Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rolling Along

With so many people going to electronic reading devices, is it any wonder that Amazon reports that more "book"s were downloaded last year that actually purchased as hard copies. The funny think about being in the middle of a revolution is it's often too slight to notice. Real change often moves even slower than we think. So many people my age proudly declare that they'll never give up books. Perhaps. I think that eventually many of those resistant to the inevitable will make the switch. Consider some of the things most of us no longer do. Writing a check is a long-gone necessity any more for most things. Little by little, we'll all be transferring numbers electronically. Even now, I swear there are some folks who never touch cold cash any more. What's next? This got me thinking about the choice to swim ahead or go against the current.
Imagine a sub culture where, not unlike the Amish, people consciously choose to eschew man of the electronic replacements for objects/possessions that have be revolutionized by the impact and encroachment of computers on our psyches. A land of books, and currency. A place with bank tellers and all manner of pencils and pens. It's fascinating to think about what other rapidly vanishing things might be added to this world of the unimpressed.
Oh I know it'll never happen. Probably the closest we'll ever get is the opportunity to live in the past for either a reality (unreality) TV show or a public broadcasting series. You know, those programs where people try to live just like it's 1850 all over again.
With this in mind, I suggest we all notice some of the things we'll soon find missing from our lives. Things like snail mail delivery, used book stores, coin operated parking meters, the penny, perhaps even the schoolyard. Soon? Maybe not, but possibly within 100 years. It's all relative.
Oh yeah, here's one more. The other day I took my niece's 8 year old in my truck to get some ice cream sandwiches for dessert as Katie and I were baby sitting her and her two younger siblings. It was the first time she rode in the cab of my pick-up and she was excited about buckling her seatbelt and ridin' shotgun. On the way home form the grocery store, she began fiddling with anything close by.
"What's this thing?" she asked.
"Oh move it around and see what happens," I said.
She had never seen a window that wasn't electric. My 2002 Toyota Tacoma actually has windows that have to be rolled down. Not sure why, but that's the way it came.
I told her to remember this day because she needed to tell her family and friends about doing something that they may never get a chance to do.
She liked that.

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