Many years ago, when I was in high school and thinking about dropping out of math, it occurred to me that if I did so I would never get to be an engineer. Designing stuff seemed like a pretty neat way to make a living, but then again it also seemed as though all the stuff we really needed had already been invented.
Funny thing is, I still feel that way.
Actually, I rather like a few of the things invented since then. Compact discs, for example, are a huge improvement over LP’s. DVD’s are handy, too, as is a little thing that came out in 1981 called a personal computer.
A lot of the other stuff, like cell phones and iPods, I think we could just as easily live without.
Maybe more easily.
The problem with technology is that with every new invention there is one more thing that has seemingly become essential to our very existence.
Watching how severely high school students today are addicted to their electronic toys, I am terribly grateful that most of this junk came along after I was safely on my ay to becoming an old fogy. Some of these kids cannot go five minutes without checking for text messages.
So how do I feel about the fact that I am posting this rumination to a blog? Briefly, that the internet, like so many of our other inventions, television for instance, has ended up being used mostly for the wrong things.
I remember, back in the eighties, when pundits were falling all over themselves predicting the coming ubiquity of personal computers. They would soon be as common, went the refrain, as telephones, a chicken in every pot. I couldn’t see it, as in my experience it is difficult in many households to come up with a piece of paper and something to write on it with. My blindness in that instance, you see, was that I was foolishly thinking that a computer was a tool. Then along came computer games, then the internet, followed quickly by internet porn of one sort and another, and, lo and behold, computers have become as essential as air.