Tag: technology

Representation

I wonder how different the psyche of the next generation is going to be with lifelong exposure to services provided by computers and technology.  The high level of technological involvement in daily dependency developed entirely within a single generation (half-generation really.  According to current life expectancy data, I am 5% shy of the halfway mark.  I was born into a world where computers were very new and very far from daily integration.  Cassette tapes held music, the telephone is still tethered to the wall, and the internet has yet to be invented.)

What I find fascinating is that voice control, internet speed, and availability is teaching children the important lesson about the representation of things unseen.  This is a hard lesson to grasp- how something can stand in for another thing.   A concept that takes a long time for humans to understand, practice, and eventually apply organically.  The representation doesn’t have to look or feel like the real thing for us to inherently understand this concept of simplified symbolism.

With this lesson already learned and applied at a young age, I wonder how this early involvement with abstract thinking will evolve in the psyche of the next generation.  Will abstract concepts in general be are easier to extrapolate?  Will art be more prevalent since the concept of representation is so well understood? How will this shift in consciousness affect religion?  Can we culturally be more accepting of other people with a broader range of understanding?

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Valentine

Every single day, I get a valentine from GrubHub. Every day, without me ever replying or even opening a metaphorical window with a simple click, GrubHub send me a love letter via electronic mail.  So many unread and unanswered letters sit in my mailbox, gathering dust.

I don’t read them, I never have.

This unwavering dedication of getting my attention is something I have never experienced until advertising got a hold of me through electronic means. My mailbox at home has never gotten this much attention.  Just a glance is all GrubHub wants. Just a reminder like hey, I’m here and waiting for you.

But this is not the way to my heart.  It is true, that food is the way to the heart.  But even with the promise of someone cooking for me, delivering it right into my hands, having no cleanup, the ability to get virtually anything under the sun, I repeatedly shut it down.

I am hoping the GrubHub will take the subtle hint, but there is worried part of me that thinks this will go on for a long time.  Can you get a restraining order against a website?  How do you break up with a machine?  How do you follow a harassment suit against automated messages?

Although I am a terrible client, GrubHub does not care.  I know that tomorrow, and the next day, and forever on, GrubHub will never forget me.

I will never give my heart to you, Grub Hub. I have given my heart to a refrigerator full of fresh produce, marinating meat, stocked high with leftovers, and crammed full of bubblers.

 

Mechanical Dreams

I am making up for not completely understanding modern technology (or not understanding at anything all)  with my plan to bypass the actual learning part, and instead becoming a robot- as you know.  I have talk about my magnetic fingers: If Magneto Were an Ordinary Girl, I have discussed how google is replacing the old concept of church and god: The Oracle and Matrix meets Dr. Who

My co-workers are well aware that I am currently working on learning robot language- a communication system based on beeping and booping sounds primarily- I am already at the intermediate level.  I am already well versed in the use of sonar technology in robotic linguistics.  My transformation is going as well as can be expected, given that this is not actually a thing yet- currently rooted at the theoretical stage.

I have to admit, though, that I feel guilty when I am signing up for something online or interacting with a website, and I have to check that box that says “I am not a robot.”  It makes me feel guilty, in a way, that I am betraying my commitment to being replaced with a robotic version of myself, in order to continue to be relevant in the modern society, because I have to tell the website what it wants to hear.

The advancement of the traffic jam

Dear Chicago,

Why are we stuck in a Jeffersonian era of traffic control? This constant stopping is slowing down progress, making all commutes much more cumbersome than necessary, creating a road rage anger that is deep-rooted and raw, superbly aggressive and panic-stricken.

The first traffic light was invented in 1868, and after 1920, the design has largely not changed.  Since Woodrow Wilson was president, the traffic light has not been upgraded, the flow of traffic has not been improved upon.  The only update we have gotten in 150 years is that there is a countdown for signal change.  This is not revolutionary, but it is included on the Wikipedia page because there is nothing else to say about this highly important societal tool that impacts just about everyone.

It is beyond time for a change, a drastic change, one that incorporates all this technology to help ease the burden of stopping and starting at regularly controlled intervals. The flow of traffic is not natural like the rushing river, it is sporadic like the ever changing Midwestern weather.  We need a system where the signals monitor the accumulated cars and then makes an informed decision on when to change.  Yes, an informed decision that accounts for multiple aspects, a technological decision based on data and real life events, not arbitrary parameters such as every two minutes regardless of the situation.  A scenario where they don’t blink on set schedule just for the sake of changing.  This is not a difficult or expensive fix, I bet the city could do it on its smart phone.

Same for the stop sign.  Lets make then digital so that you only have to stop if there is another car registered. The sign always says slow, but can change to stop when it is needed.

There needs to be bus priority lanes and traffic signals so that riding the bus is not so slow. Taking the bus is hardly a viable option because of how terribly slow the travel is.  The forever bus, that is what it is commonly referred to. The bus needs to travel faster than the flow of traffic, not slower.

Say it like it is

All this hype around cell phones and people don’t even use them to talk.  When was the last time you had a conversation on the phone?  These pocket computers are so expensive and advanced and supportive of your career, personal and expressional life, why don’t we call it what it really is?   Honestly, it’s hardly a phone.  I mean the reception sucks consistently, plus nobody wants to hear your conversation, (please kept your eyes glued to the tiny pocket screen at all times) why are we still insistent on calling that pager a cell phone?

Beep beep, now who is making fun of the girl walking around with a pager on her belt.

Avoiding Adulthood

I am not good at being an adult at times.  I am very hesitant to change.  But now it is about time that I grew up.  It is about time that I face the music, the facts, and the reality.  I have some nice tools and small modern technological devices, this combined with my minimalistic attitude, I have a hard time splurging on more material and disposable things.  I don’t want more anything.  My life is complicated enough thanks I don’t need anything else to worry about.

But alas, it is time to grow up.  I am going to buy myself a real phone, a new phone, a smart thing.

Me and my magnetic fingers are concerned.

Wish us all luck.

If Magneto Were an Ordinary Girl

I have magnets embedded in my fingers.  Tiny yet powerful metallic pearls are in each of my fingertips, creating an imaginary disruptive pull that corrupts all things electronic or even modern.  It is like my heart is made of aluminum and my capillaries copper, but my fragile glass hands and plastic butterfingers interrupt the flow and break everything imaginary.  That is why technology and I are at odds.  We are arch nemesis because we repel each other stronger and definitively.

When I am around other people with their phones, computers, cameras, smart anything, I have to remember to keep my hands closed as to not disrupt their virtual communications.  If the word gets out about my tremendously terrible affect on all things technological, I will loose all friends, both real and imaginary.

This is why when you see me, my hands are clutched, straining to keep the world in virbatious and magnetic order.