Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Science and Technology”

The High Speed of Information

The speed in which we get our information today has changed our lives forever. I was watching a movie from the late 70’s or early 80’s with my twenty year old daughter the other night, it was a thriller. There was a murderer on the loose and one of his victims got away. Unfortunately they were in a cabin out in the woods and the murderer had ‘cut the phone line”.  My daughter laughed and wondered why they wouldn’t just use their smartphone. Was there no reception?

slow-down Not A Race

I had to remind her that there were no cell phones back then ( way back in the day).  She really had  to wonder how people dealt with that back then. What happened in the old days?  I told her that the cell phone ( and the Internet) has changed the way history  is made and our lifestyles in more ways than she would every realize, since she grew up with both for most of her life.

We are so accustomed to instant feedback, instant information, instant responses and access to communicating with just about anyone anywhere.  Libraries, long distance calls and having to wait for answers are a thing of the past for the most part.

Maybe that’s why everyone is so much less patient it seems these days. Every thing is “now”… and quick. In lines at the store scanning our groceries, paying by plastic card with swipe, packing 2 things to each plastic bag and driving the cart to the car asap.

Even texts can’t wait?  A friend of mine texted me the other day, and when I didn’t respond quick enough the follow-up text was ” are you okay?” Nice enough to ask but really.. I was just busy. Maybe that is the ultimate issue with driving and texting. Everyone is looking for an immediate answer?   I always thought it was the advantage of text vs. voice calls. No hurry, just texting…. but that doesn’t seem to always apply.

So the idea that the answer could be  “wait I will have to think about it” may seem a bit put-offish.  But that may have been the good thing about what was “the good old days”- the pause for thought before answering .  Seems like those immediate answers could provide immediate satisfaction, but can also mean immediate damage.

Pause here for some thought on the matter. 🙂

So the bad guys in the movies these days? … gotta watch out. The world will know you are coming in one tweet, text and post on the Internet.



The World in Your Pocket

BrickphoneSmartphones have changed how we live our lives. I think it is amazing that in my lifetime so many things have changed,  but this is a historical time when smartphones/cell phones have really made a permanent impact on my family.

The camera inside alone, sitting in everyone’s pocket allows very little of life’s imperfections to pass by. Now every mistake, every victory, every catastrophe, every violent act, every special moment can be recorded and broadcast out into the world-wide web to be permanently entered in the cyber record.  It is “instant”. Since there are so many cameras in so many pockets, and every person can choose where to point it- even the subject matter can be managed by our individual point of view.

Things off the top of mind:

  • You are never alone (if you chose to be). “Social” has a much different meaning today. Not only text, but  real-time pictures and videos change your perception of how you are connected to humans in your family to around the world in places you’d only read about.
  • You have access to what seems like infinite information. Like I have  blogged before the friendly argument on a bar-stool at the local pub has changed forever. Just Google it. Share your opinion, it could be news in an hour.
  • You have access to hundred of thousands of books (probably millions). It is like having the entire library in your pocket. Summon (and pay for it) and you are ready to read things that may have been lost in the back-stacks at your city library.
  • You have entertainment where ever you want it; those long waits in line, those down-times when you are just looking for something to keep your mind going. Movies, music, even art are at your finger tips.
  • There’s a new definition of “getting lost”. It may mean that your Google Maps or navigation application may not be working correctly. Or that your battery has died I suppose. But stop and ask for directions? Hmmm.

That is just a start. I couldn’t have imagined as a child that every one would have their own phone numbers, their own built-in answering machine. That you could make long distance calls with a phone in your pocket without thinking about the “long distance” charges. That you could conference friends and family together and perhaps even see their expressions – from something that you would be holding in your hand. Virtually anywhere.

So I marvel at the idea of where my children will access the world when they are my age.

Decades from now there will be something our children cannot fathom, but I wonder what it is?

Today, they see the technology advances as a matter-of-fact. It will happen and it will evolve. What will be their marvel?


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