Is this the end of human cultural progress?

Saturday, February 25, 2017 by anotherside | Discussion: Life, the Universe and Everything

This is a purely speculative post. I don't have the answers, but I have questions. 

I was talking with a friend. He said he believed all music that was worth listening to was already created. I kind of agreed. We have classical music, rock, punk, grunge, heavy metal, electronic, instrumental and even awful music like dubstep.

I think the era is gone when a piece of music could influence a generation and stand the test of time.

In short: I don't expect to hear anything new that hasn't been done before. But there is a wealth of music already produced so maybe it's not a big deal.

 

I am going to list a few other areas that I think have peaked and my thoughts:

Desktop software: I think this is it. The desktop paradigm is not as strong as 10 years ago. “Progress” is happening in the mobile/cloud space. I don't think we will see new desktop applications we haven't seen before.

Skins/theming: There is an abundance of high quality, inspirational skins already produced. Actually I am amazed that the skinners here at Wincustomize continue to produce high quality skins/styles.

However I have a hard time imagining a totally new skin/style that hasn't been done before. Same goes for wallpapers. There are already millions of high quality wallpapers covering a wide spectrum of personal preferences.

Home electronics: We already have huge hi-resolution TV-sets, projectors and multi-channel sound. 3D for those that like that sort of thing. There are smart homes for those that wish to control their home like it's just another device. Now it's about incremental improvements. The big jump was from tube-TVs to flatscreens.

 

Areas where cultural progress seem possible:

Games: I think there will be progress in gaming/games. There are many more factors to play with. There is a technological factor that drives innovation. There are sound, visual elements and movement.

Artificial Intelligence: This is something that is just starting to take off. A lot of human interaction will be with AI in the future. Good or bad? Probably both.

Virtual Reality: This might become big when tech is ready. But do we want it?

Movies: Hollywood will continue to produce movies until the end of time. Some of them will be worth watching.

 

Summary: I think human “cultural” progress will largely be tech-based (including useful things like 3D printers and self-driving cars). The “fine arts” are dying (things created just to be beautiful). There will always be artists, but how do you create something outstanding that hasn't been done before?

Simple examples: I don't expect to see a new car that is more beautiful than a car that has already been created. I don't expect to hear music “that I haven't heard before”. I don't expect to see a new skin/theme that is “a new look”.

Everything has already been created... if not, where do you see room for improvement?

First Previous Page 1 of 3 Next Last
Daiwa
Reply #1 Saturday, February 25, 2017 6:24 PM

Given the infinite capacity & variability of human minds, I'm not too worried we've hit the wall.

neone6
Reply #2 Saturday, February 25, 2017 8:23 PM


Everything has already been created...
Yeah right

LightStar
Reply #3 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:23 PM

There is no human cultural progress any more, there is nothing but human cultural regression now. 

the_Monk
Reply #4 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:12 PM

neone6



Everything has already been created...

Yeah right

 

You are correct.  Not everything has already been created. 

Unfortunately these latest few generations seem hell-bent to 'create' the SHIT other generations opted not to (seeing as there was enough shit in the world back then already).  So, while 'not everything has yet been created'.......much of that could be left un-done.  No need to create shit just for the sake of creating something 'new' right? 

starkers
Reply #5 Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:03 PM

In terms of music, it has all been done before and there's nothing new under the sun.  However, very little after the 70's - 80's is worth listening to.... while in terms of pop/rock, the 60's was the absolute best.  As for genres/styles of music, there are/were some bloody woeful ones...

Punk: Damned gut wrenching, bloody awful and crass.

Rap:  Not new, was done in the 1920' and 30's.  However, the 'modern' revamp is the 2nd worst knid of music - and a term I use loosely to describe it - ever created.

Hip-Hop: Heard one song you've heard 'em all... and then most are just a sick perversion of 70's R & B.

Dub-Step: Makes absolutely no sense and has no reason for being other than pander to drug fucked dancers in clubs where the drug trade thrives.

The only decent music these days is from artist who work in tried and true genres from yesteryear.  Other than that, forget it.

As far as desktop software and skinning goes, sadly it is on its last legs and will eventually go much the way of the dinosaurs, except for maybe a few die-hard enthusiasts.  Sadly!!

Games may have a few new innovations to go because it is a fairly recent medium, but as with all things, there's nothing new under the sun and innovation will eventually dry up.

AI, that is a path humanity should NOT follow.  PERIOD!!!  It is fraught with danger and needs to be left well alone.  Trouble is, mankind, well the so-called smart ones, is stupid and will forge ahead regardless.  While there are potential advantages, the concept is open to misuse and abuse [just take a look at the internet and all its pitfalls and dangers] by the nefarious... even the AI itself.

Virtual reality, again will have its uses, but it too will hit the roadblock all other tech does.... because it will have all been done before and there's just some variations of the old left.  It may not happen in my lifetime, but it will happen before my grandkids get old.

As for Hollywood these days, I say it follows the principle of the 3 R's: Remake; Rubbish; Repulsive.  Apart fron an occasional gem once in a blue moon, Hollywood has gone from bad to worse over the last 10 - 15 years.

Room for improvement?  There isn't any!   Okay, I'm being harsh and pessimistic, but when I look around me at the majority of youth of today, the future has little to nothing going for it... and the lawmakers are largely responsible, having gone way too soft on juvenile offenders.... for outlawing many parental measures to instill disciplne and respect, etc.

In essence, then, we're pretty much feched... stuck with what we've got

admiralWillyWilber
Reply #6 Sunday, February 26, 2017 2:17 AM


This is a purely speculative post. I don't have the answers, but I have questions. 

I was talking with a friend. He said he believed all music that was worth listening to was already created. I kind of agreed. We have classical music, rock, punk, grunge, heavy metal, electronic, instrumental and even awful music like dubstep.

I think the era is gone when a piece of music could influence a generation and stand the test of time.

In short: I don't expect to hear anything new that hasn't been done before. But there is a wealth of music already produced so maybe it's not a big deal.

 
You forgot country, country western, country rock, moody blues, rythem and blues, hip hop, pop, soft rock, alternative, post grunge, thrash, speed metal, death metal, black metal, christian, contempory, christian rock, white metal, british rock, british metal, post grunge, rap, rap rock, and sleeze metal. My real point hear is we don't know a sound we don't know untill we hear it.



I am going to list a few other areas that I think have peaked and my thoughts:

Desktop software: I think this is it. The desktop paradigm is not as strong as 10 years ago. “Progress” is happening in the mobile/cloud space. I don't think we will see new desktop applications we haven't seen before.

You really can't guess what you don't know. 

Skins/theming: There is an abundance of high quality, inspirational skins already produced. Actually I am amazed that the skinners here at Wincustomize continue to produce high quality skins/styles.

However I have a hard time imagining a totally new skin/style that hasn't been done before. Same goes for wallpapers. There are already millions of high quality wallpapers covering a wide spectrum of personal preferences.

Really this is really limiting human ingenuity. In 1993 the first real 3d game camy out it was for the sega genesis it was xman. I don't think anyone would think it was 3d anymore. Things are always improving in this area. I prefer the picture over the quality anyways.



Home electronics: We already have huge hi-resolution TV-sets, projectors and multi-channel sound. 3D for those that like that sort of thing. There are smart homes for those that wish to control their home like it's just another device. Now it's about incremental improvements. The big jump was from tube-TVs to flatscreens.

Areas where cultural progress seem possible:

Games: I think there will be progress in gaming/games. There are many more factors to play with. There is a technological factor that drives innovation. There are sound, visual elements and movement.

After digital telivision I would agree with you. Thanks to digital a lot of people who would watch tv today don't. Computers, and games are always getting better, so I wouldn't count this area out. The problem with computers is if people are wanting to be realistic then they will have to deal with micromanagement. Stop ruining games by complaining about features.

Artificial Intelligence: This is something that is just starting to take off. A lot of human interaction will be with AI in the future. Good or bad? Probably both.

[/quote]Now days it is called engineering personified. We don't want intelligence we already have that of a matter of fact they remember with perfect accuracy. What we want is scentience, or self awareness. Hardware will not solve this the answer is in ourselves. A calculator, or a phone is the same as a computer it is what we program into it makes the difference in software, and firmware. Most people care more about the operating system than how good of a computer they have.



Movies: Hollywood will continue to produce movies until the end of time. Some of them will be worth watching.

 
This is dabatable what i have noticed that the acting has stagnated since the eighties. A good acor  there pretty much did what a good actor does now. The real difference is in story line they use to take their time building story, and then do action. Now movies don't have as much storyline, but they do have more action. A friend of mine didn't believe me that computers weren't used in movies in the eighties, or if they did that they would have been limited to less than a megabyte of memory, and 20 megs of hard dive space. They never had a problem of doing what they wanted like today.



Simple examples: I don't expect to see a new car that is more beautiful than a car that has already been created. I don't expect to hear music “that I haven't heard before”. I don't expect to see a new skin/theme that is “a new look”.

Everything has already been created... if not, where do you see room for improvement?
To some people's opinion it had been since the sixties. Serrgates, cloning, and dinosaurs. We still can't colonise other planets. We still can't really go far in space other than a rocket. 

neone6
Reply #7 Sunday, February 26, 2017 4:43 AM

neone6

 

Yeah right

 

the_Monk

No need to create shit just for the sake of creating something 'new' right?

Don´t quote me if you're not sure what I meant.

There are MORE awesome things not invented/created yet than what has already been discovered by a Long shot.

-I have imagination, I see this clearly

zuPloed
Reply #8 Sunday, February 26, 2017 4:56 AM

This is a purely speculative post. I don't have the answers, but I have questions.
Speculation sounds fun, I'll jump in

I think the big point which is missing here, is the consideration of the recipient. The recipient of art changes, too. What is noice to some may be appreciable to those who grew up with it (for example). If I read starkers post right, he points out, that some music styles are utterly unappreciable to him. So recipients changing is something we can observe very well allready.

So what I think may be happening are two things:
1) you (or me for that matter) realizing that you are an aging recipient, who doesn't understand what is going on in terms of progress,
2) the progress of technological possibilities outpacing the progress of the recipientship altogether.

Uvah
Reply #9 Sunday, February 26, 2017 6:09 AM

neone6

-I have imagination,

The Wright brothers had imagination back in 1903. One hundred fourteen years later we have jets that exceed mach 3. The makers of Avatar had imagination and created a fantastic world. Cassini is still at Saturn after thirteen years. Funny thing is its life span, if I'm not mistaken, was on the order of five years. Voyager is still alive and well after forty years. Imagination and innovation go hand in hand. Point is imagination drives us and the end result lets us do stuff. My three cents

anotherside
Reply #10 Sunday, February 26, 2017 7:53 AM

Lots of good comments

I just want to clarify that I think the few skinners here at Wincustomize are doing a really good job. What I am saying is that there are only so many ways to skin a taskbar and windowborders. Please keep new skins coming, because no, not everything has been created yet. It's just that when you have seen thousands of designs, then you start thinking that everything has been created and only a complete change of technology (like 3D) can create something new. When I think about it this way, Virtual Reality is a logical step, even though I don't like it.

LightStar

There is no human cultural progress any more, there is nothing but human cultural regression now.

This is the feeling I have and what prompted me to create this post. I would like to know why I feel this way. I guess I expected more from Apple, Google, Microsoft, our governments, tech in general and also myself maybe. There's this feeling that things have come to a grinding halt. Good things are being done every day by billions of people, but as a civilization I wonder if we are moving in the right direction.

starkers

In essence, then, we're pretty much feched... stuck with what we've got

Yes, this is the depressing feeling. I don't expect anything good from the future that isn't already here.

anotherside
Reply #11 Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:35 AM

admiralWillyWilber

You forgot country, country western, country rock, moody blues, rythem and blues, hip hop, pop, soft rock, alternative, post grunge, thrash, speed metal, death metal, black metal, christian, contempory, christian rock, white metal, british rock, british metal, post grunge, rap, rap rock, and sleeze metal. My real point hear is we don't know a sound we don't know untill we hear it.

I also forgot soul and jazz which I have listened to quite a bit. Masterpieces have been created and I think I have heard quite a few of them. Of course masterpieces can still be created, but I don't believe in "new sounds". The best sounds often have primitive origins. Fun fact: The TIE Fighter sound in Star Wars contains the distorted sound of an elephant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iGk7MT_0R0

Many of the iconic sounds in Star Wars have very primitive origins. I don't think you can create these rich sounds if you start with a computer. It's better to record analogue sounds and then modify them in the computer. Same goes for music making. Start with a guitar or a piano. Don't start with a computer.

I love computers. But ultimately they may remove us from reality and I think that is what already has happened to some extent. Virtual Reality is just the next step.

DaveBax
Reply #12 Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:12 AM

anotherside

This is the feeling I have and what prompted me to create this post. I would like to know why I feel this way.

I have no idea why so many people feel this way. However I have an opinion. Way to many people worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. Hell you have no idea if you are going to be alive the rest of this day, but yet you worry about tomorrow. If many, many more people thought about the moment they are in now the World would be a much better place.

anotherside

Yes, this is the depressing feeling.

Something you didn't hear much about years ago. Now today if one has an event planned outside and it rains that day, wow. I'm depressed. No worries as in this day and age Billions of people are depressed and all have a special pill to take for it.

See above where I said "However I have an opinion." Not very smart to have a conversation about your opinion in 2017. Back in the day people could have a conversation over an opinion and when they were done discussing it all was fine. Today's World at least for the most part that doesn't happen. Lets see. Now people get shot, beat up, called names, get removed form social media sites. Basically I (sorry an opinion) Call it total lack of respect towards one another. Now not an opinion but a fact as I have seen it way to many times. To many young people in their teens and 20's have "0" respect for older people. Sure glad I know a few good ones. Now the World has a new name Left side and Right side. Not really sure how it started but the first time I heard it came from the Hollywood super stars. Don't believe me just watch the Oscars tonight. I'm sure you will see hear some of the special people crying and bad mouthing the right side on national television. Can't ever try and guess how many of this depression pills will be taken tonight. 

WOM
Reply #13 Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:37 AM

Dave, you will have to do what I do. I don't watch any award shows, music or actors,  They must have a dozen for each.  And your right, no respect.  That why I carry.

Chasbo
Reply #14 Sunday, February 26, 2017 12:07 PM


I was talking with a friend. He said he believed all music that was worth listening to was already created. I kind of agreed. We have classical music, rock, punk, grunge, heavy metal, electronic, instrumental and even awful music like dubstep.

I think the era is gone when a piece of music could influence a generation and stand the test of time.

In short: I don't expect to hear anything new that hasn't been done before. But there is a wealth of music already produced so maybe it's not a big deal.

How old are you? Sometimes younger people don't have perspective. At some point there will be something new and it'll blow everybody's mind.

 

Chasbo
Reply #15 Sunday, February 26, 2017 12:26 PM

starkers

In terms of music, it has all been done before and there's nothing new under the sun.  However, very little after the 70's - 80's is worth listening to.... while in terms of pop/rock, the 60's was the absolute best.  As for genres/styles of music, there are/were some bloody woeful ones...

Starkers this is your opinion. In the 60's there was some god awful music.

There's always been good and bad of EVERYTHING at any time in human existence.

I know people my age group, let's say 55 to 65 years old, that only listen to classic rock. That's fine but there's been a lot of music made before the classic rock age and there's been a lot made since. Some of it has been pure genius and some pure shit. 

It boils down to what you like. What he likes. What she likes. What I like.

I have my own tastes but others may or may not like what I like.

I don't really give a rats ass.

 

DaveBax
Reply #16 Sunday, February 26, 2017 12:28 PM

Chasbo

How old are you? Sometimes younger people don't have perspective. At some point there will be something new and it'll blow everybody's mind.

Great question. Approx age will be fine.

I will give you my approx age. I'm in the 70"s.

Uvah
Reply #17 Sunday, February 26, 2017 2:13 PM

To me music is groups like Renaissance, Enigma, Pink Floyd, The Who, Lynnard Skynnard et al. They made music with depth, with substance you could feel down to your bones. Rarely have I heard that type today.

But that's just my opinion. 

anotherside
Reply #18 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:12 PM

Chasbo

How old are you? Sometimes younger people don't have perspective. At some point there will be something new and it'll blow everybody's mind.

I am in my forties. I started with computers when Windows 95 was released. I know there were previous versions of Windows before that, but in my mind the modern desktop was born with Windows 95. Windows 95 was the start of mass adoption of PCs and Internet-connection at home. I don't think anything will trump that in my lifetime. This was the good side of technology.

Now comes the bad side of technology. New movies, books and music won't have the same quality/soul as before. I think it was John Mayer who said he had to get off Twitter and probably his smartphone to be able to create music. Tech has swallowed culture, tech has swallowed boredom and soon tech has swallowed us. There is already an album with an artificial singer in Windows Store. Movies can be shot without real actors, but Hollywood need celebrities.

I know it sounds pessimistic, but I fully believe that LightStar is right:

LightStar

There is no human cultural progress any more, there is nothing but human cultural regression now. 

anotherside
Reply #19 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:25 PM


To me music is groups like Renaissance, Enigma, Pink Floyd, The Who, Lynnard Skynnard et al. They made music with depth, with substance you could feel down to your bones. Rarely have I heard that type today.

But that's just my opinion.

That's what I'm saying.

Also we are so used to digital (sampled) music these days that we don't know anything else. If you have access to vinyl records or LaserDisc with analog audiotrack, then listen to those and FEEL the difference. It can be quite remarkable.

the_Monk
Reply #20 Sunday, February 26, 2017 6:12 PM

neone6


Quoting neone6,

Everything has already been created...
 

Yeah right



 


Quoting the_Monk,

No need to create shit just for the sake of creating something 'new' right?



Don´t quote me if you're not sure what I meant.

There are MORE awesome things not invented/created yet than what has already been discovered by a Long shot.

-I have imagination, I see this clearly

 

If you're not happy with whatever I inferred from/attributed (the entirety of my reply and not just one line) to your statement of " YEAH RIGHT" then maybe leave less to the imagination next time and be more specific.

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