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Thread: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    Posted by Alexandra Bruce last week:
    Stare into the Lights My Pretties

    We live in a world of screens. The average adult spends the majority of their waking hours in front of some sort of screen or device. We’re enthralled, we’re addicted to these machines. How did we get here? Who benefits? What are the cumulative impacts on people, society and the environment? What may come next if this culture is left unchecked, to its end trajectory, and is that what we want?

    Stare into the Lights My Pretties investigates these questions with an urge to return to the real physical world, to form a critical view of technological escalation driven by rapacious and pervasive corporate interest.

    Covering themes of addiction, privacy, surveillance, information manipulation, behavior modification and social control, the film lays the foundations as to why we may feel like we’re sleeprunning into some dystopian nightmare with the machines at the helm. Because we are, if we don’t seriously avert our eyes to stop this culture from destroying what is left of the real world.

    This film was made with no budget, is not-for-profit and is released to the world for free for the purposes of critical discourse, education, and for cultivating radical social and political change.


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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    A little more.
    Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now

    It's quite a mild and cautious article, but here's an extract:

    The researchers, echoing findings elsewhere, found a steady uptick in self-esteem and happiness among teens throughout the 1990s and 2000s. But they also found that since 2012, teens’ overall psychological well-being has noticeably declined.

    In 2012, for instance, the average happiness rating of 10th graders hovered around 2.06; by 2016, it had dropped below 2.00. The decreases were relatively modest and never fell below the ratings seen in the dark days of the early 1990s, but they were also abrupt and larger than any other momentary decrease seen in the preceding years.

    The year 2012 also happens to be — not coincidentally, the researchers theorise — the first year that a slim majority of Americans reported owning a smartphone, as did over a third of teens. By 2016, over three-quarters of teens said the same.

    “Almost all of the drop in teens’ happiness occurred between 2012 and 2015. That’s a very short time period, which makes it easier to identify possible causes,” lead author Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego University, tells me over email. “By far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2012 and 2015 was the ascendance of the smartphone. It’s difficult to think of anything else that changed that suddenly during that time period that could have impacted teens’ well-being as much.”

    Twenge has frequently sounded an alarm over the connection between smartphones and teen unhappiness. Last year, she published her book, iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood, which discussed the current study’s findings prior to its publication.

    Twenge’s team [ … ] consistently found that teens, especially 8th and 10th graders, who spent more time looking at screens were less happy, less satisfied with their lives, and had lower self-esteem. Conversely, the more time teens spent socializing, playing sports, and even doing homework, the generally happier they were.

    The team also found evidence that teens became unhappier the year after they started spending more time on screens, which further supports (but doesn’t definitively prove, as they admit) a direct cause-and-effect link, while no strong link was found between economic factors like a lower family income and poorer well-being.

    “It would be great if more randomised experiments addressed this question, but those that exist show that giving up social media benefits well-being,” says Twenge, referencing a 2016 study that found volunteers who stopped using Facebook for a week were more satisfied with their lives and had more positive emotions.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    This might warrant its own thread for discussion (the topic is very slightly different), but I'll post it here first.

    Richard Dolan, who these days is FAR more than just a UFO researcher, noted this in the last half hour of his 23 October 2017 radio show:
    (Go here for all the archives... very highly recommended. He's head and shoulders the most articulate and intelligent commentator, on a WIDE, WIDE range of subjects, in the entire universe of talk radio.)
    The importance of going to AIRPLANE MODE for our sanity

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    Totally agree! Are we not each entitled to our own sovereign space?! I observe that many individuals' lives are controlled by the phone; not the other way around! It is the "tool", but we humans are being made into a "tool".....and quite happily at that!

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    I believe (and hope!!) this dreadful article is satirical.
    Raising the realtime child

    Since I began writing the series, I have received innumerable emails and texts from panicked parents worried that they may be failing in what has become the central challenge of modern parenting: ensuring that children grow up to be well adapted to the realtime environment. These parents are concerned – and rightly so – that their kids will be at a disadvantage in the realtime milieu in which we all increasingly live, work, love, and compete for the small bits of attention that, in the aggregate, define the success, or failure, of our days.

    If maladapted to realtime existence, these parents understand, their progeny will end up socially ostracized, with few friends and even fewer followers. “Can we even be said to be alive,” one agitated young mother wrote me, “if our status updates go unread?” The answer, of course, is no. In the realtime environment, the absence of interactive stimuli, even for brief periods of “time,” may result in a state of reflective passivity indistinguishable from nonexistence.

    On a more practical level, a lack of realtime skills is sure to constrain a young person’s long-term job prospects. At best, he or she will be fated to spend his or her days involved in some form of manual labor, possibly even working out of doors with severely limited access to screens. At worst, he or she will have to find a non-tenure-track position in academia.

    Fortunately, raising the realtime child is not difficult. The newborn human infant, after all, leads a purely realtime existence, immersed entirely in the “stream” of realtime alerts and stimuli. As long as the child is kept in the crosscurrents of the messaging stream from the moment of parturition – the biological womb replaced immediately with the wi-fi and/or 3G womb – adaptation to the realtime environment will likely be seamless and complete.

    It is only when a sense that time may consist of something other than the immediate moment is allowed to impinge on the child’s consciousness that maladaption to realtime becomes a possibility. Hence, the most pressing job for the parent is to ensure that the realtime child is kept in a device-rich networked environment at all times.



    It is also essential that the realtime child never be allowed to run a cognitive surplus. His or her mental accounts must always be kept in perfect balance, with each synaptical firing being immediately deployed for a well-defined chore, preferably involving the manipulation of symbols on a computer screen in a collaborative social-production exercise. If cognitive cycles are allowed to go to waste, the child may drift into an introspective “dream state” outside the flow of the realtime stream.

    It is wise to ensure that your iPhone is well-populated with apps suitable for children, as this will provide a useful backup should your child break, lose, or otherwise be separated from his or her own network-enabled devices. Printed books should in general be avoided, as they also tend to promote an introspective dream state, though multifunctional devices that include e-reading apps, such as Apple’s forthcoming iPad, are permissible.

    The out-of-doors poses particular problems for the realtime child, as nature has in the past earned a reputation for inspiring states of introspectiveness and even contemplativeness in impressionable young people. (Some psychologists even suggest that looking out a window may be dangerous to the mental health of the realtime child.) Sometimes it is simply impractical to keep a child from interacting with the natural world.

    At these moments, it is all the more important that a child be outfitted with portable electronic devices, including music players, smartphones, and gaming instruments, in order to ensure no break in the digital stream. If you are not able to physically accompany your child on expeditions into the natural world, it is a good idea to send text messages to your child every few minutes just to be on the safe side. The establishment of Twitter accounts for children is also highly recommended.



    The challenges of keeping your child in a realtime environment can be trying, but remember: history is on your side. The realtime environment becomes increasingly ubiquitous with each passing day. It is also important to remember that one of the great joys of modern parenthood is documenting your realtime infant’s or toddler’s special moments through texts, tweets, posts, uploaded photos, and YouTube clips. The realtime child presents ideal messaging-fodder for the realtime parent.

    Realtime is a journey that you and your child take together. Every moment is unique because every moment is disconnected from both the one that precedes it and the one that follows it. Realtime is a state of perpetual renewal and unending and undifferentiated stimulus. The joy of infancy continues forever.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    This 'realtime' approach is a disconnect from real space. This 'realtime' develops a new 'realspace' so to speak, but not real space in natural 3D, their are fundamental aspects of time, their are corresponding properties of space. They are fundamentally inextricably linked, i.e. they can't be separated. However, our personal relationship or perspective changes.

    Bill's posted article from the blogger shows a lack of awareness and ignorance as to the range of evidence available.

    I've suggested that civilization may collapse in 50 years due to lack of not using natural 3D space or real space.

    Civilisation may collapse in 50 years due to lack of not using natural 3D space

    I’ve carried out some interesting research that I would like to share with Avalonians. The details I am sharing are all referenced below for your perusal.

    Background

    Technology and availability of close up vision viewing devices results in half the visual field to close down or to be paralyzed. This is damaging the binocular brain cells in children particularly up to at least the age of 7 when binocular cells mature. The eyeball itself is not fully grown until the age of 20.

    The rise in technology and availability and use of close up mobile vision devices for very young children is directly mirrored by the rise in mental illness.

    Mental illness in children and young people has alarmingly increased over the last 20 years. It now stands at 20 percent of young people. In America there is a thirty-five -fold increase in social security disability insurance for children in the same two decades. If there was the same increase over the next two decades we would see the vast majority of people suffering a disabling mental illness.

    Mental illness / dysfunctional behavior


    Mental illness manifests itself in many ways e.g. violent crime, suicide, domestic violence, obesity, drug abuse, antisocial behavior and civil unrest in all forms, all of which are directly mirrored by the rise in mental health problems in young people.

    Technology and availability of close up vision viewing of laptops, mobile vision devices, etc, could end civilization as we know it in just a few generations.

    Importance of Vision


    Vision is the most precious sense we possess in biological terms, it functions close to the speed of light and is directly or indirectly linked to all the important areas of the brain. The transparent cornea and lens focus the image on light sensitive cells on the retina. The retina senses and processes the visual image before sending it to the left and right hemispheres to the cerebral cortex.

    Vision evolved in three dimensional space but the technology in vision viewing devices is forcing our vision to operate in two dimensional space. For adults whose vision is fully mature it will only affect their vision, but for young children whose binocular vision is not mature, it will also affect the binocular vision cells in their brains from maturing naturally. Any damage to brain cells result in mental illness in some form.

    Neglecting our Vision

    We pay great attention to the sense of hearing where exposure to loud noise effects the fibers in the cochlea and inner ear brain cells creating a symptom called tinnitus and other mental problems. But we pay no attention to the sense of vision where incredible damage is being done to the brains of our children particularly in the brains of very young children and we totally ignore the statistics which are alarming.

    Statistics and Trending


    The statistics on a projected basis would suggest that society is becoming ever increasingly dysfunctional. This means that when inserting statistical data on an already dysfunctional society, the future results show the end of civilization in less than 50 years time as we know it.

    Discussion

    Although this exercise is an interesting correlation, I’m not fixated with the results that this will be the outcome. Their may be other elements at play in the future that may balance this out for civilizations survival. Also I’m not going to speculate as to what new elements may manifest in the future to address this issue.

    The importance of this exercise is to be aware of the data and the trending. I also believe that society is becoming more aware and awake to the implications and the effects of technology. Parents will likely put a stop to excessive use of these technologies with very young persons once they understand the implications. Lastly, I believe nature itself will always balance things out as long as we develop our true partnership with it.

    References:

    Gary Heiting OD: ‘Why Myopia progression is a concern’
    http://www.allaboutvision.com/parent...rogression.htm

    Eamonn Ansbro, Catherine Overhauser (2012) ‘Health Risks of Artificial Stereopsis’ (reports eye fatigue and poison toxins from viewing 3D displays)
    http://www.globalinnovationcommons.o...ereopsis-1.pdf

    Study of 75 kids under age 8 use mobile phones
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3020755/fast-feed/study

    Prevalence of mental illness
    https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI...ralMHFacts.pdf

    Mental illness dramatically increased in the US
    http://www.alternet.org

    Australian Institute of Health (AIHW) ‘Suicide the leading cause of death of 15 to 25 year old young people’
    https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life...ple-aged-15-24

    Business Insider ‘Smart phones, effect vision and mental health www.businessinsider.com, Kevin Loria, Sept 9, 2014

    Reuters (global markets) by Peter Apps, March 20, 2015 ‘World gets more violent’
    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debat...s-more-violent

    The Guardian, George Arnett, Oct 10, 2015, ‘Which countries does mental health have the most impact’
    https://theguardian.com/news/datablo...he-most-impact

    The Mail, 30 July, 2016; ‘Thousands of victims at risk as cases of domestic violence surge by 35 per cent in one year’
    http://dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...e-35-year.html

    World Health Organisation; Blog Sept 11, 2012; ‘Devastating Impact of Mental Illness World wide, Kate Torgovnick
    https://blog.ted.com/some-stats-on-t...asons-for-hope

    Business Insider www.businessinsider.com Oct 10, 2014, Jeremy Bender (Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index)
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 20th February 2018 at 17:08. Reason: fixed broken links and added source thread

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    There is a trend with adults I keep meeting, indicating they are becoming more concerned about these technologies.
    I haven't come across any recent surveys for 2018 or supporting material yet. However, others here may have found some. I would be most interested.

    I only noticed that Bill's posted article from the blogger shows this material was from 2010, so I hope I am right about this date there may be changes on the way and hopefully this may bottom out soon for the better. Hopefully this may confirm a positive result from my last paragraph in the discussion section.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    The evidence is slowing comming into view, this can be seen as a good or bad thing depending on your particular perspective.

    Can Cellphones Cause Cancer? Experts Surprised By Latest Tests


    Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Can cellphones really cause cancer? It’s been a question that’s dogged researchers for years.

    However, a group of experts say the results of some tests are pretty surprising.

    Millions of people constantly call, text, click, take pictures and play on cellphones.

    Even the top cellular radiation researchers from around the world have a hard time untethering.

    But, they gathered recently in North Carolina to talk about cellphone concerns and whether they really do increase the chances of developing cancer.

    The panel voted that the results from years of testing on mice and rats were more significant than originally thought.

    They say they found clear evidence that phone radiation caused tumors in the hearts of rats, which were similar to tumors in people.

    “In humans, it’s seen in the vestibular nerve, in the ear, the acoustic nerve. We found it in the heart, although our animals were exposed in their whole body condition,” John Bucher said.

    “While a given animal is not making a cellphone call, they are, throughout their short two-year lifetime getting the same exposure that we expect people to get in their 70-plus years of life,” Dr. Devra Davis, of Environmental Health Trust, said.

    Activists are now calling for more protections, citing separate studies from France and Italy.

    “Many brain tumor lawsuits going on right now that are waiting for a study like this to prove that people’s brain tumors were caused by their cellphone radiation,” Kevin Mottus, of the California Brain Tumor Association, said.

    There are new concerns on the horizon as 5G, which is a stronger broadband system, is about to debut.

    Some activists say the government has a responsibility to increase regulations.

    “And I think it’s the responsibility of the ones making the phones to make them as safe as possible, and I’m sure they can do better than what we actually have,” Dr. Annie Sasco said.

    Both activists and researchers agree that people can minimize any risk by holding phones away from the body when in use and not putting them in your pocket.
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    Last edited by 3(C)+me; 1st April 2018 at 18:51.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    Blue light exposure from smartphones INCREASE the risk of eye damage
    by: Lori Alton July 2, 2018
    https://www.naturalhealth365.com/blu...loss-2615.html
    "According to The Vision Council, almost 90 percent of American adults use digital devices – including notebooks, laptops and smartphones – for two or more hours a day. And the resultant barrage of blue light (coming off these devices) is raising lots of red flags.

    Recent studies have sparked concern among natural health experts that blue light from the screens of digital devices could cause optical problems, ranging from eye strain to increased risk of macular degeneration.

    Macular degeneration – a disorder affecting the retina that causes blurred vision – currently affects over 1.8 million Americans. Known risk factors include being over age 60, smoking cigarettes, and having heart disease and diabetes.

    Could gazing at smartphones and computer screens trigger macular degeneration as well? (the answer may surprise you)

    What is blue light and what is the problem?
    Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green and blue light rays, which combine to form “white” light. White light contains both visible and invisible rays.

    At one end of the light spectrum are red rays, with longer wavelengths and less energy. Blue rays, at the other end of the spectrum, have shorter wavelengths and higher amounts of energy. About one-third of all visible light is blue light, classified as “high-energy visible” (HEV) light.

    Beyond the red end of the visible light spectrum are infrared rays, which can’t be seen. (However, infrared lamps, such as those found in restaurants and some saunas, also emit visible red light as a visual indication that infrared light – and heat – is being produced).

    Like infrared rays, ultraviolet light – at the other end of the spectrum – can’t be seen. But the effects can be very visible. Too much ultraviolet light can cause sunburn, and even skin cancer. It can also cause “sunburned” eyes – a condition known as photokerasis, or “snow blindness.”

    Scientists already know that ultraviolet radiation is linked with cataracts – and possibly with macular degeneration. Unfortunately, we can’t always predict the effect of excessive blue light exposure – until it’s too late.

    Warning: Excessive blue light radiation can harm the retina
    Blue light exists not only in sunlight, but in man-made sources as well – including fluorescent and LED lights, flat screen TVs, computers, electronic notebooks, smartphones and other digital devices.

    According to Dr. Gary Heiting, an expert on preventive vision care, studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light damages cells in the retina – causing changes that resemble those found in macular degeneration.

    So it’s not surprising that scientists are concerned that blue light from computer screens could raise the risk of macular degeneration later in life.

    Although computer screens emit far less blue light than the amounts generated by the sun, doctors are concerned because of the proximity of the screens to people’s faces – and the sheer amount of time spent looking at them.

    Blue light provides some benefits, including regulating circadian rhythms
    Here’s where things get a little complicated.

    Blue light is not unreservedly bad, and it’s not a good idea to block all blue light all of the time. A certain amount of blue light – which can increase alertness, improve memory, sharpen cognition and even lift mood – is essential for good health.

    In fact, the light therapy used to treat seasonal affective disorder utilizes bright white light that contains high-energy visible blue light. Blue light also helps to regulate circadian rhythms, which govern the body’s natural sleep and wakefulness cycles.

    While exposure to blue light in daytime can support healthy sleep patterns, seeing blue light in the hours before bedtime can suppress production of melatonin, the “sleep” hormone.

    In other words, a habit of scrolling through your smartphone or reading on a laptop at bedtime is not conducive to restful sleep – to say the least.

    Melatonin is not only a sleep-promoting hormone, but an important cancer-fighting antioxidant.

    In fact, some experts believe that the use of electric lighting in developed countries – which disrupts the body’s optimal melatonin production schedule – is associated with the significantly higher rates of breast and other cancers in these areas.

    Filter blue light with screen protectors and special eyeglasses
    Dr. Heiting advises using specialized screen protectors – and notes that these can prevent substantial amounts of blue light from reaching your eyes, without affecting visibility.

    LowBlueLights, a company founded by a trio of lighting research and development specialists, offers a range of products to filter blue light. A variety of companies, including Eyesafe, iLLumiShield, RetinaShield, Retina Armor, and Cyxus, also offer filtering options.

    Editor’s note: We are NOT compensated in any way for the products recommended in this article.

    You can also protect your eyes and reduce exposure to blue light with the use of specialized blue light-filtering eyeglasses, available without prescription. Technology companies are getting on board, too.

    Apple recently released a light filter for iPhones and iPads that automatically activates blue light filtering at night.

    Proper nutrition can help preserve eyesight naturally
    You can help protect your eyes from macular degeneration with a diet high in antioxidant carotenoids – particularly orange or yellow vegetables like carrots and squash.

    Darkly colored fruits and berries – such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries and bilberries – are rich in beneficial plant pigments known as anthocyanins, while green leafy vegetables are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, a pair of powerful antioxidants endorsed by The American Optometric Association as effective in reducing the risk of chronic eye diseases.

    Tip: you can reduce eyestrain by following the “20/20/20” rule. For every 20 minutes of using a digital device – or watching a flat-screen TV – look away for 20 seconds while focusing on something 20 feet away.

    Of course, any unusual visual disturbance calls for a visit to a qualified eye doctor.

    (In addition to blurred central vision, symptoms of macular degeneration can include blurry patches in your field of vision, colors appearing faded or less vivid, and straight lines appearing as “wavy.”)

    Along with cataracts, macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss and acquired blindness in the United States. It only makes sense to “play it safe” and err on the side of caution – by reducing excessive exposure to blue light."

    Sources for this article include:

    Harvard.edu
    AllAboutVision.com
    LowBlueLights.com
    LowBlueLights.com
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    It’s really sad to see the human race with their heads always in a Smartphone. I understand it.

    Strangely, I’m an IT technologist and don’t have a smartphone! I use a company old-time flip phone presently, and when I pull it out people look at me like I’m crazy.

    Of course, I’ll get one soon, since I’m leaving work and will probably need one, but Ill rarely, I hope, use it.
    I’ve got the usual computers, tablets but phones, no.

    All of these devices are only profane symbols on a lower level of what the advanced human had in primordial times and could do with their minds, soul, and spirit.

    I believe these replicas of human transcendence will not work; one can never duplicate the awesome original attributes of the God-human.

    Indeed, these devices are stimulant machines.

    What we should be doing is trying to contact the smartphone of the mind, the iPad of the soul and the PC/TV of the spirit which are eternal and won’t end up on the trash heap like all these flimsy technical devises.

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    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    Really great post Zak.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    That's not all the cell phones are destroying, the human race is now the largest hamster experimentation on the planet , Not only can you cook popcorn with your phone, you can also scramble eggs too. One of my buddies has his phone in his front pant pocket all the time and the other day he was telling me that area of his leg is going numb. I said to stop carrying it on your body . Years from now we will be seeing the effects of this in all forms and fashions, social communication, to health issues. Its a blessing and a curse with these mini computers.

    Pop corn with cell phones

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V94shlqPlSI

    my mobile phone cooked my egg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3ge9M54l7E

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    PJW talks about tech giants limiting their children's access to tech. Because they know it causes addiction which can lead to depression, anxiety and even suicide.



    Paul Joseph Watson
    Published on Sep 18, 2018
    Why do tech elites keep their own kids away from smartphones?

    CLIPS USED...

    People Are Merging with Their Smartphones - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTduy...

    Introducing Actual Reality - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0AlN...

    Cell phone addiction - Short Movie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qugoo...

    Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/PaulJosephWa...
    FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet
    Last edited by BMJ; 20th September 2018 at 05:00.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    An interesting and important new book, now in the Avalon Library:
    Here's a review:
    Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier – review
    30 May, 2018

    Lanier was there for the creation of the internet and is convinced that social media is toxic, making us sadder, angrier and more isolated

    Many of the ideas in Jaron Lanier’s new book start off pretty familiar – at least, if you are active on social media. Yet in every chapter there is a principle so elegant, so neat, sometimes even so beautiful, that what is billed as straight polemic becomes something much more profound.

    The concept of random reinforcement, for example: addiction fed not by reward but by never knowing whether or when the reward will come, is well known. But Lanier puts it like this: “The algorithm is trying to capture the perfect parameters for manipulating a brain, while the brain, in order to seek out deeper meaning, is changing in response to the algorithm’s experiments … Because the stimuli from the algorithm doesn’t mean anything, because they genuinely are random, the brain isn’t responding to anything real, but to a fiction. That process – of becoming hooked on an elusive mirage – is addiction.”

    The restless scrolling, the clammy self-reproach afterwards … we could recognise that as addiction quite easily, but the mathematical mechanism for having created it makes horrible sense (Lanier isn’t that interested in culprits, though he finds all of Silicon Valley pretty callow).

    He wears his tech credentials lightly, as he can afford to, having been there for the creation of the internet; he was chief scientist of the engineering office of Internet2 and there in the very first chat-rooms, whence he draws the conclusion that I found the least convincing: even at its incipience, online communication tended towards the hostile. “Sometimes, out of nowhere, I would get into a fight with someone … It was so weird. We’d start insulting each other, trying to score points.” Since this all predated algorithmic manipulation, and cannot be blamed on Facebook, he concludes that we have pack behaviours and solitary behaviours: in a pack, we become locked in internecine competition; on our own “we’re more free. We’re cautious, but also more capable of joy.”

    This flattens out some vital distinctions: there’s a difference between getting together to talk to strangers about why your celibacy is a woman’s fault, and mustering online to start the Arab spring. Silicon Valley has a distinctive way of looking at things: have big idea; iterate; fix; iterate again. It works well in software design, but it’s possible that to apply to very complex systems (like human beings), the big idea has to be refined a little more before it’s tested.

    Lanier explicitly addresses this in chapter eight, Social Media Doesn’t Want You to Have Economic Dignity, as he describes how our modern reality was seeded by that mindset, those peculiar yes/no certainties of the web’s earliest creators. The internet was built with no way to make or get payments, no way to find other people you might like. “Everyone knew these functions … would be needed. We figured it would be wiser to let entrepreneurs fill in the blanks than to leave that task to government … We foolishly laid the foundations for global monopolies.”

    Given the network effect – that Uber only works if everyone is on it – a thousand flowers were never going to bloom. There’s only room for one and it’s a Venus fly trap. The same libertarian spirit also instituted the peculiar economics of the internet: software had to be free, because only that way would it be open (“everyone knew that software would eventually become more important than law, so the prospect of a world running on hidden code was dark and creepy”). Yet that meant programmers wouldn’t be paid: they would create free code and make money by solving problems later.

    And so the gig economy was born, this highly skilled field spreading its insecurity to low-skilled ones, food delivery, retail. Neo-Marxians would have something to say about capital in all this but Lanier emphatically doesn’t claim to have all the answers. “Please take what you can use from me. I know I don’t know everything,” he says in a winsome footnote.

    His most dispiriting observations are those about what social media does to politics – biased, “not towards the left or right, but downwards”. If triggering emotions is the highest prize, and negative emotions are easier to trigger, how could social media not make you sad? If your consumption of content is tailored by near limitless observations harvested about people like you, how could your universe not collapse into the partial depiction of reality that people like you also enjoy? How could empathy and respect for difference thrive in this environment? Where’s the incentive to stamp out fake accounts, fake news, paid troll armies, dyspeptic bots?

    I finished this stark but exuberant account not fearing for the future so much as amazed the world wasn’t already even worse.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    As an advocate of IT in the creative many years ago, I jumped on the ‘bandwagon’ of mass communication as a marketing tool. Then it became more and more ‘personal’, inveigling normal folk into communication via games, forums, and criticising those who were not taking part, blackmail! One was defiled for not being a ‘friend’ on MySpace or FB. Even my relatives scorned me for being so anonymous. After years of mistakes, I have whittled down to 4 contacts out of locale necessity, as they don’t answer emails, or have time to talk on their ‘phones. I have messages berating me for cutting out even ‘loved ones’ from my opinions and carings, but I shall not give in. Why do I want my issues/pleasantries shared across the globe? Why do all and sundry need to know about insignificant me? However, I do need minimal contacts for my own security, so will curtail most who wish to access me randomly, therefore there is a teeny weeny bit of positivity in some social media in limited circumstances.
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    Quote Posted by peterpam (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    HIGHLY recommended. (Trust me. )
    LOOK UP
    This is a great video, with lots of truth. It's interesting that I went to the youtube as I was curious as to how many views it had received. It seems this guy makes quite a few videos and has a very large "following" so I guess he doesn't practice what he preaches. He is obviously spending a lot of time in front of one screen or another.
    Gary Turk YouTube

    I suspect Gary Turk’s subscriber count is high because his messages rings true. So his vids go viral and people subscribe. He’s only uploaded 15 videos since he joined YouTube on December 4, 2013. To date, his total view count is 62,344,301. (as of this posting)

    The last upload was 6 months ago. Before that 11 months, the next five vids were a year ago, then four were 2 years ago and two were 3 years, and his first upload was 4 years ago.


    Last edited by RunningDeer; 24th September 2018 at 22:18.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    avid....WAY TO GO!!

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    That 'Look Up - Gary Turk' vid to me has a not so subtle secondary message of 'sure put down the phone' (we know it is always waiting when you get back - with 3 missed calls) but go out and act like a pathetic beta male lost puppy to some girl who will then hopefully feel sorry for you and 'take you in' as your surrogate mother, treat you as such, give you sex (for a while) that produces another her in infant form. If you do what you are told and never raise your voice above a polite inquiry, you will be permitted to go to work each day but must not earn more than she does.
    It is all very sinister and foreboding. It gives me the creeps actually. (recall Trump speech about the poor frozen snake)

    Note the 'such a nice inoffensive soy boy like 'man' reading a teleprompter so sincerely, with such worldly wisdom for his young age. Living the English version of the American dream. (I think George Carlin said it best - You have to be asleep to believe it! He also said 'they don't give an eff about you' twice to make sure you get it).

    Think I'm being too cynical? Watch it again. Looks like Tavistock and Brave New World to me. Can you spell emasculation? Can you imagine a boot on your neck - forever? By all means remove your cellphone from the belt holder and replace it with an appropriate sidearm such as a 45 Colt. Rid society of 'Dirty old George' (Bush snr Cop a feel types) and bring back Dirty Harry (who would shoot that cellphone right from your hand). When everyone is packing, nobody dares. Make men MEN again!

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    Quote Posted by boolacalaca (here)
    Interesting discussion, and probably one that's been repeated through the years.
    I wonder -- if smart phones are destroying this generation,
    did television destroy my generation - and radio the generation before?

    Everyone who won't have a smart phone because you don't want to be sucked into the transhuman overmind,
    are you ready to give up your Comcast or DirectTV too?
    Programming is programming, whether delivered on a small or large screen.

    Seems to me everything that Dr. Jean Twenge said about smartphones equally applies to television, and most probably other devices - even time spent at the computer.
    TV socially isolates people and neighbors as people stare at the tube instead of socializing for real -- less face-to-face interaction.
    If you stare at the TV or computer all day, what's the chance you will be reading a 300 page book? TV is a totally passive, one-way device.
    Only 8% of the population read books anymore and much of that reading is fluff -- that precipitous drop in reading was well on its way before the advent of smartphones.
    Plus, physical health is in jeopardy when average TV viewing is 4 1/2 hours a day -- that's 1642 hours a year, or over two months. TWO MONTHS!
    Who knows how much time in comparison is spent by people sitting at their computers -- I'd bet it's equal to that or more.
    TV and computers promotes a sedentary lifestyle, usually including snacks on junk food resulting in progressive ailments. There's an epidemic of diabetes and coronary problems.
    TV exposes people to negative influences and promotes negative behavior -- shows and commercials usually show violence, alcohol, drug use and aberrant sex in a positive light.
    Watching intense emotions on TV can affect you mentally. Those horror, violent, and frightful scenes depict physical, verbal, and other forms of abuse that can affect you psychologically.
    Many TV programs do not make you think anything. They bombard you with hyper-dramatic content and you passively receive it.
    This overtime can affect your analytical and creative thinking abilities.
    At least with a smartphone one can actively communicate with another human being in real time
    -- can anyone say the same thing during hours spent staring at a TV?

    It's an interesting slippery slope -- but I find it disingenuous for one generation to be all upset over new technology
    when the old technology is just as bad or worse.
    But is anyone willing to recognize this and then not use these things?
    If so, then I guess you'll have to consider never using a calculator too -- I've heard the same argument that the technology of a calculator
    dumbs us down because we're not figuring out the math problem the old way, in our head.
    Many other devices could be brought into the same discussion.

    Of course, forum members here posting things to each other have no similarity to what goes on with smartphones....
    ah, yeah.
    There's a lot of common sense in this post. I think it comes down to balance. Any of the technologies you mentioned can be good or bad, it's how we use them and how much we use them.

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    Default Re: "Smartphones Have DESTROYED a Generation" Tucker Carlson Interviews Dr. Jean Twenge

    What I'm wondering is IF it is true that 5G unravels the DNA....if so, that is a whole 'nother ballgame?!

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