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Old 11-11-2017, 04:45 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is online now
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Ever feel "obsolete"?

Just thought I'd ask if anyone else sometimes feels obsolete in respect to the operations they've performed throughout their lifetimes, or the jobs that they've held.

For example, I worked full-time, for about 40 years in the lithographic trade. I was always employed in the operations involved in color separation for the printing plates.

I've come to the conclusion that my "stint" in the litho trade ultimately spanned the entire "film era" of photo offset lithography. l came into the color separation area just after photographic glass plates went out of existence, to be replaced by stable-based films. And a couple of years before I retired, our plant had gone entirely "filmless", having been replaced by digital imaging.

Even high-end, color scanners (upon which I used to work) are becoming obsolete, with the advent of digital cameras, and the color transparencies, and photos that were replaced by those digital cameras.

I was "expert enough" at the production of film images for color separating in photo offset lithography that I actually was able to teach it for 4 years at Arizona State University, instructing students how to customize their color separations to satisfy the conditions for the printing presses in their own plants. (Sort of an antique method of "profiling", as it is known today.)

But, now....everything (yes everything, except color theory) has been obsoleted. Of course the basic principals of color separation, based upon color theory are still sound, but the means of attaining such results are totally gone--obsoleted by more modern methods, computers, and the like.

I was also a member of the Army National Guard, and I was a cook, and mess sgt. for nearly 8 years in the Guard. I was mess sgt at Ft. Lewis, Washington, during active duty in 1960. I cooked on some of the most ancient, and antiquated equipment you could ever imagine, even using the old, Army Number 5 Coal Range.....YES, a coal-fired stove! In the field, we cooked on pressurized, gasoline-fired ranges that were similar to stack ovens, but with gasoline-burning ranges, similar to camp stoves. It is a wonder we didn't blow ourselves to kingdom-come.

However, a few months ago, I happened to talk to a more recent member of the army, and when I mentioned that I'd been a cook, and mess sgt. in the guards, he sorta' chuckled, and told me that there is no such thing as "army cooks" any more. All the cooking, and food is handled by civilian staff. Makes sense, of course, because that frees up every member of the armed services for fighting, which is the goal of the army. Nevertheless, I spent many good years cooking for the troops, and even one summer as mess sgt for the Wis. Military Academy.

Best detail I ever had, and I was sorry to learn that such activity has now been obsoleted.

A great part of my life was spent in these endeavors, only to discover that everything I used to perform, and teach is now obsolete. Does anyone else ever experience such a feeling? Just curious.

Oh.....And I was a High School Industrial Arts Teacher in 1959-1960, and I taught hand composition (typesetting), and elementary presswork. Of course we all know what became of that endeavor! Talk about obsolete! !
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Last edited by WFMartin : 11-11-2017 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:03 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

When I went to the Painting and Graphic Arts school the profession of a Graphic Artist was actually that of an Illustrator.
In order to be an illustrator you had to know how to draw and how to paint in the first place, not only images but also fonts. Everything was hand made. There was even a course on how to draw fonts.
Now everything is digital, even illustrations, comic and such things. And that is the reason I gradually abandoned the profession of graphic artist because it became the equal or digital imaging application user.

ETA: Computers are the most boring thing.I got quite late in the "sport" because it was needed to do so. It is not that I have any difficulties on using them, I went after all directly to use Linux, but I find them restrictive. You are allowed to create and use on a computer only the tools that the programmer of each application allows you to use. If the programmer messes up its code then you are messed up yourself too and your artwork.

Last edited by MarialenaS : 11-11-2017 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:27 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarialenaS
When I went to the Painting and Graphic Arts school the profession of a Graphic Artist was actually that of an Illustrator.
In order to be an illustrator you had to know how to draw and how to paint in the first place, not only images but also fonts. Everything was hand made. There was even a course on how to draw fonts.
Now everything is digital, even illustrations, comic and such things. And that is the reason I gradually abandoned the profession of graphic artist because it became the equal or digital imaging application user.

ETA: Computers are the most boring thing.I got quite late in the "sport" because it was needed to do so. It is not that I have any difficulties on using them, I went after all directly to use Linux, but I find them restrictive. You are allowed to create and use on a computer only the tools that the programmer of each application allows you to use. If the programmer messes up its code then you are messed up yourself too and your artwork.

Interesting.

I found the digital age to be the "great leveler", because when that came into existence, everyone had access to it, and the competition between printing shops was reduced. When I was a color separator, those who truly had interest in learning color theory, and the operations that could be performed with film had "one up" on those who preferred to work by the cookbook methods prescribed by such companies as Dupont, and Eastman Kodak. Some of our competitors would sell their souls to learn what we were doing, for example.

Those of us who invented methods of solving problems of color separating, and could perform them successfully, were indeed, highly competitive compared to those who chose not to learn color behavior, and were thus not as successful. For example, when one decides that they can combine a negative image of one color, with a positive image of another color, miracle-type color modifications can be made to occur, and most color separators don't even consider that operation.

Today, anyone who knows how to use Photoshop can perform the same tasks, and operations. Even those "things" that I invented in Photoshop, were suddenly available in the next version of that program. No competition any more. Everyone has the same creativity available to them. No one needs to "invent" unique operations, any more.

I truly miss that.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 11-11-2017 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:53 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
Interesting.

I found the digital age to be the "great leveler", because when that came into existence, everyone had access to it, and the competition between printing shops was reduced. When I was a color separator, those who truly had interest in learning color theory, and the operations that could be performed with film had "one up" on those who preferred to work by the cookbook methods prescribed by such companies as Dupont, and Eastman Kodak. Some of our competitors would sell their souls to learn what we were doing, for example.

Those of us who invented methods of solving problems of color separating, and could perform them successfully, were indeed, highly competitive compared to those who chose not to learn color behavior, and were thus not as successful. For example, when one decides that they can combine a negative image of one color, with a positive image of another color, miracle-type color modifications can be made to occur, and most color separators don't even consider that operation.

Today, anyone who knows how to use Photoshop can perform the same tasks, and operations. Even those "things" that I invented in Photoshop, were suddenly available in the next version of that program. No competition any more. Everyone has the same creativity available to them. No one needs to "invent" unique operations, any more.

I truly miss that.


I know what you are talking about because I worked for publishers back then and part of my job was to illustrate but also choose the fonts make the mock ups and then control the montage of the films of each project.

Back then the typesetting and films separations etc were all made by different companies. If you wanted to publish something you had to have contracts with these companies and those who worked at the typesetting companies for instance, they were specialized on doing that particular thing. And you had to know everything related with any of the external companies in order to be able to get the results you wanted for your artwork.

I knew how to use f.e repromasters, ( do you remember these things) how to check the films, how to montage them, to give accurate and exact instructions about what fonts I wanted, what colours I wanted, size, papers everything.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:09 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Now that I recall those days, I'm getting impressed on how many different things you had to know in order to be an accomplished graphic artist.

Drawing, free hand and technical ( architectural ),
Painting ( all mediums and techniques included)
Composition
Illustration
Photography ( + repromasters)
Colour Theory
Mock ups and pagination
Lettering ( how to draw them and details about sizes and types of fonts)
Printing techniques ( offset etc)
Film separations ( + montage by hand)
Papers ( weights, qualities, sizes, binding etc).

Now each and everyone can buy a computer and claim that he is the master of the universe. The other day I was trying to help the daughter of a friend of mine on how to make a poster and I told her that it would be better to use Sans Serif fonts larger than 30 pt and she asked me: What is this?
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:31 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

I spent some years working in a medical lab; I'm pretty sure the job I did is now fully automated. I also spent some years as school teacher. It remains to be seen whether that too will become obsolete.

Nowadays I'm trying to be both writer and artist. I don't know if younger people to day still buy fine art paintings at all, or whether they'll start as they grow older. I don't think computers will take it over, even when we have computers that can paint. It's just that society seems to be losing interest.

But writing is the one thing computers cannot do, and it doesn't look they'll be able to do it any time soon either.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:06 AM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Bill, my dad was a book designer and was well schooled in every aspect of printing including lithography. His job wouldn't be obsolete today. There are still book designers. But the way he did it is long gone.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:08 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianvds
But writing is the one thing computers cannot do, and it doesn't look they'll be able to do it any time soon either.

It might be sooner than one might think. Granted, the examples below all had human input to get them going, but that can be said about almost everything humans do also. Things we have watched other people do or what other people have said or have written most likely has some influence on what we say and do.

This story is about a short novel co-written by an artificial intelligence program. It states that it was 80% human, 20% AI written.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketc...322-story.html

In 2011, the editors of one of the nation's oldest student-run literary journals selected a short poem called "For the Bristlecone Snag" for publication in its ​Fall is​sue. The poem seems environmentally themed, strikes an aggressive tone, and contains a few of the clunky turns of phrase overwhelmingly common to collegiate poetry. It's unremarkable, mostly, except for one other thing: It was written by a computer algorithm, and nobody could tell.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/a...he-turing-test
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:40 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Well, it isn't like the standard for what constitutes poetry now isn't so all-inclusive that it would be easy to tell the difference between bad poetry written by a human and bad poetry written by an algorithm.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:21 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

We live in a world where information is more important than trade skills, labour and the satisfaction they bring in terms of moral and self worth. It's cheaper overall to use a robot to make an item and increase shareholders dividends than it is to feed families. Most in the richer countries (people online worldwide are in a minority) are more happier watching a YouTube video rather than having meaningful conversation. Mental health issues grow ever more, or at least people are not so stigmatized speaking about them. Guys no longer know their role in society whilst women still struggle to get equality and all the time, people are more interested in the latest gadget than the health and well-being of societies of which they are a part.

Soon people will be immersed in a world of virtual reality and whilst some will find it a pleasant escapism others will become hooked and live in a perpetually more isolated world.

There are those that would have us believe that technology is good and we can't live without it. I'm of the belief that it is, in many cases, more difficult to live with it.

Men, women and machines become more obsolete by the minute. The item most people buy on credit is obsolete before they have paid for it. The person that bought the machine made something else obsolete by purchasing it. Humans are more and more becoming slaves to machines.

Machines do have one advantage over human beings, that is, they do not forget. However, holding people's data and not forgetting, perhaps, isn't a good thing.

Last edited by ianuk : 11-12-2017 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:31 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Ever feel "obsolete"?

Only a lot.
For over 30 years I was a hairstylist, color specialist, having been a salon owner for over 20 of those years.
When I was relevant, so was reality. Our goal was to create hair that looked healthy, alive, and mostly natural. We all had our own 'secret' formulas, personally created for each client from mixtures of our choosing that we guarded with our lives. A good bit of our business was 'fixing' what women tried to do at home themselves, which we called 'kitchen color'. We would have been ashamed to turn out anything near what is seen on the street today, that I dare say takes no talent at all. I don't know how professionals stay in business, because it takes NO education or training to do what much of hair coloring is today.
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Last edited by Wilsonart : 11-12-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:47 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Technology per se is not so much the problem as the apparently insatiable human need for doing everything to excess. As a species we learn very slowly, yet quickly forget the lessons. Hence the enduring validity of Santayana's remark that those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

Whatever can be done, will be done, with little heed to the unintended consequences that always occur with the implementation of new technologies. At present we are no longer running our technologies. Our technologies are running us, and are already outrunning us.

We now live in a throw-away society. There's no point in fixing most products out of warranty, especially electronic products, when you can get a new one for the same money or even less. Consumers are relentlessly encouraged to buy the latest and greatest on credit, but as ian pointed out, by the time it's paid off (or even before) it's already obsolete... or at any rate, the manufacturers do everything they can to convince consumers that it's obsolete. So people spend large on the latest iteration of the iPhone even though their old one is still perfectly serviceable.

Humans simply don't know when to stop. Never do most people take a breath and say, "Enough." And if they did, the entire world economy would collapse. This is a no-win situation far as I can see.

Throwing away people has already started too. Eventually, the only way to deal with the effects of automation and robotics will be a universal guaranteed basic income and universal, low cost socialized medicine. But good luck with that, especially in America.
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Last edited by musket : 11-12-2017 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:34 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

felt fairly obsolete at an 'art' market today when compliments were plenty, but moneys went to 'verbiage memes on barn board' rather than original paintings with comparable prices.

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Old 11-12-2017, 08:08 PM
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by musket
Technology per se is not so much the problem as the apparently insatiable human need for doing everything to excess. As a species we learn very slowly, yet quickly forget the lessons. Hence the enduring validity of Santayana's remark that those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

Whatever can be done, will be done, with little heed to the unintended consequences that always occur with the implementation of new technologies. At present we are no longer running our technologies. Our technologies are running us, and are already outrunning us.

We now live in a throw-away society. There's no point in fixing most products out of warranty, especially electronic products, when you can get a new one for the same money or even less. Consumers are relentlessly encouraged to buy the latest and greatest on credit, but as ian pointed out, by the time it's paid off (or even before) it's already obsolete... or at any rate, the manufacturers do everything they can to convince consumers that it's obsolete. So people spend large on the latest iteration of the iPhone even though their old one is still perfectly serviceable.

Humans simply don't know when to stop. Never do most people take a breath and say, "Enough." And if they did, the entire world economy would collapse. This is a no-win situation far as I can see.

Throwing away people has already started too. Eventually, the only way to deal with the effects of automation and robotics will be a universal guaranteed basic income and universal, low cost socialized medicine. But good luck with that, especially in America.

I'm not sure there is any such animal called low cost medicine; socialized, universal, or otherwise.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:46 PM
onestrokeartist onestrokeartist is offline
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Re: Ever feel "obsolete"?

Well, I was at work the other day, I work in an office. Anyways, I said to my co-workers that I'm glad our electricity did not go out (there was a wind storm) because then my alarm would not have gone off. My co-workers looked at me as if I was from another planet. Apparently everyone uses their phone nowadays as an alarm. My husband and I still use the good old clock radio that you plug into an outlet. Talk about aging myself.

Anyways, I used to teach secondary school eons ago using an overhead projector and transparencies as an aid to teach History. Also I taught typing on a typewriter. Yup, obsolete.

Last edited by onestrokeartist : 11-12-2017 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Adding information
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