endeavour?
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    First off, what causes the no-choice world?Caldwell

    No choice- we need minutia mongerers.

    Second, according to the State Department of Thread Title, you should remove the word "Phenomonology" from your title. It doesn't fit your topic. A socio-ecopolitical observation of our civilization does not need such word to be understood.Caldwell

    Besides the bad spelling, the phenomenology is fine in the title I think. It is there to indicate the POV of the technologist. What is it like to be the person who needs to be an expert in the necessary minutia to originate and further technology? I am willing to have an example of a how a phenomenological account might go- the kind that is lacking to be worthy of the title.. If you think my more general commentary is not sufficient, please provide an example of how a proper phenomenological account would go to make the title worthy.

    Third, have you ever considered, I mean stopping even for a brief moment to ponder, whether humans actually enjoy conforming to the same thing? Have you ever thought that doing similar things and following similar path are actually happiness-inducing endeavour?Caldwell

    Can you explain this? Do you mean that engineers/mathematicians like what they are doing, ergo I am wrong for bringing up the minutia-mongering of technological expertise?

    The heart of the topic was stated to Bitter Crank here:
    What does this mean as a lived human? Where does that put the person who DOESN'T do these complex, focused, processes based in the minute understanding of the expert? What is the VALUE of the mind of a person who CAN do these things..that MOVE technology and that the cultural-economic fabric relies upon. What implication does this mean in terms of taxonomy of USEFULNESS.. What does this mean for consumers vs. producers.. What does this mean as a theory of value? What does this mean as a theory metaphysically in terms of WHAT the phenomenon is?
  • schopenhauer1
    3k

    Here's a more concrete question for you, BC:

    What would incline one person to be a monkish ascetic and meditate for 12 hours a day, focusing on "nothing" and "everything" (or their breath, or a mantra, or a paradox, etc.) and what would incline another person to learn about the intricacies involved in creating better electronic components and programming languages and maths that support it all?

    The meditator represents a sort of detachment and removal from the world of minutia..trying to achieve the most generalized state of mind. The engineer, on the other hand represents the other side of the spectrum- someone involved heavily in the intricacies and minutia of the world. This seems the opposite of generalized; it is someone mired in the details. What are the similarities of these types? What are the differences? Which is called for? When is it called for?
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    What are the differences? Which is called for? When is it called forschopenhauer1

    Both the ascetic and the engineer are extremely dedicated to the work and discipline. They both are probably somewhat indifferent about social niceties. Of course, their goals are as different as can possibly be. One is attempting to tunnel away from the world, the other is digging a tunnel into the heart of the commercial world. The number of meditators in the world, compared to the number of people screwing around with printed circuits and codes would resoundingly validate the life of the nerd over the life of the monk.

    Arthur Clark wrote a short story about a monastery of monks who operated a powerful computer. They were trying to compile a list of all of the names of God. When all of the names of God had been written, the universe would end.

    One night they left the monastery and walked away. Overhead the stars were going out.
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    Both the ascetic and the engineer are extremely dedicated to the work and discipline. They both are probably somewhat indifferent about social niceties. Of course, their goals are as different as can possibly be. One is attempting to tunnel away from the world, the other is digging a tunnel into the heart of the commercial world. The number of meditators in the world, compared to the number of people screwing around with printed circuits and codes would resoundingly validate the life of the nerd over the life of the monk.Bitter Crank

    Yes, this turning away from the world is valueless for society though, no? They are navel-gazers. Their very existence is due to someone else's intricate understanding of technologies. The minutia mongers allow the meditators to tunnel away from the world. Or so the narrative might go. Look at the thread of Marx Theory of Value.. It is about highly modelled mathematical frameworks to understand the quantitative measure of value from a commodity through labor and resources. I am not knocking it.. I rather like the rigor that that thread exemplifies.. but I am just giving examples of the minutia we deem necessary to really understand the world. Is more "minutia-knowledge" better? Are people who gravitate to more minutia-knowledge (experts?) better? If you say "NO, that's absurd".. you de facto rely on their expertise for your technology (or output as you rather call it). The mintutia-experts are the ones who give you your things, allows society to run.

    I guess a bigger point I am trying to uncover here is the tediousness of living in general. I can't help but think the surface of "Yahooo!!!" skiers, extreme sportsers, vacationers, leisurely readers, tv watchers, world travellers, and especially consumers are just skimming on a shallow sheet of ice that is undergirded and bolstered by an immense amount of minutia and tediousness. Thoughts?
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    There are "big picture" and "close-up" thinkers. You are a big picture thinker. I am a big picture thinker. Big picture thinkers are "a" (not "the") critical part of society. We concern ourselves with trends, patterns, contradictions, long-term consequences, and such like. "and such like" is a big picture generalization.

    Close-up thinkers are also "a" (not "the") critical part of society. They are minders, mongers, managers, and manufacturers of minutia. We've needed both kind of thinkers all the way back into the stone ages. Someone in a band of Homo sapiens sapiens had to decide when it time to move on. Someone had to pay attention to the whole band, not just 1 person. On the other hand, when it came to stone tools, close-up thinkers needed to focus on the stones that were available, and how--exactly--to use them. Close-up thinkers figured out how to get pitch out of birch bark (it's great glue). Both close-up Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens figured this out, separately.

    You are a big picture thinker and you are able to question the grand scheme of things that we are taught. Close-up thinkers aren't interested in that sort of questioning. They want to make the machine 7% better; you wonder whether the machine should even exist.

    Big picture thinkers, like close-up thinkers, make positive contributions. Ancient traders made a big picture decision when they set out on the sea to find other people to buy from and sell to. Even haggling over the price (in very small units of value) is a big picture activity. One needs to know not just whether a given piece of cloth has enough threads per inch, but they need to think about how much they can sell the cloth for elsewhere in exchange for what, and who can they sell that stuff to...

    Big picture thinkers deal with real problems, and find real solutions, just like close-up thinkers do -- just on a different scale.

    I guess a bigger point I am trying to uncover here is the tediousness of living in general.schopenhauer1

    Classic big picture project. Is it a positive or a negative picture?
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    There are "big picture" and "close-up" thinkers. You are a big picture thinker. I am a big picture thinker. Big picture thinkers are "a" (not "the") critical part of society. We concern ourselves with trends, patterns, contradictions, long-term consequences, and such like. "and such like" is a big picture generalization.Bitter Crank

    I like this framework.. makes sense.

    Classic big picture project. Is it a positive or a negative picture?Bitter Crank

    Interesting point. And I tend to agree with your analysis here about those who tend towards the big-thinking and those who tend towards the close-up thinking. I have to think more about this and get back to you.
  • Caldwell
    179
    No choice- we need minutia mongerers.schopenhauer1
    What are minutia mongerers? Sorry, I saw this in one of your posts, but still didn't quite absorb it.

    If you think my more general commentary is not sufficient, please provide an example of how a proper phenomenological account would go to make the title worthy.schopenhauer1
    You got it backwards. In my opinion, you do not need a phenomenological method to make a claim about something that could be measured sociologically and psychologically -- and yes (!), with all their interpretive instruments. You are, in fact, if you haven't noticed, performing hermeneutical analysis of what you yourself see around you. You are interpreting the condition of our society as
    Happiness is really a front for the child’s ability to consume and produce technology by way of outright consumption (passive) or by way of originating or furthering technology. The child is de facto a means to this end.schopenhauer1
    ..and
    But this is why I specifically called out technology- it is not the output aspect or the economic indicator that represents output. It is the technology that is the basis for the output.schopenhauer1
    Why not use sociological analysis instead? Of course, a cynical observer could reduce any human action to technology. But is this reasonable?
  • schopenhauer1
    3k
    What are minutia mongerers? Sorry, I saw this in one of your posts, but still didn't quite absorb it.Caldwell
    It is the ability to specialize in extremely minute points of math/science/engineering. Further, I claimed those who are most valued and de facto "needed" are ones that have mastery over minutia in these fields. As they increase the basis for how our society works- that is the technological foundation.

    You got it backwards. In my opinion, you do not need a phenomenological method to make a claim about something that could be measured sociologically and psychologically -- and yes (!), with all their interpretive instruments. You are, in fact, if you haven't noticed, performing hermeneutical analysis of what you yourself see around you. You are interpreting the condition of our society asCaldwell

    Fair enough. I can change it to the hemeneutics of technological expertise. For my own learning's sake, How would it have to look in order to hit the threshold of a phenomenological thread? I know of Husserl and his bracketing approach, but I was using the term loosely, not strictly Husselerian. How would the methodology look to be officially phenomenological?

    Why not use sociological analysis instead? Of course, a cynical observer could reduce any human action to technology. But is this reasonable?Caldwell

    Well, it is about the amount of expertise in the minutia.. the type of concentration on a very narrow set of understandings to increase technology. The kind of knowledge we need to know to increase, maintain, and reproduce technology. That was when I brought up minutia mongering. It would be what Bitter Crank called "close-up" thinkers.
  • Caldwell
    179
    For my own learning's sake, How would it have to look in order to hit the threshold of a phenomenological thread? I know of Husserl and his bracketing approach, but I was using the term loosely, not strictly Husselerian. How would the methodology look to be officially phenomenological?schopenhauer1
    I don't know, Schop. You are bracketing, that could not be avoided.
    Pin point what the experts in the past had focused on when talking about human actions. Be honest on this as this is your starting point. Is it towards conformity and uniformity or plurality? Then state where they made a mistake. Why would they say such a thing?
    Then, how do we lead ourselves to uniformity -- through creativity and creation (or building) of things and stuff that take the shape of one thing -- technology? You can illuminate how creativity itself is an instrument towards greater conformity, not the other way around. Develop your semantics on "technology". Develop your ontology around technology. Even language is technology itself.
    You could incorporate what @Akanthinos had said.
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