ALS Topic 61 - Everything Online? - How Wide and Deep Can We Go?

Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar Saturday, 6 June 2020 11 am to about 1:30 PM (end time flexible)

Venue: The Rose - 31 East Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000 (Upstairs. Please buy a drink or something. We are ‘renting’ the seats in this small business) => THE ROSE WILL ONLY ALLOW 5 PEOPLE TO MEET IN THE CAFE UNTIL THE LAW CHANGES (as at 23 May 2020)

About Focus Questions: a) Please read them before you come to the meetup. Think about them so you have more than "instant opinions" to offer. b) Feel free to add more focus questions. c) THE FOCUS QUESTIONS ARE JUST A MENU TO CHOOSE FROM. From this menu we can discuss whatever seems interesting. d) Focus questions are not intended to push one viewpoint! You can adopt any position you wish. We actually like friendly disagreement - it can lead to deeper understanding

Focus Questions

1. Millions of people have suddenly been driven into virtual video relationships with lovers, with friends, with employers. How much of this will endure? Who will actually prefer things this way?

2. Online-Offline Shops & Malls - How would you design one? Choose a product or service and suggest how to market it online.

3. The Australian government is now allowing doctors to bulk bill for online medical consultations. Have you tried this? What kinds of problems do you think online consultation can or cannot handle well? What are the limits and risks?

4. If you were an employer interviewing somebody for a work-from-home job, how would you evaluate them?

5. Isn't government already an online illusion? How often do you actually meet its agents, let alone its principals (ever been to a Centrelink office?) ? Do we want more, or less of this?

6. What kinds of activity might be more satisfying online than offline? Think of how you already use your smart phone and computer.

7. A survey of activities shows attempts to move online during the Covid-19 emergency with Zoom meetups have not attracted much support. (That has certainly been the experience with Thor's meetups). What do you think has discouraged people from video-conferencing?

8. Some countries like South Korea have massive online video game contests. They attract thousands of participants. How likely is that to happen in Australia?

9. Social anxiety has always afflicted a lot of people. Is living a life online likely to increase this kind of anxiety, or mitigate it? What is the evidence?

10. Try to imagine & plan for the sudden loss of electrical civilization. Our networks of electronic relationship and activity are actually fragile. Just as we have been forced online as a species by a biological virus, we could also be forced en-mass back to a 19th Century kind of world by massive magnetic events (human or natural), or planned attack.


Extra Reading, Comments and Links

Nadine Cohen (Wed 20 May 2020) "I’ve hardly seen a soul for months, but in a way I’ve never felt less alone". The Guardian @ 

Oscar Schwartz (26 September 2018) "Love in the time of AI: meet the people falling for scripted robots". The Guardian @ 

Sara Fischer (20 May 2020) "In pandemic, adult entertainment becomes more like social networking". Axios (news aggregator) @ 

Sara Fischer (22 May 2020) "Facebook could have 50% of staff on remote work by 2030". Axios @ 

Have video calls taken over your life in lockdown?
Learn more about the impact of video calls: 


Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar

Index of past discussion topics & questions:

Convenor : Thor May Personal website (legacy)
Articles  (.. about 147 articles by Thor)


Everything Online? - How Wide and Deep Can We Go? (c) Thor May 2020 

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