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Trying to keep up [Apr. 7th, 2010|09:29 am]
Every time I try to type a text message, I'm reminded that I am getting old and all of this is getting harder. And I'm pretty determined to not get left behind in a heap of geritol, support hose, and "whatever happened to REAL music" and "kids today don't know..."

I'm not holding out for handwritten thank you notes from my nieces. I'm not going to whine that they never call. (I never got that myself. #1: the phone works both ways. #2: You're the retired person with nothing but time on your hands. Instead of pissing and moaning that I never call....call me. Jesus.) I will continue to be aggressively rude about people who are at a social event with me and are checking their phones/crackberries, whatever. Live in the moment, people. That's going to be my big old, crochety thing. But I refuse to dismiss something just because it's new, different, or unlike what I'm used to.

I mean, sure, there's going to be stuff I'm not going to get. But just because I don't understand how to use a piece of technology, doesn't mean I'm going to reject it. I'll just have to pay someone to explain it to me. I joke about having a very simple, basic, stupid-phone because I barely know how to use THAT, much less some app-laden fancypants phone. But the reality is...I know what happens to my phone. I lurch, I spazz, I flail and that phone gets hurled, dropped, stepped on, knocked into water dishes. If I could afford to buy a new fancypants phone every couple of months. And afford to pay someone else to regularly remember to back the damn thing up, I would have one in a heartbeat.

And frankly, I've never been much of a technogeek anyway. I'm much more a bio, society, organization focused person. So, I try, instead, to keep tabs on what all of these technological advances could mean to us as individuals, as societies. And yeah, some of it makes me want to run under the bed and hide. But I try to take it with a grain of 1984-salt.

Although I read a book, The Unincorporated Man, a man who was cryogenically preserved until long into the future; a future where everyone is incorporated and your parents and other entities own shares in you and you work to buy a majority share in yourself so that you have some control over your own self. In other words, you want to go sky-diving? Your shareholders aren't going to let you, in case something happens to their investment. So what do you do, when a "free" man suddenly arrives? To his mind, it's slavery. Or is it just sensible -- who could afford college, if your investors didn't pay for it?

It was a good book -- mostly from a wow-hunh kind of view. Very thought-provoking. Very futuristic, until I read:



And I read Cory Doctorow's books religiously, even though they make me wonder where I'll fit in future society, obsess about my obsolesence and almost make me glad I won't live to see some of these possibilities. Although again, let me grab my 1984-grain-of-salt.

I do follow www.boingboing.net to keep up, especially the business section, which makes me feel that at least I've got a distant early warning on what's coming up -- societally speaking. The possibilities. And Cory Doctorow writes some of the best and thought-provoking entries -- at least for me.

Today, I treasure him for introducing me, in an entry on the new I-Pad, to a quote from William Gibson, that I'd never seen before and may well have laminated for my cubicle wall here in the veal-pens.

From http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html#more

The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a "consumer," what William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote."

I'm pretty sure I've seen that guy at Wal-Mart....