Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-21-2018, 02:13 PM   #51
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: TL8 Computing

My present computer that I use to Play World Of Warcraft is significantly more powerful than the original Nintendo. But no one would say that any modern game is objectively 10 times as enjoyable as original Mario Bros.

We have objective numbers for "power", but utility is too subjective to define that way, I think.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:23 PM   #52
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
As the joke goes: “In my pocket I have a device which gives me instant access to the sum total of human knowledge. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.”
On one hand, if you wrote GURPS books you would find other uses for it. On the other hand, if I want to do research I spend time at the nearby university library, both to find relevant books, and because I can log onto their computers and access scholarly articles that aren't readily available on the World Wide Web as such.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:32 PM   #53
tanksoldier
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
On one hand, if you wrote GURPS books you would find other uses for it. On the other hand, if I want to do research I spend time at the nearby university library, both to find relevant books, and because I can log onto their computers and access scholarly articles that aren't readily available on the World Wide Web as such.
...but none of that is unique to you or uses software or hardware not readily available commercially.

Elon Musk and his crew are being innovative, the rest of us are riding coat tails.
tanksoldier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 05:09 PM   #54
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
...but none of that is unique to you or uses software or hardware not readily available commercially.

Elon Musk and his crew are being innovative, the rest of us are riding coat tails.
No, but we are using the little device, complete with easily available commercial applications, to do a myriad of things that were much more difficult to do at TL8 (1980-1999).

Without any trouble, I can wander countries I don't know the first thing about, navigating by the little device, which not only has any map I want, but will talk me through the route. I can book rooms in hotels I didn't know existed until the little gizmo found them, even in little Czech towns where I don't know the language and wouldn't even know how to begin to look for anything without the aid of the little miracle device.

The device tells me more about anything I see than most tour guides know. I get up to date information about traffic and road repairs. It finds walking routes and I can pick restaurants when I get hungry, booking a table if it tells me that this is likely to be necessary. In picking a place to eat, I can usually get reviews from several hundred people, though if I'm really off the beaten track, sometimes only a dozen or so.

When I find that I've run out of money, I can use the device to arrange for a bank loan, i.e. a higher overdraft, which I can use about 5-15 minutes later. Moving money from a savings account to a card, credit or debit, takes minutes. Obviously, I never need to visit a physical bank any more, unless it's for something very complicated to do with my law firm.

The device doesn't require me to carry a camera, which is good, because I'm not the kind who'd have packed a spare device, but now I have one that fits in my jacket pocket without me reallly noticing it's there. It plays all the music I've ever heard, of course.

I can, in a pinch, do my work anywhere. I have actually written briefs, signed them electronically and arranged to have an employee show up in court to file them formally in front of the judge, all the while I was on vacation several countries away and wouldn't even have known about the need for this without a miracle gizmo.*

Even if I really need better word processing software and/or a proper keyboard, all I need to do is tell the gizmo to find a place with access to computers and then I can log on to a remote server with all of my files from work and home.

All in all, without a miracle gizmo (when on the road) or a computer (when in the office), my work would take an order of magnitude more time for each case. In the dark ages of 1980-1999, it pretty much did, because people used to have to look for precedents by hand, through books, without automatic search functions. Do you have any idea how laborious the process of looking for a legal precedent is without an automatic program that looks up every relevant case for you is?

Without any hyperbole, after the year 2000, the technology that has come into regular use, commercially available to normal people, has altered pretty much every aspect of how I learn things, how I do things professionally, and even how I conduct myself on vacation or as part of my hobbies.

RPG research that would be unthinkable, because it would be so much work, before the Internet, is now a trivial Google search and a little refining of search terms, not to mention that I can do it while waiting for the police to call me and a client on for an interrogation, instead of just writing that time off as lost.

My game session notes, instead of being haphazardly scribbled in coloured notebooks, to be searched with patience and a vague idea of the timeline of the campaign in mind, are now automatically searchable with the aid of Windows. So, for that matter, are my GURPS books, but that is thanks to Adobe Acrobat.

When even your Hobby skills are performed in a fundamentally different way, with some aspects of them being more than an order of magnitude easier, it becomes really hard to argue against the difference being something that ought to be modelled by a TL shift in GURPS terms.

*In fact, I heard several stories today about how a key decision-maker in a company being out of contact or going on vacation could paralyze everything in the dark days of 1980-1999. No more. Without a seriously eccentric or irresponsible executive and/or someone actually being in a coma, it's pretty much impossible to imagine a situation where you can't contact someone within a few hours.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 02-21-2018 at 08:24 PM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 07:25 PM   #55
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
...but none of that is unique to you or uses software or hardware not readily available commercially.

Elon Musk and his crew are being innovative, the rest of us are riding coat tails.
What do you mean by "innovative"? I'm not a programmer, except to the minimal degree that involved in working with Excel or LaTeX; I'm a user. I'm never going to devise new software. But that wasn't the issue you were discussing; you were discussing whether people make use of having access to the sum total of human knowledge. Well, I do. I write GURPS books, and I do a lot more of my research for them online than I did when I started in 2000. I copy edit scholarly publications, and I can check things about them online in a way that didn't used to be possible; for example, just today, I was copy editing a chemistry paper, where one of the cited papers didn't give the journal where it was published, and rather than take the time to query the authors, I did a Web search on the author's name, found his Web page, found his list of publications, searched on the name of his first co-author, and found a paper with the same co-authors, volume, and page range, and inserted the name of the journal. That IS making use of "the sum total of human knowledge." I think that by demanding that I should do it with cutting edge hardware and software you're moving the goalposts.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 08:01 PM   #56
tanksoldier
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: TL8 Computing

The two of you aren’t most people.

MOST people are looking at cats and arguing.

Even writing books based on historic reference isn’t pushing any boundary.

The point was made that a computer from 2018 isn’t 10x better than one from 1998.

The problem isn’t the computer, the problem is what humans are doing with it.

If you’re doing exactly the same thing, writing books, then the improvements would be minimal.

How much more CAN a computer help you write books than one did in 1998?

That’s like saying you drive your Ferrari 30mph thru your neighborhood just like your Kia so a Ferrari is no better than a Kia. For driving thru your neighborhood, or writing books, you’re right.

For the Nurburgring you’re wrong. But few people will ever do the computing equivalent of driving the Nurburgring.

We’re all driving thru our neighborhoods, wondering why the computers aren’t spectacularly faster and better.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-21-2018 at 08:10 PM.
tanksoldier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 09:54 PM   #57
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
Even writing books based on historic reference isn’t pushing any boundary.
Why is "pushing a boundary" even relevant? We're not talking about the cutting edge of computer technology for the most sophisticated users of technology of our time; we're talking about how work is done by people in general.

I've described how my work process has changed over the thirty years that I've been a professional copy editor. It's really radically different. And the industry I work in, publishing, is changing as well. For example, I'm on the Libertarian Futurist Society's jury that selects finalists for its Best Novel award. This year, more than one of our nominees, including some that may well become finalists, are self-published works that are mainly or exclusively available online via Amazon. Online publishing wasn't even a thing at the start of TL8, as defined in GURPS, and self-published works were quite consistently crap (I ran an annual review of self-published works that were submitted to our newsletter for several years; I read a huge amount of bad fiction); neither of these is true any longer.

I'd also point out that C and I routinely watch movies or television episodes on our tablet, or her laptop, or her desktop with its much larger screen (we use a flatscreen TV for that purpose). It wasn't that long ago that anything of the sort would have been impractical; neither computers nor Internet connections could have supported it. That's a radical change in our relationship to the visual arts.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 10:16 PM   #58
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Computers have also threatened the existence of the recording industry and the newspaper industry in just the last twenty years.
AlexanderHowl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2018, 11:57 AM   #59
(E)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
*In fact, I heard several stories today about how a key decision-maker in a company being out of contact or going on vacation could paralyze everything in the dark days of 1980-1999. No more. Without a seriously eccentric or irresponsible executive and/or someone actually being in a coma, it's pretty much impossible to imagine a situation where you can't contact someone within a few hours.
There is always the case of someone deliberately exercising their "right to turn off" or going on holiday to a place that is outside of the telecommunication network, though this is usually a deliberate thing.
__________________
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
(E) is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2018, 01:05 PM   #60
Rupert
 
Rupert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wellington, NZ
Default Re: TL8 Computing

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Computers have also threatened the existence of the recording industry and the newspaper industry in just the last twenty years.
Consider just how short a time either of those have even existed, and when they came to exist.
__________________
Rupert Boleyn

"A pessimist is an optimist with a sense of history."
Rupert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.