Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 23rd year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2017 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Back to the 60s?

6 July 2017

As I have written on a number of occasions, I recall the happy evenings of my childhood when, in a pre-TV era, the family would sit around in the living room, each enjoying their own pastimes.

Dad would be reading the paper, mum browsing a woman's magazine and I'd be elbows deep in some weighty tome about science or technology.

The silence would be broken at 7:30pm when the radio was turned on for another episode of "The Goon Show", "Around the Horn" or something similar.

Other evenings would see everyone decamp to a neighbour's place where the adults would play cards or monopoly and we kids would swap comic-books and paw over old editions of Beano and such.

I guess we all have the benefit of rose-coloured glasses when we look back more than half a century -- but I still think there were some very positive aspects to life in the pre-television era.

Compare the picture I've just painted with life at the turn of the century (2000).

Many families would sit down in front of the TV in the very early evening and stay put -- right up until bed-time.

Even the evening meal was consumed in front of the glowing phosphors of the CRT in the corner and often the next day's conversation at school or work revolved around what had happened in Shortland Street the night before.

How tiny our world had become.

But now I think we're seeing a change and things are headed back to the 60s.

It was this NZH story that got me thinking about this.

Clearly TVNZ and other old-school TV broadcasters are hurting and hurting bad by the changes that are happening. TVNZ's response seems to be to hope that if they say "everything's fine" often enough then the power of mind over matter will save them from a slide into oblivion.

Yeah, right!

SkyTV's response has been to simply hike prices and pretend they have a viable streaming service of their own.

Yeah, right!

And the rest of the TV broadcasting industry seem to be just biding their time in a leaky life-boat, waiting for the inevitable.

But what are *people* doing?

Well it seems that they are no longer planting their fat bums on the sofa at 6pm and wasting a huge percentage of their lives in a vegetative state in front of broadcast TV.

They are instead being far more selective about what they watch and in doing so, they're probably watching a whole lot less. As a result, they're interacting more with the people around them and people around the globe.

The internet and the services that run over it have turned the entire world into a kind of global neighbourhood where some of your best friends might live half a planet away. Despite the distances involved, you probably share interests, discuss the day's events and swap ideas with these people in a way that never happened during the dark days when broadcast TV was king.

Even if you consume the same amount of video material, the absence of ads and the fact that mobile devices allow you to do this "on the run" almost certainly means that you still have a lot more time left with which to interact with the world.

I have a feeling that in another 50 years or so, historians and social commentators will look back at the period from the mid 1960s through to the early 2000s and consider them to be a dark era of social stagnation. An era when so much human capital was lost to the highly addictive drug that was broadcast television.

Just as we look back with scorn on a similar era in our recent history when opium dens were an accepted but highly destructive part of every-day life -- so it will be with the era of broadcast TV.

Have I got this wrong?

Is Andrew Shaw correct when he says that people are dying for more ads and cheap reality crap to be delivered 24/7 to their living rooms?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Recent Columns

Youtube content creators are revolting
No, I'm not suggesting that those who create content for YouTube inspire feelings of revulsion...

Why so slow MPAA?
I recall a few years ago that the MPAA and other groups representing copyright owners were hot on the heels of anyone using a P2P network to pilfer content...

Fantastic news from SkyTV
Yesterday was a fantastic day for shareholders in Sky Television...

Finally, drone collides with airliner?
If a drone and a plane collide the result is bound to be death and destruction. If a drone and a helicopter collide, the same outcome is inevitable, only more-so...

Elon Musk's Hype-loop
It's going to change the world; apparently...

A stroke of genius
What is it about anti-virus software that attracts so many rogues and bad actors?...

News from your ISP and power company?
I think it's fair to say that the news publishing industry has been adversely affected by the power of the Net...

From the road, for the road
Tesla are pouring gargantuan sums of money into building a factory dedicated to manufacturing the type of 18650 Li-Ion cells used in the growing range of EVs that the company plans to make...

The harder we work, the slower we go?
The transistor was first invented back in 1947 or 48 and took a good 15 or 20 years to find its way from laboratory breakthrough to use in every-day products such as radios, amplifiers, etc...

Doing my bit
Your daily dose is a bit late today because I've been out doing my bit for the community...

The global warming ice-age
A regular reader sent me a link to an interesting piece on climate change, aka global warming, aka climate disruption...