Thoughts Akimbo

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Can you hear me now? Wait, I’ll adjust my hat

Rushing through the airport, he held his cell phone to his head. His iPod bobbled in its belt-hook carrier, its earphone wires draping over his speeding back pockets. He kept glancing down at his Palm Pilot, frantically punching in numbers or text or something, perhaps scheduling his nervous breakdown (not next week, but March is starting to look good).

He seemed important. Communicative, too. He was Modern Man, handling his daily communication in an impressively high-tech way.

Here’s a spooky modern moment: You’re in church and the minister asks the congregation to “turn off their electronic devices.” Suddenly the sanctuary becomes filled with celestial musical, but it’s not the angel choir — it’s the soft beeps and boops and various songs of cell phone providers signing off.

Back in the day, we didn’t have the ability to interrupt a public event by receiving a text message that reads “Going 2 eat, back l8ter.” Our phones were connected to the wall by a long, curly cord. Sometimes the person you were talking to would drop the receiver and it would dangle by its curly cord, tapping against the wall, until he retrieved it. Today’s youth will grow up never knowing that sound.

Some day, we’ll have to start consolidating all the communication devices we use. Maybe engineers will develop a one-piece helmet-like thing we can wear with all our devices built in. I’d want mine to have built-in sunglasses.

Or maybe science will invent an artificial ear that has those communication devices built in, and rich people will all have one ear removed and replaced with a silver ear that contains their cell phones and etc. Bluetooth capable, of couse. That would look cool.

Or maybe we’ll all have an actual blue tooth, replacing a low-functioning molar, so we can walk down the street talking to our own teeth and it will be even harder to distinguish the delusional stranger from the regular stranger.

OK, it’s admittedly sci-fi. But 20 years ago, would you have envisioned downloading music off a laptop computer to a finger-sized mp3 player? I think not. Especially when you remember that computers were still about the size of minivans back then, and your thumb drive was a transistor radio.

We still have radios, and I believe we always will, because they’re so minimal-tech, and they have all that free music and right-wing rhetoric pouring out. Plus, you have to listen to something while you drive when you’ve scratched your favorite Santana CD and can’t reach anyone on your cell phone.

But I’ll bet there are engineers are at work on the Communication Helmet, a device that will consolidate our cell phones, palm pilots, blueberries, walkie-talkies, mp3 players, TV remote controls, and whatever other electronic devices they invent in the meantime.

For now, I’d be happy if they would just invent a universal way to recharge them all.

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1 Comment»

  Preston wrote @

Specialists physically able now to use devices for complicated tasks.
New nano intake re up take receptors for 5 million tasks to our one.
Am I smarter yet hal hal hal?
Like imagine deep space earths settled and we communicate.
is time not but now only so what matters
when we are we are one.
AS I PRESS THE
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