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Is your brain filled with garbage?


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#26 stumpy

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Posted Yesterday, 11:09 PM

I always find it strange when people complain about friends playing games on computers and consoles, but you can always find the complainer glued to a game on their mobile/cell phone, to them its a phone with extras and not a computer you can also use as a phone.



#27 Destined

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Posted Today, 02:30 AM

I completely agree. It is not only people who play themselves on phone, it is also often people who spend a lot of time in front of the TV (in my generation my parents are a good example). I believe, it is simply how you grew up. My parents always saw computer games as just another toy. And just like other toys they thought that at some point you are too old for using it. For me games are just another medium for conveying a story. Of course, some games are less story oriented than others, but to be honest, the story in many action movies can also be summarised in two sentences, so there is not such a big difference.

Mobile games, on the other hand, are, as far as I heard of them (I mostly play Sudoku and Go on my phone), very dumbed down and require to more or less randomly tap on your screen, so the story is even more negligible than for even the stupidest action game. And these at least require quick reflexes or something similar, so the moblie games are really just for wasting time. But as I said, I don't play much on my phone, so I might underestimate the complexity of most games.

Anyway, I can also not understand people complaining about gamers, as gaming is just another hobby. It might not be as productive as building something on a workbench, but it helps people to relax. So, as long as it is not the only thing you do all day, I don't see any harm in it (even if it might "spam" a part of your brain). If you lack exercise and contact to other people or other more important activities suffer because of it, you might consider playing less.



#28 Anderson

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Posted Today, 09:08 AM

Tell them why they read belletristic books. It's not even literature. "Fifty shades of gray" and other excrements of poor writing, one step from being rendered as softcore pornography.

That is a waste of everyone's goddamn time.



#29 V-Man339

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Posted Today, 09:50 AM

I am not going to say why or how my brain is filled with garbage, but the answer is yes.

I am ashamed to admit I still remember bizarre details from the Star Wars universe that are of complete and utter pointlessness, as well as names of caricatures from old stealth games from 2002, so the answer is an absolute yes.


I like to record difficult stealth games, and right now you wonderful people are the only ones delivering on that front.
Click here for the crappy channel where that happens.


#30 Destined

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Posted Today, 10:41 AM

Tell them why they read belletristic books. It's not even literature. "Fifty shades of gray" and other excrements of poor writing, one step from being rendered as softcore pornography.

That is a waste of everyone's goddamn time.

Well, regardless of quality and difficulty reading is always more demanding than TV or games, as you actually train your imagination, while in the other media more impressions are given. And one point of the original post was that the concentration span is reduced by spamming your brain.

 

I think it is quite difficult, where the line between spam and useful knowledge is to be drawn. Memorising stuff is in general good keep your brain active and for this it should not matter if you memorise Star Wars facts, stats from you favourite RPG or rather poems or scientific facts. I would naroow the range of entertainment of the original post to the shallow crap on the level of reality TV (in Germany called "Hartz IV"-TV after the social paiments long-time unemployed people get). Anything that does not stimulate your brain to critical or problem-solving thinking. It is true that most of the knowledge about games is not relevant in the real world, but the problem solving skills are often applicable as long as a person can transfer the knowledge to the real world problem.



#31 Anderson

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Posted Today, 01:09 PM

Well, regardless of quality and difficulty reading is always more demanding than TV or games, as you actually train your imagination, while in the other media more impressions are given. And one point of the original post was that the concentration span is reduced by spamming your brain.

 

I think it is quite difficult, where the line between spam and useful knowledge is to be drawn. Memorising stuff is in general good keep your brain active and for this it should not matter if you memorise Star Wars facts, stats from you favourite RPG or rather poems or scientific facts. I would naroow the range of entertainment of the original post to the shallow crap on the level of reality TV (in Germany called "Hartz IV"-TV after the social paiments long-time unemployed people get). Anything that does not stimulate your brain to critical or problem-solving thinking. It is true that most of the knowledge about games is not relevant in the real world, but the problem solving skills are often applicable as long as a person can transfer the knowledge to the real world problem.

 

True but really, any sort of media in excess is bad. Everything should be in moderation.

It's a thing that should be taught in school - critical thinking and taking everything with a grain of salt. Raising aesthetical standards. 

​I don't believe motion pictures or video games are inherently worse than books. It's just that many movies and video games are mediocre when it comes to comparing them to masterpieces like Dostoyevski's books or a Robinson Crusoe. It's why it will take a while for people to take video games more seriously.

When it comes to movies we don't really watch The Godfather each time. But good cinema is specifically that which doesn't use those trendy things in excess like FX. Michael Bay in a nutshell.

That's why Tarkovsky is underrated or why 1 out of 10 people will know who Ingmar Bergmann is. But that is good cinema. One that respects you and through which you can objectively have a good, damn time (if those movies are your thing). Alternatively there's nothing wrong with Tarantino or Scorsese. But not fall into postmodernist, shallowness and mediocrity to  "Fifty shades of gray" as a good movie. That's horrible.



#32 Destined

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Posted Today, 01:55 PM

 

Raising aesthetical standards.

I assume, you meant ethical standards. You could argue that the aesthetical standards are some part the problem in modern society: Everything has to look good, regardless of what's behind it (or if it's in any way useful).

 

I think films and video games are inherently worse than books only in regard of how much you have to use your brain, when you experience them. The former take over some of the input, whereas the contents of a book are experienced completely in your mind. This has the consequence that your brain has to work harder. But I don't think that it is generally worse. For example, the experience you get from a book is strongly limited by your own experience. This is why many children don't mind fairytales, which are at some points extremely gruesome, as they cannot imagine what it really means that e.g. the witch has to dance to her death in blazing shoes, but get nightmares, when they watch a horror movie. So, while a film maker can exactly convey what he imagined, when he made the movie (or regarding restrictions through technical possibilities, available actors etc at least the closest he could get), an author can not really predict how you expereince a book, because much of what you imagine requires experience in that field. At the same time, you can "learn" more from films, if they are about a field you have less experience. A dance, for example, might be described in all detail, but if you don't know the dance itself, you will still not know how it looks like. If I wrote: "They danced a sensual Tango" (or more detailed, which movements this involves) only people who dance themselves or have seen people dance a Tango will know how exactly it looks like. In a movie you can see the people dance a Tango and will actually know what it looks like afterwards.

 

All in all I would say that each medium has its own merits and drawbacks. I enjoy a good book just as much as a good movie or an interesting video game. They are just different media to convey content. However, as I said before, books are most demanding for your brain, which is why more and more people tend to avoid them as they have more convenient ways of experiencing stories. And in this lazyness lies a danger that the original post wanted to point out (I assume). People get tired of using their brains and rather use a convenient alternative for everything they can, to a point where they are no longer able to use the "hard way". If they then get into a situation, where they don't have access to the easy they will be in trouble...



#33 Anderson

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Posted Today, 02:08 PM

I don't know if people really don't read as they used to. To me the people who used to like reading still do.

They just don't use printed books that much anymore.

Libraries aren't used that much anymore. They are just another place to organize events - good for lectures, seminaries, round tables and so on. Very often even for purposes unrelated to literature such as doing Rubic's cube events (I once went to one just for the heck of it even though I barely learned the basic formula).

 

The point is people today acknowledge that it's easier to download the Kindle or Kobo app and read stuff from there. On the contrary - it makes good literature even more accessible to the common man. That is a good thing.

 

The point is that printed books are also objectively more expensive too. A good book on a narrow subject of academic study can cost easily a few dozens of dollars or even a hundred or two. I'm not even mentioning periodicals with monthly pay.


Edited by Anderson, Today, 02:10 PM.


#34 Destined

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Posted Today, 03:43 PM

It is true that literature is currently more acessible than ever before. Many classic books like the Sherlock Holmes books are commonly available for free. However, when I get a glance of the phone of people in public transportation, especially younger ones, you usually do not see them reading, but rather playing some "Clash of Clans" etc mobile game. And that is the sad thing: Books (in whichever form) and other knowledge about anything is available to anyone anytime, but many people rather waste their time with nonsense. And with nonsense I mean games that do not require you to think. You tap on your screen and get rewarded for this tap and that. I believe we had a thread some time ago about games offering some small time rewards for not effort but simply time spent. And many people prefer these games above something challenging.

 

Regarding printed books: The price very much depends on which books you are looking at. Common fiction is usually not too expensive, espcially as paperback, as long as it is not out of print (how I cursed, when I once missed one book of the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series). Scientific texts, on the other hand, are inappropriately high. Especially scientific magazines. You pay a lot of money that a publisher publishes your work and then other people pay almost as much money so they are allowed to read it, although basically everyone payed for most of the research in form of taxes anyway. If you are not currently a student (in which case the univeristiy usually pays for a couple of subscriptions), it is simply not worth to pay for a subscription to a magazine. In case of books the main problem is the low number of copies. For the editor to cover the costs, it is unforunately necessary to demand a higher price, so this makes sense to me, at least.






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