Millennials -- WTFO
I know it's Veterans Day, but what's up with all these Millenials? Can we please stop burning flags and disrespecting our Veterans and future Commander in Chief .... Geez! If you're gonna cry, here's an "IP Demo" of how to do it properly.
There is a list a mile long of the positive values that come from military service with people from all over this nation.
Having recently become a member of the septuagenarian population, I have often been inspired to reflect on what has happened over the many years I have witnessed. Odd things come to mind, like Electric Trollies, Bus transfer passes, Chains dragging under fuel trucks, Police cars with Bubble Gum Machine emergency lights on their roof, Airplanes with propellers, Folk Music, telephones with dials, black and white TV’s, Drive-Inn movies, White-Wall tires, Walter Cronkite and Paul Harvey, The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Matt Dillion and Miss Kitty, Morse code, F-4 Phantoms.
What happened to these staples of life as we knew it?
One of the things that catches my attention most is the rise in public vulgarity, originally censored and offensive, now commonly used to describe one’s daily encounters with life’s surprises, confusions, challenges, and lessons. This has become especially notable with the most recent class of so-called affluent Americans, more commonly known as the Millennials. With their fascination with all electronic things and their obsession with being connected with the rest of what they perceive as humanity, they rush through a world with so little time to think and reflect on what they observe that they have become prone to the communication of their experiences in the shortest form possible, with expressions using graphic cartoon figures, or acronymic three letter words like OMG, LOL, CU, CVA, or grammatically confounding overuse of punctuation like ?!?!?!?!?!?!?, not to mention onomatopoeic conjugations like “hahahaha”, or “jajajaja”. Let’s not forget the practice of expressing whole concepts with tiny graphical cartoon figures known as emoticons. It’s no wonder there has been a sharp rise in the occurrence of heated on-line hate attacks, acts of “Flaming”, where one’s character or familial relations are assaulted in streams of Padonkaffsky Jargon. All of this has devolved into a departure from the norms of polite and intelligent communication, and has become so pervasive that some even want Olbanian to be taught as a language in our schools.
Nothing seems to be more collectively shared by this population group more than the singular three letter expression.
There are many reasons for the rise in common use or this expression, which I am sure will soon become so widely accepted as common language that it will be anointed to sainthood in the next printing of that Bible of the English language, Webster’s Dictionary. However, even the great ad-hoc bibliographic well of knowledge called Wiki has yet to define why this has happened.
But I am beginning to understand why.
I am an average size and structured septuagenarian male, six foot tall, average, a little heavy, weight around 200 lbs., and possessed with fairly good intellect and mental acuity. But some things simply cannot be fathomed, though they are pervasive and apparently part of the cultural shift that has created the great divide in understanding between those of my age group versus those who came into this world after the great dawn after the technology explosion. I possess a scientific mind with the sharp understanding of all things electronic, and I am beginning to think I know the reason. It is the culmination of almost fifty years of efforts by scientific research into the depths of the undone before that has deemed life shall be ever more so fulfilling when everyone carries a 3 inch by 5 inch super computer in their pocket. The (sic) “Smart Phone”. Yep, all that power, all that capability, all that complexity, thrust into the hands, pockets, purses, of a vast population of semi-intelligent bi-ped’s, most of whom received poor to marginal grades in the high school science classes.
How did this happen?
Beats me, and I’m an engineer.
How is it that we have become totally consumed by a device we don’t understand, can’t comprehend, hell, can’t even use. Is this actually the result of an evil conspiracy to make us stupid? For example, I am average in just about every dimension, and the size of the minimal contact point of my finger tip is 1/8 inch square (or 4 mm if you are so inclined). This means I can easily squash a bug as small as 4 millimeters in diameter. Great, but how is it that the brilliant minds of engineers who design the most common interactive devices on the planet think it is useful for us to communicate our written message by typing on a touch screen QWERTY keyboard where each of the keys are less than 1 millimeter square and joined side-by-side?
What the hell were they thinking?
I share some responsibility for that momentous shift to the invasion of electronic devices into our daily lives, spending most of my professional career inventing and creating complex solutions with ever faster computing devices. I remember the days when all communication with a computer was performed using punched paper tape, cards, and cryptic typewritten commands on a mechanical teletype keyboard. Computers were large cold rooms filled with refrigerator size cabinets full of electronics. For years, we strove to make these monsters do great things for man-kind, though communicating with them in terms of the binary language, all ones and zeros, was challenging, causing us to focus in improvements in the man-machine interface in attempts to make it more human like, more intelligent, eloquent, simple to understand, visually appealing, easy to use.
Little did I know what a monster these things would become. Today, everybody carries a computer more powerful than most of the machines I worked with over my forty five years as a computer scientist, and yet, these computers don’t solve complex problems, instead they are designed to supposedly make our lives simpler, richer, keep us in touch with the global population. And yet, here we are with the most confusing result, people who communicate whole concepts in cryptic typewritten three letter words and cartoon like graphical emoji’s, accompanied by the misunderstandings, misinterpretations, confusion, offense, and downright stupid assumptions that are the result.
I look at this and wonder what happened. How can anybody really call this “connectivity”? Well, I’m not sure even the Millennials know. Confronted with so many instantaneously delivered overlaid pages of colorful icons, emoji’s, photo’s, cartoons, videos, and massive texts composed of three letter acronyms, they now have one universally common response to what confronts them. There is pervasive indications of this to be observed, all around us, every day. For example, as you stand in the checkout line (while the cashier is calling on a phone (note; one with a wire, attached to the check stand) asking for a price check on an item with a complex bar code that the electronic scanner on the cash register machine continues to cause it to emit the “Brreap” sound” , you should casually observe all the people around you waiting in line. You will no doubt note that many, if not all, of them are staring at their portable computing device, a.k.a “Cell Phone”, each with a different expression of Awe, Confusion, Distress, Disgust, or, in some cases, Blank.
I know understand this phenomenon, they are all locked in a memory loop that is best described by the most prevalently used three letter abbreviated expression of our modern times,
And yet, like good bi-ped’s, we have persevered through this momentous societal change, climbed to the next level, moved on. Obviously. The recent presidential election proves it. Well, at least to most of us.
There are still all those people standing in line staring at their Smart Phones with that look on their face.
Maybe they are all liberals.