Nostalgia & The Singularity

I’m starting to feel like I’m old enough to see the definite cultural chances of our society, both ethical, political, and technological. I started to really think about this after watching previews for new games that I’m excited about. Sims 4 – look our how far it’s come! Grand Theft Auto 5! Wildstar MMO.  The way the games are changing are amazing when I think back to my youth with old school Atari Space Invaders, and the original Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Sonic, and the old school Final fantasy. Look at how different these games are now! Hiroshi Yamauchi just passed away and he was the one who moved Nintendo into the gaming success it is. Did you know that Nintendo started out as a card playing game company? He was a billionaire when he passed and I salute him for bringing us the classics of my gaming childhood.

I remember when geeks and gaming were considered outcasts and losers… and now the geek culture is HUGE. Conventions and gaming are huge. Geeks are not losers and outcasts in the real world anymore. We rule the world, if you ask me.

Look at movies! I remember when Pixar started coming out with CG movies, and now look at how awesome movies have progressed with technology. There’s fairly realistic CG, there’s good 3D movies. I didn’t really know what to expect when I watched Avatar 3D. No one had ever implemented 3D like that before, and it was fantastic. Now it’s common place to see CG and 3D in the theaters. Hell, even the movie going experience has changes, with things like Balcony seats where you can get waited on for food and drinks (and more than just candy and popcorn) and no children are allowed in the balcony, I can drink alcohol up there, and there’s also a butt warmer lol

Even looking at TV and how different it is. It was hugely taboo to see gay people on tv. We saw the highly controversial lesbian kiss with Rosanne Barr. Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet on TV and look at how successful she is now! Queer as Folk was the first hour-long drama on American television to portray the lives of gay men and women. It was a late night Showtime series and it was very taboo. Now, it’s not uncommon to see gay characters in tv series, or gay parents, or tv shows featuring the gay lifestyle, or heck, just gay main characters without having the classify the whole series as “gay”. The point is that it’s not as taboo as it once was and it’s becoming commonplace, not just satire and specialty tv anymore.

Gay rights have come a long way. It’s becoming less and less dramatic to come out of the closet. Granted, it’s still a touchy subject and there are injustices, but I can see the difference in how it was when I was a child and how different it is today. I feel that by the time I’m old, every state will have legalized gay marriage. I will see the evolution of gay rights continue on… I will watch and participate in history.

I can state another obvious profound change, like the first black president. How fucking cool is that?! Racism in general is so different than what it was when I was a child. Racism is still talked about today and yes, there is always going to be some form of racism, but compared to my youth, racism is hardly the same today. Look at women’s rights too and how it’s changed. We’re still fighting for womens right too, but comparatively to the past, we’re doing pretty damn well.

I even look at what the internet was during my childhood of the 1980’s and what is it today. It’s remarkable how different society is because of the internet. When I first heard that Michael Jackson had died, it was on the internet and I thought it was fake because it wasn’t on the news. But it was true. We see news spread over the internet so fast that the news had the caught up. That’s presented. it’s the way that social media is progressing. Myspace was a pioneer for social media, but I remember why I left them and moved to a new website called Facebook. Facebook took off and it opened up a new world of internet life for me, just as it has for many others today.

I classify Google, Amazon, and Kickstarter as contributors to amazing changes in every day life. I remember when I first migrated to using Google’s search engine and how much better it was then other search engines. I remember my first invite to gmail and how awesome it was. I’ve been a gmail loyalist since then. They had the most free space and the BEST spam filters. Look at how much Google has progressed. “Google it” became a well known phrase. Amazon was one of the first online stores that I ever used. It was the first online store to earn my trust. It’s been hugely convention services for years and now it’s a routinely involved part of my life. Kickstarter allows people to do things we may not been have been able to do own our own. We’ve participated in Kickstarters and have contributed to some pretty cool ideas thanks to services like Kickstarter.

We have seen great strides in technology and society, progression in what constitutes as “normal”, and I don’t doubt that maybe I’ll witness the Singularity. I want to be here when it happens. It’s an exciting thought. I’ll quote io9 – “The term singularity describes the moment when a civilization changes so much that its rules and technologies are incomprehensible to previous generations. Think of it as a point-of-no-return in history.”

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