We've reached a point where its starting to just go too far. Technology is a wonderful thing. It enriches lives daily in both useful and entertaining ways. However there is a tipping point when technology becomes more of a pain in the ass than it's worth. The point of technology is to make things easier. Like a calculator, instead of having to write out complex problems and break out a slide rule and possibly an abacus, a person can punch in numbers, hit a few buttons and do complex mathematics. That doesn't excuse them from not being able to math themselves without a calculator. If your life comes to a screeching halt because of a power outage then you may have a problem.

I chatted about this briefly the other night and smart phones came up. Smart phones are on the verge of overtech. The reason why they are not is that there are people who make good use of the devices and it allows them to conduct business more efficiently more genuinely make life easier. I had one briefly and was able to get directions on it for someplace I needed to get to. It still maintains a technological tool status, but to many they are just a cool toy.

I've gone off about Blu-Ray Players at length. This is pure overtech. It gives more visual output than your eyes can that in properly. That and that degree of visual output is not necessary to watch a movie. Add in the need for downloads for it to function properly and it just gets stupid. If your movie playing machine cannot play the disks its supposed to be able to play without having to go online to "figure out" how to do it, then it's bad tech. The disks have too much information on them. It's just a movie. We used to watch them one clunky plastic cassettes. This should a be a simple process. DVDs are about as far as this technology needed to get for the purpose of watching stuff on television.

This brings us to the ultimate in overtech: augmented reality. This is just stupid. Its a toy and nothing more. The only practical application is to victims of memory problems who need help remembering things. Way too much clutter in the visual field. The really scary thing is that one of the pictures used as an example of augmented reality is on a car windshield. Someone driving with a info dump in their face distracting them cluttering their field of vision. That is a carwreck in the waiting. I can guarantee that if this tech goes into people's vehicles that people will die. This is far beyond kids not being able to do math because they depend on machines, this is a straight up safety concern.

Look, I know there are engineers out there who will not rest until life resembles Star Trek and instead of watching TV, we watch 3D holograms standing in the living room. And I'm sure after that they'll try to figure out contact lenses that can give you pertinent information about everything you look at. But hold the smart phone before you get drooly thinking how cool that would be. We don't need these things. If as much intellectual candlepower went into figuring out alternative energy sources as they do figuring out the next gadget that improves things that really don't need improving, then I would have to hear environmentalist hippie losers bitch and moan at length about oil and carbon emissions.

Toys are fine. Expensive hi-tech toys are fine. Still there is a point where tech needs to leave well enough alone and go do something useful.

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