Friday, April 14, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment # 107: Tech You'd Miss

"Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower."

-Alan C. Kay

Weekend Assignment # 107: Which recent piece of technology would you miss the most if it suddenly disappeared tomorrow? By "recent," I mean in the last two decades or so (if you didn't have it in 1986, you can't have it now). You can also consider tech which did exist in 1986 but wasn't in common usage. For example, the Internet existed in 1986, but no one except a few geeks at universities used it. Any tech is up for consideration, whether it be consumer tech, medical tech, security tech, or whatever.

Extra Credit: If you were cut off from the Internet (like, say, me), how long would it take for you to go completely insane?

-John Scalzi (By The Way...)

I bet you guys know me well enough by now, to know that my cell phone and I are as one! LOL. So, I am here to tell you to disregard what you may have heard. Cell phones are NOT instruments of the devil. They are NOT going to bring the world down into the bowels of the earth. LOL. It's just a matter of focusing on the more positive aspects of cell phone ownership. All it takes to change them from an irritation, to a God send, is to be stuck in a bathroom in Sacramento, California, in which there is no available tissue, to remind one just how wonderful technology really is. Yep, that happened to me, and it was on Christmas Eve, no less. LOL. It all had a happy ending though, because I had my handy little cell phone with me, so I was able to phone the manager of the restaurant to bring me, and the lady in the next stall, some bathroom tissue. Yep...true.

I was hoping to find a way to talk a bit about cell phones this week, because it just so happens I treated myself to a new one just yesterday. It is an upgrade through my carrier, Cingular, and is a Nokia 6102. Her name is Babbette. :) She isn't the most expensive, and she doesn't have every single bell and whistle available, but she has the features I care about the most. She has a camera and video feature, she can email, and IM. She plays great music and video clips, and really cool games. I customized her to play, "Brand New Day," by Sting, and I have a "Sex And The City," theme, with wallpapers, screensavers, theme song, and game, The game is called, "Psychic Cocktail." It is played like a "Magic 8 Ball." Just as the martini shaker a question, hit the button, and you will magically receive your answer to life's problems. How fun!

On a slightly serious note. We live in a strange age. Things happen with sudden intensity, and I think it has made some items, which may have seemed like luxuries before, seem much more practical now. I still think about the photos someone took with the camera phone, as they descended the stairs in tower 1 of the World Trade Center. The faces of the folks running down the stairs for their lives, and the faces of the heroes running up the stairs with no concern for their own safety. Sigh. Incredible moments...caught in time...thanks to the invention of the cell phone, and digital cameras. Digital cameras would have been my next choice, but you guys already know how I feel about them. :)

Like with all good inventions, things can be corrupted. If folks just practiced some common courtesy and sense, the cell phone wouldn't be so hated. I don't answer my phone while I am driving, I turn it off at appointments and when I go to the theatre, and if I have to take a call at a restaurant, I keep it brief...and I don't scream my business into the phone, so the whole restaurant has to deal with my life. It is very simple. I try to be mindful of others. It really isn't that difficult.

Extra Credit: I do enjoy the world that the Internet provides me. My friendships. Being able to research things that interest me, and to participate in group activities like the memes and the Round Robin Photo Challenges, but in truth, lately I have been thinking that maybe I should consider jumping off the web for a while, sometimes the Internet can be a lonely place to have a small voice.

"My Friend Babbette"
Berkeley, California
April 13, 2006


Solitary Dancer said...

Oh my I would miss so much. I love most all tech stuff and have incorporated it into my life. I just can't imagine not having it.

Technology allowed me to meet you. That's priceless. :-)


Karen Funk Blocher said...

Blogdom would be a much lonlier place without YOU - even if I get a little behind in my reading sometimes. - K.