Chinese Triads and Acceptance of Technology

I recently read a book by Michael Connelly that featured his long standing character, LA police detective, Harry Bosch. You may be wondering at this point what the book has to do with emerging media technologies.

Nine Dragons - Michael Connelly

(Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.michaelconnelly.com/ )

Not much directly I confess (although I really enjoyed the book), but there is a parallel. In the book, Harry finds himself entangled with Triads, which are Chinese Gangs with a long and historic cultural tradition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triad_(underground_societies) .

One of the issues that Harry finds difficult to understand is the willingness with which Chinese business owners; particularly first generation immigrants pay the Triads for protection. Intimidation factor aside, it is pointed out to Harry that you accept as normal what you grow up with, and don’t always understand why others don’t also. The Chinese people have a long history with the Triads groups, and accept them as a way of life.

The point is that there is currently a definite banding within our society of ability to use and accept the new digital media, and the world view of a specific person has a great deal to do with what they grew up with.

  • Millennials and younger GenXers have grown up in a world where computers, video games and cell phones are a way of life, with Millennials never having lived in a world without them. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14560871/
  • With Boomers, it was TV; color if you’re on the younger edge.
  • Their parents (The Greatest Generation) saw the introduction of refrigeration and radio.
  • Before that, their parents saw the popularization of electricity and automobiles
  • And so on, back to the chariot and introduction of fire (although when you go back, some technologies took several generations to emerge…).

The point I am attempting to make is that the preceding generation may become proficient and comfortable with a technology they weren’t born into, but it will never be to the level of accepting that technology as “what is”. I, for example, am reasonably computer adept, but it will always be a tool, never something as much a part of me as brushing my teeth in the morning. So, golden millennials, think of us kindly. We may not be forever young, but most of try.

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