The Machines Know No Bounds

13 01 2012

Technology is a strange beast. A three headed, fiery metal monster with a dozen horns, three rows of razor-sharp teeth, claws the size of Volkswagens and a back writhing with thousands of black, whip-like tentacles. It has a gluttonous taste for flesh and a temper that makes Godzilla look like a big cuddly bear.

It’s ever evolving, changing, growing, and becoming a more frightening beast with the passing of every decade. But it’s not all bad.

The tentacles are kind of soft and its iron hide is shiny and if you rub it just right, it sort of moo’s and pants. Yes, it is a scary looking thing but once you get to know it, spend a bit of time together, maybe catch a movie, you’ll find it’s actually really swell. Heart of gold and all that jazz. Think about it. It only wants to help.

If you asked Encarta, which honestly who asks Encarta anything anymore? (Besides me) It would say technology is the application of tools and methods: the study, development, and application of devices, machines, and techniques for manufacturing and productive processes. Boooooooring.

You make new stuff. Stuff that makes things easier. There we go. Simplified. Or, if I am recalling my high school days correctly: technology is an extension of mankind. Or mankind’s ability. To what? Oh, yeah, good question. I don’t know. Brew an iced decaf tall sugar-free vanilla Valencia non-fat less -ice caramel macchiato with a triple shot, at home? Or dig holes. Whatever.

So who gives a crap anyway? Well the short answer is everybody. Even pygmies. You come up with some sort of fancy new bamboo-carved, T-85 skull-cracking blowgun. They’d be all over that thing. Like uh, pygmies. Yeah. On a new blowgun. It shoots farther, has a safer loading mechanism (no more accidental inhalations of ammunition!) and kills like you couldn’t do with your bare hands! (This would be the non-messy variety of slaughter.)

I give a crap because it impacts what I do. I could write longhand. That is to say, with pen and paper. Or pencil and paper. Or feather quill and papyrus. What have you. But I don’t. I like typing. Do you realize how much faster I can write by typing instead of physically writing? It’s at least ten times. Or maybe a thousand. Truth is I’m not sure. Never was good with the maths. But I know it would be noticeable.

Oh and I can read my writing on a computer. You sit me down with a pen and some paper and ask me to write, I will. But it’ll be something future archeologists will be wondering about for centuries. They’ll be devoting lifetime’s worth of study to finding the Rosetta stone of the spastic-monkey-seizure-scrawl from the proto primates of upstate New York.

Just saying.

I give a crap because it makes not only my job easier but my product more accessible. Could I sell handwritten books? Maybe. With a combination of my own handwriting and my inability to make changes to the manuscript since the editors won’t be able to read it, I don’t think my sales will hit very high. Not to short change myself, but come on. Let’s be serious here for a moment.

Plus there are about a million things that wouldn’t exist if people weren’t into technological innovation.

Take the internet for example. Or tanks. Microwaves! Our predecessors weren’t content with snail mail (remember stamps?) or running through fields with ‘man-sized’ weaponry, or cooking with nothing but fire! Technology. Extending our ability to write irate hate-mail, blow people up from further away and cook our food with nuclear power of the holy atom.

Which brings me to what sparked this whole tirade. Earlier in the week I picked up my son from school. Now, the cult has been leaving me alone since winter hit. Perhaps the freezing temperatures force them into places I don’t stand. Ones that aren’t in the wind.

I will risk frostbite to avoid the wailing cries of the PTA.

At any rate. The tips of the tendrils of our future robotic enemy were clearly visible in front of the school. One woman stood near the bushes reading who-knows-what on her kindle.

 Another fellow had his Ipad flipped open. Couldn’t see what he was doing. I think it was probably angry birds based on his excited mini-seizures as he swiped his finger across the surface.

Two others were on their cell phones. I’m guessing they were texting. Oh and there was me. I was jotting down notes on my Iphone for this bombastic bit of bloggery.

Skynet is coming. Its spies, Amazon and Apple, are already here.