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Gamers Divorced From Reality? 654

Posted by Zonk
from the only-as-much-as-you-are-bill dept.
nd01 writes "According to Gamepolitics.com, Bill OReilly has a few choice words for gamers and computer geeks in general. The well-known conservative pundit has harsh words for iPod owners, gamers, the PS3, and all of us 'disconnected from reality' by modern technological contrivances." From the article: "Basically what you have is a large portion of the population, mostly younger people under the age of 45, who don't deal with reality — ever. So they don't know what day it is; they don't know temperature it is; they don't know what their neighbor looks like. They don't know anything... because they are constantly diverted by a machine. Now what this does is it takes a person away from reality because they've created their own reality..."
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Gamers Divorced From Reality?

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  • Pot? Kettle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:36PM (#16934270) Homepage Journal
    "Basically what you have is a large portion of the population, mostly younger people under the age of 45, who don't deal with reality -- ever. So they don't know what day it is; they don't know temperature it is; they don't know what their neighbor looks like. They don't know anything... because they are constantly diverted by a machine. Now what this does is it takes a person away from reality because they've created their own reality.
    ...Now stay tuned after the break for more of the Factor on Fox News.
    • Re:Pot? Kettle? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lewp (95638) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:55PM (#16934704) Journal
      Even if this weren't Bill O'Reilly, it would be kind of silly for some multi-millionaire radio/TV personality to claim that normal schmucks (by comparison) don't deal with reality. I may play games, but I still have to worry about paying the bills, where dinner is going to come from, and how I'm going to get to work.

      I don't know anything about Bill O'Reilly's origins, since I only watch him for a laugh now and then, but if he were ever part of reality he left it long ago for the greener pastures of celebrity, albeit minor celebrity.
      • "I don't know anything about Bill O'Reilly's origins, since I only watch him for a laugh now and then, but if he were ever part of reality he left it long ago for the greener pastures of celebrity, albeit minor celebrity."

        I think the word you were searching for was "infamy".
      • Re:Pot? Kettle? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rei (128717) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:28PM (#16937128) Homepage
        It's especially funny because it's O'Reilly in his characteristic hypocrtical form [thinkprogress.org]. ;) Reminds me of all of the times he's denounced Fox programs (esp. when he thought they weren't Fox programs).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nasarius (593729)
        I don't know anything about Bill O'Reilly's origins
        Long Island suburbia. Wikipedia indicates that the only job outside of journalism he's ever held was high school teacher for two years. He went to Marist and Boston University, and has an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism. What a real, blue-collar working man he is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MisterBlue (98835)
      It is ironic for someone on television to be accusing computer people of being divorced from reality.

      This exact same complaint has been made about people who watch television -- people separated from their community and life by sitting in front of the tube.

      These days, though, our tube has a network connection out the back.
    • by Lensar (1011229) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:21PM (#16936944)
      You know he secretly plays a female Night Elf hunter...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aalegado (168251)
      O'Reilly has lived in his own reality for so long that he doesn't realize how disconnected he is. He's probably that last person short of Rush Limbaugh who can safely accuse any group of people of being divorced from reality. And for that matter, who's reality is he talking about? His Neo-Con, GOP Cheerleader, Reality? Gimme a break.
    • In Bill O'Reilley's reality:

      we found WMDs in Iraq;
      we're winning in Iraq;
      the world was created by God approximately 7,500 years ago;
      evolution is a liberal fabrication designed to undermine the true faith;
      global warming isn't happening, and if it is then it is good for you;
      lying about an extra-marital affair is a greater crime than torture, agressive wars, or illegal spying;
      any fact can be refuted by yelling !!SHUT-UP!! really loudly; AND...
      people who get their news online are more detached from rea
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Absolut187 (816431)
      Listen "Rob T Firefly", if that is your real name:
      You obviously don't get it.
      There is a big difference between watching me on Television and being plugged into a computer. I saw that movie "The Matrix". And I didn't understand most of it, but that's not the point.
      The point is, you don't know who is out there in "cyberspace" spewing their one-sided opinions on various topics. When you are watching MY show, you know you will always get both sides of the story. Don't you know our motto here at Fox news?

      Go
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow.wroughtNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:37PM (#16934286) Homepage Journal
    Well, O'Reilly is certainly an expert on creating your own reality...
  • by Jad LaFields (607990) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:38PM (#16934302)
    Its Tuesday ... says so in the lower right hand corner of my screen!

    Forecastfox has the weather for me, and as for what my neighbor looks like, thats what MySpace and Meetup.com are for!

    What's reality, anyway?
  • by commisaro (1007549) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:38PM (#16934310) Homepage
    O'Reilly went on to describe the new PS3 and Wii as "a series of tubes". Spokepeople from Nintendo responded angrily that this only applies to a small portion of their games.
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:38PM (#16934312)
    I'm sick of gamers like me being accused of living in a fantasy world. This is the last straw! I'm sending out my long distance Firaga and Doom spells at the next person to make the accusation! I have powers, damn, you. POWERS!
    • by Jawood (1024129) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:44PM (#16934450) Journal
      I'm sending out my long distance Firaga and Doom spells at the next person to make the accusation! I have powers, damn, you. POWERS!

      God! you people are so full of your games! O'Reilly is absolutely righhhh.....

      **choke**

      *gasp*

      WAIT! I was just joking.

      **gasping last breath...**

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Junta (36770)
      Yeah, you gamers are such dweebs, can't believe you'd say such stupid stuff.

      What the hell is this number over my head counting down that suddenly appeared?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:41PM (#16934360)
    but damn is the alimony a bitch!
  • by fatty ding dong (1028344) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:42PM (#16934406)
    Why just this morning I had to buy gas before work, so I jumped on a turtle and threw its shell at a brick. Unfortunately, no money came out of the brick this time. So I stole a police car and ran over a hooker to get some cash. I got shot by the pimp, but I picked up a backpack with a red cross on it, so it was all good. I did end up 10 mins late to work though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who cares what Bill O'Reilly really thinks? I thought slashdotters hated Fox News and stayed from their channel anyways. He baited you nerds, and you fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    And besides, why is this filed under politics? According to the slashdot FAQ, this sections is for news related to US Government politics. The US government is not in play at all here.
  • Yeah (Score:4, Funny)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:44PM (#16934444) Homepage
    Reality and I tried to make things work, but I guess we just weren't meant to be. It's a good thing we didn't have kids.
  • Hypocracy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scot4875 (542869) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:45PM (#16934456) Homepage
    I don't really think that Bill O'Reilly is in any position to accuse someone else of being "divorced from reality."

    --Jeremy
  • by LordPhantom (763327) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:45PM (#16934466)
    Doesn't that really depend on the "gamer" you're talking about?
    Sure, there are some pasty-faced unwashed slobs out there who really think they live in Azeroth. But there are a ton of casual gamers who get out, have a real life, etc, etc. People who bring up arguments like this are similar to those that point out that drunks seem to be in taverns or their local liquor shops all the time and do nothing but drink, so therefore all drinkers are bad people.

    Addiction to anything can be bad. But painting anyone who indulges in something with the same brush is just ignorant.
  • While Bill O'Reilly may not be divorced from reality himself, the relationship is definitely strained -- they're doing a trial separation right now.
  • Opinion Formula (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realisticradical (969181) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:46PM (#16934492) Homepage
    I think it's just sad that people accept anything that Bill O'Reilley and his brand of pundits say. Their opinions are based on a simple formula of outrage. They simply find an easy target and then express some sort of outrage against that target. Anybody remember last year's "War on Christmas?"

    I wonder if O'Reilley actually believes the things he says or if he understands them to be opinions manufactured for ratings and political results.

  • by ewg (158266) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:46PM (#16934494)
    If television is what O'Reilly calls reality, then yes, I'm divorced from it, and happily so.
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by petrus4 (213815) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:48PM (#16934522) Homepage Journal
    "Basically what you have is a large portion of the population, mostly younger people under the age of 45, who don't deal with reality."

    What you and people *over* the age of 45 call reality, I call senile dementia, Bill.

    I can respond by saying that people of the age group you are talking about are entirely the problem. They're just as divorced from reality as anyone else...and the thing is, that although younger people might be divorced from reality as well, they're not able to take their delusion and from that perspective *enact laws.*

    Also, if you really want to go there...younger people on average are a lot more intimate with technological developments, particularly where computers are concerned. We're a lot more likely to understand issues because unlike you and your geriatric peers, we actually have to live with said issues. Your generation aren't the ones who've had to die by the thousands in Iraq...many of you, when you *were* our age yourselves, dodged service...which makes you sending members of my generation off to die that much more disgusting. You're also not the ones who are going to have to deal with the real consequences of what your generation has done to the environment...you'll be dead in 20 years.

    You are a sick, deeply degraded human being, Mr. O'Reilly...and you shame yourself on a continual basis with your entirely voluntary ignorance and rock stupidity. The only thing that keeps me from fervently wishing that you and other individuals like you did not exist is the realisation that in doing so, I would myself go down to your level.
    • Re:Yes, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Peden (753161) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:45PM (#16936014) Homepage
      Ok, while your starting point was good you went way overboard here: "Your generation aren't the ones who've had to die by the thousands in Iraq...many of you, when you *were* our age yourselves, dodged service." See, those that go to Iraq are not drafted, they have chosen to go into the armed forces of their own free will. Making a comparison with someone "his age" dodging service, and dying from a calculated risk is not very good.
  • Some Truth to This (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zoomba (227393)
    Like it or not, hate O'Reilly or not, there is a piece of truth to what he's saying.

    People now are more separated than they are connected. Through a combination of technology, and paranoia, we've started sealing ourselves off from the world around us. How often do you see kids playing in your neighborhood on a summer's day? I was visiting my folks this summer and I know for a fact the neighborhood they live in is filled with little kids. Not a single one went outside to play the several days I was there
    • Pedoes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)

      Through a combination of technology, and paranoia, we've started sealing ourselves off from the world around us. How often do you see kids playing in your neighborhood on a summer's day? I was visiting my folks this summer and I know for a fact the neighborhood they live in is filled with little kids. Not a single one went outside to play the several days I was there. This is pretty much the norm.

      The news media has made parents more aware of child molesters, and many parents have become so phobic about th

    • by EggyToast (858951) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:59PM (#16934812) Homepage
      That's because TV news reports love sensationalism (higher ratings) and constantly tell parents that their neighborhoods aren't safe, and their kids should stay indoors. Watching more TV.

      Really, this is just TV talking heads pissed off that the TV is being used for more than watching their shows. If the TV is used for video games, it's not used for talking heads.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      While poorly worded, O'Reilly actually has a point burried beneath his typical inflamatory rhetoric.

      Sadly, that's his M.O. - enveloping a micrsoscopic kernel of truth (although most often it's a "perceived truth" aka preconception and stereotype) in endless rhetoric about how he's right, everybody else is wrong and the world going to hell in a handbasket. How he built a little empire on that, I have no idea. IQs must have dropped sharply while I was away.
    • by maxume (22995) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:12PM (#16935176)
      A couple of things:

      The separated from reality stuff is just like all the people who lament the massive shift from the farm to the city; people don't grow their own food anymore and so forth. Guess what, things change.

      Technology or not, people are going to seek the same types of relationships, some deeper than others, etc. The enabling factors provided by technology are probably good in some cases, and probably bad in others.

      I yell at the kids in my neighborhood to get off my grass all the time.

      Citing online dating services as a way to avoid interacting with people is probably a bad idea.

      Lot's of my neighbors are idiots. Now that I have better things to do, I do them.

      There have always been social problems, and there always will be, part of what makes life interesting is that people are different, and people that are different are going to occasionally actually notice the fact.
    • To grossly simplify my opinion on this, I argue that machines are a form of self-perpetuated evolution. Human beings are adding new senses to their bodies which allow them to perceive otherwise invisible stimuli, and communicate over otherwise unbridgable gaps. Caterpillars must think that butterflies look peculiar - especially butterflies with wings made from sewn-together user manuals.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunions (970377)
      let's see here.

      > Look around you at most of the people you may work with in IT. How many of them are social creatures, going out and partying on weekends etc?

      ok.

      > Gamers, especially hardcore MMO players, are notorious for spending days if not weeks doing little more than playing their games.

      I hope you see the contradiction here. MMOs are nothing BUT social events.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by smooth wombat (796938)
        > Look around you at most of the people you may work with in IT. How many of them are social creatures, going out and partying on weekends etc?


        Wait a second. He wants those of us in IT to act like Paris Hilton?

        I'm so confused!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bunions (970377)
          the message here is clear: going out and boozing it up with strangers in a bar is better than playing games with your friends. That O'Reilly - he's always pushing traditional american family values.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:34PM (#16935750) Homepage
      What I don't like is that not being social means you must be a "antisocial misfit". I held a full-day presentation today for about a dozen people, that's hardly introvert. I do get along just fine when I'm out socializing. At the same time, I'm perfectly happy in my own company. There's a certain group of people I would call social addicts, which can't seem to go any significant time without social interaction, which leads them to believe that those that go without are simply misfits who are unable to.
    • by snuf23 (182335) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:34PM (#16937272)
      You have some points but basically I think you are making some sweeping generalizations.

      "How often do you see kids playing in your neighborhood on a summer's day?"

      This is true, but honestly a large part of it comes from the parents. My mom would let us run about the neighborhood on our own when I was 10 or so just so long as we came back for dinner. Most parents are so paranoid about kidnappings, drugs, pedophiles, drunk drivers and other problems the media exaggerates. They want they're kids to be where they can see them or hear them. Not to mention that in households with two working parents, or a single parent - the kids don't get home from school until 5 or 6pm. Then its homework, dinner, bath and maybe just time for a TV show or couple rounds of Super Smash Bros before bed. After school play time has been replaced by after school child care programs or other activities. Weekend programs are much more common as well. My own kid's weekend socializing is primarily through organized sports and educational activities.
      Kids lives have changed a lot and not just due to video games. Where I live they have a year round program where summer only lasts one and a half months.

      "How many of them are social creatures, going out and partying on weekends etc?"

      All of the ones I know have some form of social life, be it clubs and partying, wife and family or even church groups.

      "When was the last time you sat on your porch and chatted with a neigbor?"
      Well we don't have a porch, but last night on the front steps and usually a couple times a week. Every once and a while we have some drinks and a laugh together outside the apartment after work. And these are not people I knew before moving into the apartment. Nor are they people with similar interests to me. One is a janitor at a local school. I make it a point to know my neighbors to some degree.

      "We don't like to think that maybe we're less social or less connected with the outside world than we should be."

      Why are other communication forms besides face to face bad? I agree that physical body and facial cues are absent. Or in IM so is tonality but thats why IM has such a wide range of terminology to offset that.
      I've made friends in other states and countries through online gaming and while no they could never be my closest or best friends (due to proximity), they certainly have enriched my life. I would say learning first hand from people in other places or situations expands my knowledge of the "outside world" - as in it creates a picture larger than that of my immediate location.
      Kurt Vonnegut in his last book mentions that virtual communities have no value - and yet he went on to promote the book via an appearance in the game Second Life.
      Having worked in media and telecommunications all my life I just don't see increased communications as being bad. It's becoming different but that is just a consequence of the changing world. It doesn't necessarily mean it's becoming worse.
  • I'm trying to figure out what "reality" people over 45 have ever dealt with. Sure sure, we still have a few depression era types around, they dealt with reality. But their kids? I don't THINK so.

    Look at our current political mess, and think about what age group all those people belong to, and tell me that there is reality in there ANYWHERE!
  • Will he go after monks and nuns next?

    No, I suppose not.
  • Ah, nevermind... going back to my games again...

    -gam
  • I guess the system administrator of the hosted site took Bill's advice, stepped away from his computers, and went out to meet his neighbor and check the weather, since the web server's going up in flames right now...
  • by Richard Steiner (1585) <rsteiner@visi.com> on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @12:49PM (#16934584) Homepage Journal
    The "reality" of a family in a small town in Nebraska is quite different from the "reality" that a single person living in a major city experiences. Neither reality is better; they're just different ways of viewing life and its associated recreational or social priorities.

    Folks who interact a lot with technology are no different -- they simply have a set of experiences and priorities that differs from other groups of people.

    As long as it doesn't hurt other people, what's the big deal?
  • Ok, the Gaming site is DOA, Slashdotted to hell and back. Does anyone know where this quote is coming from? It's not "Talking points" I check the Fox News archive and there's nothing related to gaming on there going back at least 6 months. I don't know if this is in any of his books or not, as i don't own them. Did they interview OReilly? Where is this quote coming from?

    I guess I'm jaded, but I want confirmation of a quote by ANYBODY before I go off half-cocked and getting all upset over what someone
  • I know what my neighbor looks like. That's what peepholes are for. Viewing real reality from a distance with a barrier between you and it. I ain't no dummy.

    Swi
  • Odd that he is so against video games, watch him here in his earlier days on an indepth expose of the Super Mario Bros. http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=2 0016 [i-am-bored.com]
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:03PM (#16934918) Homepage Journal
    "Now you have the "knows" and the "know-nots", because if you spend all your youth being prisoners of machines..... you're not going to know anything.... You're gonna fail."

    Yuh huh. I'm 26 and I've been playing video games for 20 years. I recently completed a post-graduate program in technical writing (top of my class with high honours) and am employed as a tech writer and sys admin. I also fix PCs on the side.

    Video games are the foundation of my full time employment which I enjoy very much. I put up with the drudgery of learning batch files, composing multi-config.sys boot environments, configuring IRQ/DMA/IO ports, memory management, hardware installation, and troubleshooting because the payoff of exciting games was worth the trouble. Games are the gateway to technology because they put a human face on computers.

    Does O'Reilly claim that playfighting lion cubs are out of touch with reality? Doesn't play prepare us for real challenges?
  • by malsdavis (542216) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:06PM (#16935016)
    Who is Bill O'Reilly and why the hell should I care about what he has got to say?

    From the article he doesn't appear to have an academic or industry credentials on the subject to his name so why has he got any more insight than anyone else on the street?

    Surely researchers who study the issue would be a better source of information.

  • Funny that he makes these remarks on television, the medium responsible for "reality" tv, and for Fox, no less, the corporation responsible for the worst of it. I read an article last year in the "Life, etc." section of my local paper that talked about how Americans go out and mingle with their friends disturbingly less often than in the past. After reading this well-thought out piece, my eyes wandered to the bottom of the page, where I saw an infobox entitled What to Watch, which listed the latest in rea
  • That's right, just because I play video games, everything that I do is defined by that one activity. I have no life, I don't live in the reality.

    I wonder what Bill O'Reilly would think, if everyone defined everything that he does now, in the past or in the future by his actions towards his female staff members. He'd probably accuse such persons of being in the liberal conspiracy against him.

    What a goddamn idiot.
  • by Channard (693317) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:15PM (#16935278) Journal
    .. are disconnected from reality by at least one level. They come in with their parents looking to buy a computer so they can see and speak to their friends two streets away over the webcam. What's wrong with going round to someone's house and asking if someone can out to play, as I did when I was a kid?
  • He's whining about how young people are turning to get their op-ed info from Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann and everybody else who isn't Bill O'Reilly. So now he's accusing people who don't buy into his world view of being divorced from reality. Whatever, Falafel Bill.

    If O'Reilly wants to go after jihadists, he ought to do so in Counterstrike. It'll get him a lot closer to the "action" than being a member of the whining 101st chairborne.
  • During his rant... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonPup (302885) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:25PM (#16935506)
    O'Rielly also bashed people with iPods, practically saying that owning one is a personal character flaw.

    He has downloadable podcasts for his paid website subscribers. Whoops.

    Seriously, O'Rielly is a self absorbed idiot who believes anyone that disagrees with him is 'one of them'.
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by (trb001) (224998) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:28PM (#16935594) Homepage
    Why is this on Slashdot? A pundit makes some commentary about video games...so? He bloviates about stuff every night, and has for 8+ years. He's in no position to craft laws, no position to do anything about it. This is on Slashdot for two reasons:

    1) He mentioned games
    2) He's considered right-wing by the decidedly left-wing crowd here, and that's bad.

    If Bill Maher/Michael Moore/Robert Greenwald come out for/against video games, should that make news on here?

    --trb
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sage Gaspar (688563)
      If Bill Maher/Michael Moore/Robert Greenwald come out for/against video games, should that make news on here?

      No, but it probably would. Have you noticed the amount of video game stories coming through? We've hated on Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman just as much for their various gaming agendas, along with a whole bunch of minor judges and political figures from either side of the aisle.
  • Ratings war (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Suzumushi (907838) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @01:30PM (#16935658)
    What O'Reilly and others are actually upset about is that the "under 45" demographic is spending more time playing games, etc than watching the boobtube. That costs networks money...ad revenue...ratings, etc.

    The article should read, "Please stop living in a fantasy game reality and watch the fantasy reality cable TV is offering..."

  • Heed Bill's Warning! (Score:4, Informative)

    by neolith (110650) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @02:38PM (#16937370) Homepage
    Addiction to technology? It happens all the time. And not just with Johnny come lately PS3 and the internet. No, sir! Take the telephone. A useful tool. No one would argue that it by itself could hurt you. But taken to extremes, it can consume your life, and you wind up making obscene phone calls and engaging in telephone sex with an underling [google.com], leading to an embarrassing public lawsuit that undermines your holier-than-thou morality crap you like to push as your public persona. I tell you, it's just not worth it. So, just stay away.
  • Generational gap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vga_init (589198) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:49PM (#16940002) Journal
    This is just a case of mixed up values.

    O'Reilly values things like knowing what day it is. Why does he value you that? Because in his lifetime, he couldn't function without that kind of information.

    People who can function without this information obviously don't need it. This has nothing to do with "reality" or not. In times gone by, you couldn't function very well if you didn't know the current phase of the moon (because that's how people organized time). That's reality, but I bet old Bill has no idea what phase the moon is, nor does he care. In his own way, he's disconnected from reality, but he made that sacrifice so he could devote his attention to connecting to things that matter to him.

    Now, he notices that lots of other people are now connecting to things that don't matter to him. Furthermore, they're not connected to things that matter to him. This is okay because, frankly, they're not him, and he's not them. He has a problem with this, probably for a number of reasons, but I can't help but thing his interpretation is a little bit egocentric.

    That's not to say that his criticisms are invalid. It is sometimes hard to get by in life without knowing the date, but if someone can do it, then hey... as long as it works.
  • by no reason to be here (218628) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:54PM (#16940090) Homepage
    The young people that O'Reilly says are divorced from reality turned out in record numbers to vote a couple of Tuesdays back, and, horror of horrors, in a stinging rebuff to the current president and his administration, they voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, returning them to power in the congress and in a majority of state legislatures and governorships. You could only possibly do something like this if you're divorced from reality, in Bill's mind, anyway. Because, reality is, terrorists are around every single corner, and only George W. and the GOP can protect you from them.

    And of course, in Bill's head, the technology is to blame, because all of these crazy kids with their iPods and Nintendo DSs and the like got their political info from websites, horrible, liberal, progressive, blogspherical, divorced-from-reality websites.

    I guess O'Reilly hasn't heard about reality's well known liberal bias.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233)
      websites, horrible, liberal, progressive, blogspherical, divorced-from-reality websites.

      While from being outside of the USA I get the impression that the majority of your press is divorced from reality. CNN and even sometimes the NYT get a lot of things wrong with international news (I can't judge your domestic news) and sometimes even NPR sounds like news-lite.

  • by Petersko (564140) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @05:02PM (#16940270)
    Imagine, if you will, a fellow by the name of Larry.

    Larry telecommutes. He converses with coworkers via teleconference, and he does his job well. His employers are completely happy with his productivity, and he is happy with his privacy. Larry gets paid by direct deposit. He pays his bills online, and never has a need of services that require him to visit a bank.

    When it comes to food, Larry likes variety. He prepares a list from an online product catalog, and four hours later the food arrives, delivered by a local company that specializes in this type of transaction. They also deliver household consumables, such as bathroom supplies. Sometimes Larry wants something ready to eat, though, and of course companies have been delivering pizza, oriental food, indeed most kinds of meals, for decades. He orders clothes, gadgets, and computer equipment online, and the courier companies beat a path to his door.

    Larry likes to keep fit, and to that end he has a treadmill, a set of weights and a stair climber, all within his home. He works out six days a week, and never strays from his routine. His health is excellent.

    When it comes to socialization, Larry is an online kind of guy. He plays MMORPGs - Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games - and is active in video game player guilds, spending upwards of fifty hours per week interacting with other people in a virtual world. He uses a microphone to talk to players from all over the planet, and is well known in the circles of elite gamers. He even has virtual girlfriends. He is popular with people he has never met in his alternate reality, "real life".

    Larry never goes out. He never really physically interacts with anybody. In fact, he hasn't left his home in months.

    The question is: can Larry be happy?

    For a long time I would have thought that no, Larry couldn't really be happy. After all, man is a social being by nature. From birth, we respond to touch, and to the presence of those around us. We have a need of sex, and possibly of love.

    But what is really missing from Larry's life? He has food, shelter, clothing, work, entertainment, physical exercise, a social network, and sex by proxy (through "cybering" with his online girlfriends). He has a full life by his standards.

    Many people would look down on his life, but Larry is part of a different scene. He grew up in a world that could be fully realized in isolation, and it is one that most people don't understand. But it is a life that has all of the trappings of a normal one, save for some small variances. Larry may be perfectly suited to his life, and consequently he may be very happy and well-adjusted.

    Just because somebody makes lifestyle choices that we don't understand is no reason to conclude that their life is somehow lacking depth or value. The world is changing, and lives are changing with it.

    Larry may be normal in the future.

    (Taken from my blog, July 18, 2006)
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @08:19PM (#16943344)
    Also from the article:
    The have-nots are growing. Why are they growing? Because the skill set that is necessary to earn a decent living is being deemphasized in a fantasy world of football games and shooting zombies and all that.... Now you have the "knows" and the "know-nots", because if you spend all your youth being prisoners of machines..... you're not going to know anything.... You're gonna fail.

    People here on Slashdot seem to overwhelmingly hate this guy, but the problem is that he's partly right. I live in a small university town, and the number of goo-heads is astonishing. The difference between the people I know who are "plugged in" versus those who are not, is quite pronounced.

    I've seen guys who can't even stand properly, but who wobble back and forth like little kids with nervous conditions. --People who can barely make a plate of food for themselves, who have severely limited social skills, (and I'm not talking about getting a girlfriend or boyfriend; I'm talking about people who have a hard time even communicating at all; people who just don't seem to be really there when you look them in the eye.). --I've met videogame/anime/ipod junkies who I would have very honestly mistaken for being mentally disabled if they weren't enrolled in normal university courses. I don't know how the heck any of them are going to get jobs or lives after their parents stop paying their tuition bills.

    Compared to those kids who avoid video games and television and ipods and such, the difference is night and day.

    This is not to say that electronics are bad. I know a lot of very well socialized people who use Instant Messenger. But the trick is that such people are well-balanced. They don't JUST use computers. They also get outdoors and have real-time, face to face relations with real live people, they are active physically and they enjoy the raw adventure of life. Computers are, as many have pointed out, a part of life in today's culture, but like anything taken in isolation, they can seriously, and I mean seriously mess you up. Anybody who claims differently ought to visit a university campus sometime.

    The good news is that it's really just a percentage; not everybody is a drooling pod person. People can choose and they do. Addiction can be actively chosen against.


    -FL

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.

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