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It's funny.  Laugh. Technology

Modern Tech Versus the Past 219

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bring-back-gladiators dept.
CNETNate writes "Most of us assume modern life is the peak of human achievement, but is it really? CNET decided to take a look at the major technologies of the modern world and compare them to their closest equivalent of pre-digital mankind — Facebook vs. dinner parties, World of Warcraft vs. actual war craft, iPhones vs. hills on fire — and the results are surprising. And slightly dumb, so laugh."
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Modern Tech Versus the Past

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  • by PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) on Monday November 23, 2009 @02:48PM (#30204574)

    As you can see, ancient life beats modern life in all respects. Modern life doesn't even come close, scoring a rather embarrassing nought out of ten.

    I would have to disagree. Sure you can pick a few things which outcome is that, but you really have to look at the larger picture.

    As an example, if you think about the medieval era and how you moved around, there we're basically two options:
    1) by horse
    2) by walking

    This meant that every business had to own a horse and feed it to move around. For a real world example, it also created problems for pizzeria's home delivery, because the horse would eat the pizza.

    But one must also note that some things actually were better on older times. When you ordered a pizza, you knew it would be baked for you with love and it would be delicious to eat. Now someone justs sends me a pizza gift on Facebook. Thanks for the mockery, I say.

    Basically what I am saying is that technology makes things less personal. The same way that salad is shit compared to Pizza Hut's delicious pan pizza, e-card is shit compared to a real postcard because it just doesn't have the same feeling.

    • by gnick (1211984) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:26PM (#30204938) Homepage

      Basically what I am saying is that technology makes things less personal. ...it just doesn't have the same feeling.

      I think you just summarized every analysis in TFA. "The old stuff is better 'cuz it has an old-timey feel to it." Personally, I appreciate being able to communicate half-way across the country w/o having to run to the telegraph station and blow a half-day's pay even if it's less personal. I like that Swine Flu is less deadly than the Plague, even if that's not as scary. I like that I can re-spawn after dying in some game rather than getting my head lopped off in battle, even if it's less manly.

      But that's just me... Now, I'm off to take a leak in the street because that's more neighborly than "modern" sanitation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Let the older times be in the past. People don't realize how smelly and unsanitary streets were when horses and carriages were the mainstay of transportation. There was no fire, police, or EMS. If you came down with something, hopefully your immune system could take care of it, because there was no penicillin or other medicines to clear up even the basic infections. Most of America at that time was living in hovels or tenements and barely making a sustainable living. Any police protection were for the

        • There was no fire, police, or EMS.

          WTF are you talking about? The first modern, professional fire department was founded in the 1850s (well within the time of the horse and carriage), police have existed since probably the middle ages, and as for EMS, the doctor came to you instead!

          Even those smelly, slow diesel cars that foreign automakers want to push on the US again (anyone above 20 remembers the Mercedes turbo diesels that people ended up passing on the wrong side of the road or breakdown lanes due to th

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by dwywit (1109409)
          Going further back, war in the Middle Ages sucked. There were no medics back then, so if you got a good nick, you ended up dying of blood loss right there, or an infection before a week.

          Actually there were some pretty clever medics 'way back when. When Henry V took an arrow in the cheek, one surgeon devised a tool to reach down into the wound and extract the arrow stub.

          http://www.rcpsg.ac.uk/hdrg/2006Nov3.htm

          Not that such treatment would be available to everyone, of course. I've always thought that pre-ant

        • Even those smelly, slow diesel cars that foreign automakers want to push on the US again (anyone above 20 remembers the Mercedes turbo diesels that people ended up passing on the wrong side of the road or breakdown lanes due to their sulphur belching stench and multi minute 0-60 times.)

          You do realize that 1) modern diesels are much better than they used to be on virtually all counts, and 2) the perception of diesels in U.S. was screwed in a major way when GM fucked up diesel in their cars.

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:37PM (#30205042) Homepage Journal
      As an example, if you think about the medieval era and how you moved around, there we're basically two options:
      1) by horse


      Not only that, but if you were pulling a wagon and heading toward Oregon, you were likely to be killed by a bout of dysentery.
    • by westlake (615356) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:54PM (#30206646)

      As an example, if you think about the medieval era and how you moved around, there we're basically two options:1) by horse
      2) by walking
      This meant that every business had to own a horse and feed it to move around.

      It meant that you had a tight little monopoly in your own neighborhood .

      The handsome brick structure on on our village main street was originally a three story department store that served a population of less than 1000. The alternative, if you wanted to shop for a set of dishes, a mattress or sofa, would be to take a train into Buffalo and pay the freight back.

    • You know, while all the modern day equivalents are better at _some_ times, I think the downsides the rest of the time get overlooked.

      For example, yes, moving around by foot or horse all the way to Jerusalem was a lot slower, not to mention having all those pesky Saracens in the way who felt that they should continue to keep their country ;) Nowadays you could take a plane and be there in a couple of hours.

      But the downside is that you weren't expected to make that trip more than once in your life, and arguab

  • They Missed One (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @02:53PM (#30204618) Journal
    We Have: Putting one page of data on one page
    They Had: Dividing data up into eight pages to maximize pageviews [slashdot.org]

    Thanks for finally filing this CNet Crave UK stuff in Idle/Entertainment!
  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday November 23, 2009 @02:58PM (#30204664)
    Sorry. We geeks playing World of Warcraft would not be engaged in killing each other if not for the game. WoW is the low tech equivalent of jumping out from behind a rock with a stick and shouting "bang bang!". And the WoW forums are the equivalent of "I shot you your dead! Am not!" arguments.
    • I still play Age of Empires 2, so that I know if I mystically get teleported back to medeival ages, I will be the best General the world has ever scene.

      Now, how do I make real life town centers 'build' villagers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by idontgno (624372)

      Sorry. We geeks playing World of Warcraft would not be engaged in killing each other if not for the game.

      True. I wonder how many closet murderers indulge their taste for mayhem in a virtual world but avoid it IRL simply because it's permitted in one place and punished in the other. Or, to put it more plainly, how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it.

      "I once stabbed a man to watch him die. And also for 8 honor points."

      • how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it.

        A lot.

        • "how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it."

          If two people each wanted to kill each other, and could do it without getting caught, how would that work? Wouldn't the first killer take out the other killer, thereby depriving the other killer of the murder that he could 'get away with?'

    • I play airsoft, which I often refer to as 'FPS', much to the annoyance of all the other geeks :)

      Sorry, but it is!

    • When I was growing up, we had *real* dirt clod fights!

      We would mound up dirt a short distance from one another, and a combination of lobbing and more direct throws were done until you hit the *enemy*. At which point, if you hit them hard enough or partially blinded them with dirt in the eyes, you then grabbed a handful of dirt clods, rush your enemy's bunker, rapid firing to keep him pinned down, then while he was writhing on the ground, if you had any clods left that this point, you would finish him off an

    • Beautiful setup.

      They had jumping out from behind a rock with a stick and shouting "bang bang! I shot you dead!"

      We have: Cher "Bang Bang"
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLmlS66AA80 [youtube.com]

    • Before WoW we got foam plastic swords and other foam weapons and wrapped them up with Duct Tape to look like metal and dressed up in suits of armor and hit each other with them at a Medieval War reenactment or LARP D&D event. Before WoW we had D&D from TSR before Hasbro or Garfield Games or whomever bought them out and made D20. The Classic D&D and LARP D&D were better in the old days.
      I shot you your dead! Am not!" arguments were resolved by the Dungeon Master and dice rolling and hit points

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:02PM (#30204712)

    i represent the duke of america and recently a $25,000 sum of pirate spanish gold seized off the coast has been placed in our care.....

  • by SoundGuyNoise (864550) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:04PM (#30204734) Homepage
    MP3s vs. 1 Man Bands
    Twitter vs. Bathroom Walls
    Science vs. Mad Science
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimbobborg (128330)

      MP3s vs. 1 Man Bands

      Twitter vs. Bathroom Walls

      Science vs. Alchemy

      Fixed that for ya

    • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:38PM (#30205050)
      We have the RIAA, they had religious persecution (I was going to say "The Spanish Inquisition", but you'd expect that)
      • I wouldn't expect the Spanish Inquisition even after I saw them.

        Who expects to be tortured mercilessly and pointlessly?
        I sure don't.

        Who expects to sit in the comfy chair?
        I sure don't (not at work, anyway).

    • by Sandbags (964742)

      Wikipedia vs. walking through a museum -> museum
      Microwave vs. home cooked meal -> home cooking (at least in my house)
      Credit vs. Cash -> depends, I vote Debit Card (best of both worlds)
      e-pay vs. cash/check -> no more late bills, e-pay
      Direct Deposit vs. paycheck/cash -> direct deposit
      Digital camera vs. film -> except that it costs more, film, though at about 21MP i might start leaning the other way.
      Computer + printer vs. typewrite -> computer, no brainer.
      computer vs. inkwell -> though

      • by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:08PM (#30205324) Journal

        Digital camera vs. film -> except that it costs more, film, though at about 21MP i might start leaning the other way.

        The professional photographers that I know have been quite happy with their digital cameras since 8MP was the level no one could afford. They're up in the 12MP and 15MP levels now, but they produce prints for their customers, and they're indistinguishable to all but the trained eye from what would have been done on film. Even an 8x12 at 8MP makes for 83,000 dots per square inch, or 1/288 of an inch (.088mm) across. Given that the same lenses are being used in many cases (Nikon lenses from a decade or more past fit on current Nikon SLRs), it comes down to the sensor, and the difference just isn't there.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Credit vs. Cash -> depends, I vote Debit Card (best of both worlds)

        I vote credit card + autopay at the end of every month -> cheaper (because of cash back(*)), faster, more convenient than cash, plus you get the legally required protections

        (*) Yes, the store has to pay the credit card fees and they end up coming back to us.. but for each individual purchase, the price is generally the same for credit vs cash. (Stores can give "cash discounts", but even with gasoline, there is almost always a gas stat

      • Credit vs. Cash -> depends, I vote Debit Card (best of both worlds)

        Be careful -- I used to put everything on debit until my parents' info was stolen from a hancked PIN pad. I switched to credit, and the advantages are:

        1. Reward points (1% cash back)
        2. Deferral of all expenses by one month (extra interest in bank account)
        3. Buffer between "real" money and "public" money. (like a throw-away email address)
        4. Recovery of assets is faster. (Bank: "Maybe you took a flight to Georgia this afternoon." CC: "Oh, sorry, we'll reverse the charge and send you a new card.")

        There is no d

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        Wikipedia vs. walking through a museum -> museum

        Apples and oranges. Wikipedia has more information than is typically displayed in a museum, and can be accessed more easily. Museums have better accuracy and are more enjoyable. It's as if you're comparing your car to a 747, and concluding that the 747 is superior. Sure, for some things it is, but for going grocery shopping it's pretty much useless.

        Microwave vs. home cooked meal -> home cooking (at least in my house)

        That's a strange sort of false-dichotomy. You can make a "home cooked meal" with a microwave, or you can throw a can of soup-mix on a stove and a pack of st

        • by shentino (1139071)

          Don't excuse the sharks.

          Here's proof of how sleazy the credit card industry is: Universal Default.

          Let us suppose that, due to some asshat in the accounting department fucking up your numbers, you are reported to a credit bureau as missing a house payment.

          Naturally, you give them an earful and get them to fix it.

          Meanwhile, all your other creditors jump on that foul up on your credit report and jack up your rates.

          Even if you chew the mortage go back into nixing that error, nobody else has to lower their rate

      • Digital cameras versus film.

        Boy, people take too many photos these days. Back then it cost too much to develop them - photos were for special occasions, when you were dressed up and looking your best. And if Cousin Tommy pulled a face or Grandma blinked then we just beat them till they behaved better next time.

    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:47PM (#30205138)

      Science vs. Mad Science

      Wait, which one is the "modern" side? ;-)

    • no one has mentioned this little comparison: Toilets vs. The Street.
  • by webmistressrachel (903577) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:08PM (#30204762) Journal

    Here are some more recent tech most of you have spurned for all the wrong reasons but which I'll never give up and you can pry from my cold dead hands (but you won't want to!!)

    We have: Washed out LCD monitors, rubbish refresh rates, pale colours, all reds are orange.
    I Have: My 21" newsroom Trinitrons, three of, for a combined resolution of 4800x1200 at 85Hz. Perfect colours, wide viewing angles, annoying bezels. Windows 7 really likes them...

    We have: Computer speakers, tiny badly-designed amplifiers, built-in speakers on TV's, plastic "hifi" speakers with metal cones, etc. Plenty of bass, fair enough, but just whisper "dynamic range" and "signal-to-noise ratio" to these people and you might just cause a flamewar.
    I Have: Wharfedale Modus Twos and a Rotel RSX-03 amplifier with 6 discrete channels (RSX-03), FLAC, Cds. And yes, decent speaker wire (4mm) I found! I'm not a hifi snob, but I know mine sounds better and with wise buying cost less!

    Not all progress is good, only good progress :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mikael_j (106439)

      Washed out LCD monitors, rubbish refresh rates, pale colours, all reds are orange.

      Solution: stop buying "XTRA SPECIAL SALE NOW ONLY $50" monitors and get good ones instead.

      Computer speakers, tiny badly-designed amplifiers, built-in speakers on TV's, plastic "hifi" speakers with metal cones, etc. Plenty of bass, fair enough, but just whisper "dynamic range" and "signal-to-noise ratio" to these people and you might just cause a flamewar.

      Solution: buy a decent amp and speakers, can be had for a couple of hundred bucks.

      Both your examples are examples of people buying crap because they either fell for the advertising or just don't know there is anything better out there.

      /Mikael

      • by webmistressrachel (903577) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:31PM (#30204980) Journal
        Actually, they're not. In the case of the monitors, it's an established fact that CRT viewing angles, especially Trinitrons, are better than any flat tech we have today. Also, the orange pigment issue is also a real one, solved only by OLEDs, and you know have much they cost. As for the second example, any hifi snob from the 90s is going to agree all day that the posh rig posted will sound better than a "couple of hundred bucks" setup. I've listened to, set up, and performed through lots of different equipment using different recording formats all my life. You can't buy a hifi anymore that sounds as rich and perfect as those speakers - that was the whole point of the post, and comparing them to modern crap without even doing some research on the subject shows your ignorance. Modern speakers, even from Wharfedale (now a "big box" co, as you call it over the pond), suck, as you say in the Good ol' US of A!
        • by c6gunner (950153)

          Actually, they're not. In the case of the monitors, it's an established fact that CRT viewing angles, especially Trinitrons, are better than any flat tech we have today.

          Sure. And? You're using 3 CRT's as your computer desktop, ergo you're wasting the viewing-angle advantage anyway. For your chosen usage, they make no difference whatsoever. For all other purposes, just position your damn TV so that you're not trying to watch it from the side. The viewing-angle complaint just sounds like pointless whining.

          Also, the orange pigment issue is also a real one, solved only by OLEDs, and you know have much they cost.

          Most (99%+) people simply don't care. When the Spartans in my livingroom start decapitating their enemies in 1080p, the blood sure looks red to me, and I don't give a

        • I've used high end trinitrons. The flicker is awful, ESPECIALLY at 85 hertz. I can see it clear as day, especially if I had 3 space hogging power vampires on my desk like you do. Furthermore, the pixels are smudged on a CRT, especially at high resolutions.

          I've got dual Dell 2707 WFPs. That's a high end LCD with an expanded color gamut. They are 27", with 1920x1080 resolution each, which means the individual pixels are pretty large, so text is readable at all font sizes. They are overwhelmingly superio

  • by KharmaWidow (1504025) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:13PM (#30204806)

    Endless useless meetings and reports vs forging and basic survival

  • One Thing I Miss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:13PM (#30204810) Homepage Journal
    I miss the days before cell phones. Don't get me wrong, cell phones are convenient and allow me to stalk any number of girls that I like, but still..

    I remember before cell phones became mainstream, if you wanted to spend time with your friends, you had to tell them where to meet you and when and they had to be there or else you just wouldn't catch up. It didn't matter if you had anything planned or not. There was much less of the, "Well, I might come out, what did you have in mind?" cruft. During lunch at school you would say, "Meet at the pool around 4:00 and we'll figure something out." Then, the evening was yours for adventure or mischief or what have you. Not always having a plan was half the fun. It meant you would all get together and just start talking or walking or going somewhere seeking something to do until someone had a brilliant...or at least intriguing...idea.

    I remember how, for the weekend, you and all your friends would be sure to meet Friday night somewhere then spend the whole weekend sleeping on each others' floors and couches because if anyone skipped out you wouldn't be able to find them for the rest of the weekend. I remember girls writing their numbers on my hand in pink gel ink and walking around, intentionally holding my hand turned just out slightly so as to subversively brag about my score. I remember setting up dates and saying, "I'll pick you up at..." and not having the crutch of cell phones to be able to work out the details when the time came.

    Yep part of me misses those days. I am only 23 and I feel old writing about that kind of thing....the worst part is I don't even have a lawn yet....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When you do get a lawn, I for one will be proud to get off it. /salute

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Neil Hodges (960909)

      I always feel more assured when things are set up in advance, or at least some sort of planning met-up is set up beforehand. Waiting 'til the last minute seems like asking for trouble, especially if the others don't pick up their cell phones.

    • Re:One Thing I Miss (Score:5, Informative)

      by jez9999 (618189) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:36PM (#30205028) Homepage Journal

      You, sir, have had a VERY different childhood to me. :-)

    • by Bazer (760541) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:36PM (#30205034)

      Yep part of me misses those days. I am only 23 and I feel old writing about that kind of thing....the worst part is I don't even have a lawn yet....

      No worries, you can get off mine.

    • by onepoint (301486)

      I'm about twice your age, and we had a hang-out spots for night time, one for day time ( arcade ), and out favorite fishing holes for Saturday morning. if you got lost from one spot to another, call your night quits or try to find us.

      you could get blasted drunk ( 18 was the drinking age back then ) and get home safely in a cab and still make it to go fishing at 6am.

      when you made plans, you stuck to them, "pick you up at 8" meant you are ready at 8pm. however when you are picking up a girl, 8pm is when you g

    • by IrquiM (471313)

      Dude - did you live under a rock or something?

      We chatted up girls on the internet and texted friends before you had a double digit age! Scoring a phone number when you're 9 might be cool, but you don't know what to do with it.

      • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:15PM (#30206078) Homepage Journal
        I grew up in a California foothill town with a total population of 5,000. There was one high school for the whole county and even today most of the county doesn't have access to anything better than dial up. I know for a fact we were behind the times, but I kinda enjoyed that. Sure, I wasn't texting when I was 9 years old, but I was wandering through the Cedar forests with a knife in my boot and rifle in my hand shooting at birds just for the shits of it. By 14 my friends and I had built ourselves a halfpipe for skateboarding and biking on. By 16 we had all been driving our dad's 4 WD pickups for 2 - 3 years. We paintballed in the woods every weekend. We went fishing every couple weeks or so. We went swimming when it was warm. We started snowboarding at 8 years old and were doing 360's and 720's before we got out of our parent's houses. That's why the meeting up thing was so important. If you missed catching up with your friends on the weekend, you would be shit out of luck on stuff to do for a few days.

        So yeah, sure, I guess I grew up under a rock, but there were some really cool things to do under that rock...far cooler than texting each other back and forth for hours saying, "I don't know what to do," "Me neither," "LOL this sucks," "LOL yeah," "=P," "fag lol." ..... and so on ad infinitum.
    • by hey! (33014) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:59PM (#30205874) Homepage Journal

      During lunch at school you would say "Meet at the pool around 4:00 and we'll figure something out."

      OK, speaking as an old-timer of 48, I have to second this. That was how we did did "meet-ups" back in the day. Of course, it was "the cracker barrel at the general store", not "the pool". And what we usually settled on doing was some variation of rolling the an old barrel hoop down the dirt road with a stick. But that was mainly to take our minds of the folksy banjo music that accompanied us wherever we went.

      Still, we were happy although we didn't have much. Folks weren't so jaded back then. People had solid *values*, like patriotism, racism and exflunctication.

      • by treeves (963993)
        When a comment that ends with the word 'exflunctication' gets modded insightful, you know you are on /.
      • We had Walkmans rather than ipods. My clique didn't refer to them as Walkmans because that was sexist language. No I am not joking. The music was all pirated, though, so that hasn't changed at least.
    • by sjames (1099) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:24PM (#30206206) Homepage

      Not to mention the days when being face to face with people meant talking to them rather than watching them take an endless series of phone calls for "just a second" each.

      The people who do that are inevitably befuddled as to why I walked away to do something more useful/interesting (once they notice that is).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      Well, there's a hint: All cell phones I know have in common a very useful functionality: You can turn them off.

    • by DrCode (95839)

      Hey, I'm an old fart (in my 50s!), and I get together with friends all the time using Facebook and text-messaging. Before these were available, I didn't have any friends.:-)

    • by couchslug (175151)

      I'm fifty and, with all due respect, fuck nostalgia for landline phones (although their handpiece ergonomics and audio are excellent).

      They were an information bottleneck, source of intel for some parents (not mine, fortunately for me), and didn't facilitate rapid communication within groups. I would have been delighted to have a cell phone (and computer of course) back in the ancient days of the 1970s.

      Modern communication tech works fine for getting together. Now all the old fuckers I hang with email each o

  • You could make the argument that for many people the 1940s-1950s was the present local peak of the USA. Since that time, due to resource exhaustion, increasing population and foolish trade deals, the standard of living has dropped in relative terms, the opportunities are not what they were, there's more aggravation, less optimism. The writing is worse, reporting is worse, the arts are terrible and people actually build less and make less. We're just shoved into boxes with sex and drugs but can't really ev

    • by Nick Driver (238034) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:26PM (#30204942)

      The Apollo program and moon landings were surely the peak of the USA.

    • We're just shoved into boxes with sex and drugs...

      Wait... what? I was with you until this part.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by maxume (22995)

      When men were men and women cooked dinner!

    • by hey! (33014)

      I think you are partly right, but for the wrong reasons. If you talk to people who lived through the Great Depression and WW2, it was sacrifice and suffering, but people felt like they had a purpose. In the 1950s, things got economically better, but there was a sense that we'd been put on the Earth to face down communism.

      As far as writing and the arts are concerned, you're way off base. People are *still* doing the kind of art they did back then. It's just not avante garde. If don't like the art at the s

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "The writing is worse, reporting is worse, the arts are terrible and people actually build less and make less."

      Cry me a fucking river. Being "poor" in the 1940s meant being a fucking sharecropper (there where plenty of White ones) not getting obese on food stamps.

      The standard of living sucked by comparison with the present. The arts only matter to the wealthy or to snobs, now as then. Writing and reporting were frequently dishonest, although more dignified. Corruption was rife, racism was normal, medical ca

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:25PM (#30204922)
    I'm sorry, but just because WoW has "war" in the title does not mean it can be equated to actual war. In real war, you dont run around fighting monsters with other people, buying and selling stuff so you can make that shiny new armor or buy the coolest new mount. If it were like real Middle Aged warfare, you would be running around with a small axe and whatever implement you had on your farm that could do the most damage. You're also probably wearing whatever rags you happened to be wearing at the time, much less plate or mail armor. You have people sitting at home yelling at each other over vent, as compared to people who have either trained for it their wholes lives, or were forced into battle by a lord who just wants more land, so he can get more tax money, so he can live even nicer. Not to mention the fact that the only thing close to someone spewing fireballs is an archer with an arrow covered with pitch and ignited.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:25PM (#30204928)

    Craftsmen's Guilds come to mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guild [wikipedia.org]. "They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society . . . tended to form associations based on their trades . . . each of whom controlled secrets of traditionally imparted technology, the "arts" or "mysteries" of their crafts."

    They had bizarre initiation rituals, We have goatse.

    They had secret phrases. We have, "in Soviet . . . X, Y's you!"

    They had a monopoly on their trade. We get outsourced.

    Oh, I guess they won.

    • by Scaba (183684)

      They had bizarre initiation rituals, We have goatse.

      We didn't have the rituals. Instead we had weird Uncle Eddie. The kids all loved his little "magic trick."

  • Wimmen vs internet pr0n websites...

    Remember the old geocities type web pages with absolutely everything on one staggeringly long page vs "clickthru articles" with about one paragraph per page of ads...

  • World (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:45PM (#30205120) Homepage Journal
    Thats the keyword that matters more there. Global communications (in particular with cellphones), and internet (with all the tools described in the article) have global and instant access from all the world. If you want to put in a word the difference between past and present, "World" will be what we have now, in this instant, all of it (including the bad parts, as globalization and properly named pandemic diseases)
  • Wooden clubs VS. dating sites

    Temple prostitutes VS. cathouses

    Naked neanderthals VS. endless online porn catering to every whim

    Mammoth hunts across the savannah VS. six pizza places within two miles

    Wooden wagons VS. Audi TT RS

    Fall Of Rome VS. Fall Of USA

  • nostalgia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:03PM (#30205288) Journal

    Telegraph vs internet: If you wanted to, you could use VOIP to send the right audio dots and dashes in morse code only this time there's nothing stopping you. The major draw for the author seems to be the scarcity of such communication back in the time period when telegraphs were the big thing.
      Twitter vs gossip: gossip isn't dead. There's no evidence that Twitter destroyed gossip, it just went online. A far more efficient means of spreading rumors.
      Facebook vs Dinner party: Same as above. The author seems to pine for a time when the world was very disconnected.
      World of Warcraft vs Actual war craft: Iraq? War isn't anything to be pinning for.
    Swine flu mass-panic vs The plague: not a very good comparison. Try AIDS and the plague.
      Iphone vs fire on a hill: Same scarcity makes it cool argument.
      Viruses vs the Trojan horse: not really a fair comparison. There's tons of military strategies that put that horse to shame.
      MP3s vs Tribal chants: We still have those. Heck, my friends and I went to Denver just to see a few.
      Post-Enlightenment scientific rigour vs Superstition and quack doctors: Yeah that living to the old age of 30 sounds great. Get me a piece of that action... We've still got voodoo nonsense and you're free to go get "treated" by one if you wish.

    • I think they suck. For the hosts, they're expensive and messy. If you're a guest, you're stuck in a long drawn-out dinner where the only conversation is with your immediate neighbors.
      Facebook wins.

  • This just felt like one of those cracked.com articles all over digg, instead of a slashdot-worthy article. Sorry.

  • The trebuchet has the advantage in that it can fire anything...
    Which is scarier?
    "SCREEEEEEEECHMM"...BOOM!"
    or...
    "MOOOOOOOOOOOOO... SPLAT!"
    or... (for dramatic effect)...
    "Are those HEADS they're throwing at us?"

    • While howitzers are great for taking out recyclers and factories [wikipedia.org] from a great distance, I still prefer the trebuchet [thinkgeek.com] for the shorter range engagements that office warfare requires. There are few weapons better at delivering indirect fire into the PHB's office. However for a proper combined arms approach, you might also need something like helicopters [thinkgeek.com] and tanks. [thinkgeek.com]
  • and other presentation software we had H. Ross Perot and his charts and graphs. Oh how people laughed at his charts and graphs, and today they have their own charts and graphs in Powerpoint and other presentation software.

    "That giant sucking sound you are going to hear is jobs going out of this nation due to the foreign trade bills passing." -H. Ross Perot

    "This is the real reason why nothing ever gets done and the economy never gets fixed. Gridlock in Congress and the White House. Gridlock, gridlock, period

    • Way before Microsoft Powerpoint and other presentation software we had H. Ross Perot and his charts and graphs.

      Business presentation software existed before H. Ross Perot's 1992 campaign. Harvard Presentation Graphics, from the mid-1980s, is one of the better known earlier examples, if not necessarily the first dedicated business presentation software.

      Actually, checking Wikipedia, PowerPoint was around before H. Ross Perot's 1992 campaign, as well, being first released for the Mac in 1987 and for Windows 3

  • And slightly dumb, so laugh.

    I would rather laugh at the submitter's rather superb talent for understatement.

  • by mdwh2 (535323)

    I'm curious why they chose the Iphone? I mean, spot the odd one out - for every other technology, they list either the dominant leader, or if there isn't one, they put the generic name. But for some reason, the Iphone gets chosen, at only a few per cent market share. Why? Or is this just yet another case of jumping on the Apple product placement bandwagon?

    If anything, they should list Nokia, but as no one's dominant in the mobile market (Nokia have "only" 40%), it's probably better to stick with the perfect

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.

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