Monday, February 16, 2009

That was the thing that was....

After finding the Old Skyline Drive-in clip on You tube it started me thinking about how much fun the drive-in was and how it simply died after 30 years of public service. The advent of home video recorders was the killer, which was then super seceded a decade or so later with DVD and now - Blue ray. This started me thinking about technology - sometimes it paves the way for a whole new product or process making instant changes in habits or lifestyles that makes other product or processes vertically obsolete over night.
Historically - the Penny farthing, the Gas light, the humble horse and cart - superseded by the bicycle, the electric bulb & the automobile [respectively]. All had a very useful purpose for many years and even today. However I don't think I would want to read by gas light now or clean up after the horse [the cat is bad enough] let alone mounting a giant wheel for a ride. Good technology also makes items so much easier to use like the computer. My mother told me that one of her first office jobs in the 1960's the computer took up half the floor of the building [like the ones from James Bond or Space films of the same era] and could only 10 calculations per hour or so.
Jump to now and the humble PC does more things that the ones NASA was using to place Neil Armstrong on the moon. And now with the email who needs the humble postage service for a letter? Goodbye to the humble typewriter or even fax machine too. Let alone the endless possibilities that the Internet can offer - information from shopping to online billing & banking services, gaming, history, networking sites like Facebook and [of course] porn, all delivered via the humble phone line. And now you can be wireless anywhere [within service range] with devices such as the iphone - delivering a range of technologies and mediums from phone, internet, music & gaming - the lot - in that tiny shiny sexy little casing. Selling a lifestyle with the added bonus of making our lives that much easier.Now I don't want to sound like an Luddite about to smash Spinning Jennies into the Grand Junction Canal [how many dated references there missus] but sometimes all this technology is just too much. The humble telly is now a wafer thin flat screen device that sucks the equivalent energy a third world country would use in a year. Yes it looks fab but what about that nasty carbon footprint it leaves every time you turn it on. Does the matching surround sound system really need to be the same as a multiplex cinema for a bachelors flat? Let alone does a car really need a camera to help you reverse park? What about making it more fuel efficient? Or better still a car that runs on Hydrogen or H2O? And for that matter -If they can make Viagra for men to get hard ons why not still a cure for AIDS? Or the humble cold?
Now don't get me wrong - I'm advocating to go back the horse and cart or [for that matter] for women to start wearing bustles & frock coats for men. Neither do I want Betacord back, listen to tape cassettes or work with card punch machines. Technology should be used for good not evil - but that's not Technology's fault - its for those of us consuming these follies...maybe we need to be more choosy about what impact they have on the environment as well as their convenience. To shun those who does not take our precious environment into account. Or each other for that matter.

Now I do sound like a modern day Luddite. Best go back to the days of sending telegrams to the Prussian Consulate in Siam before I listen to my old 78's on my gramophone and foxtrot the night away to forget these stresses of modern day living.

Fuck that - I'll email them instead and listen to music in the ipod like everyone else does nowdays as its way too easy to use. My Foxtrot is just fine by the way- its my crumping that needs practice.

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