I think as technology progresses, our brain cells begin to wither away and die at an ever increasing rate of speed. Information, convenience, and opinions are shoveled into our dull noggins like coal into a steam ship's engine barreling towards Portugal. It's often too fast to process, examine or contemplate. It is just ingested like a big fat Twinkie. Cream filling but no nutrients. The brain just shuts down for business or just stops trying to work as hard as it did for all those years. Why should it work hard? Who needs or wants to remember any of this stuff?
I picture a little man sitting at a desk in a huge room filled with file cabinets and well used boxes of books. This man works in the library of my brain. He used to be very busy. He would scurry here and run there, filing thoughts, documenting ideas and reading about interesting subjects to build upon the great vault of information which was my brain. He was fit and ready to take on any challenge but over the past few years, his life has become a bit boring. He doesn't always need to get up and has no motivation to file things for me to remember.
Passages and verses from literature are not that important anymore, so every so often, when he is really bored, he slaps some tape on those boxes of books to seal them up and sit them on a shelf. Ideas briefly come through on the brain's fax machine which he checks daily but most often only throws away since they are barely legible. In the recent years, my brain's little clerk has become fat, complacent and apathetic. He sits at his desk, with feet up, eating doughnuts and drinking coffee. His boss is now asleep, so he is left to goof off and hang out, taking up space and going with the flow. This picture worries me, but whom am I to blame? My brain is a huge muscle that needs exercise and stimulation to survive. Now it is becoming similar to a piece of ground round in your grocer's meat department.
What helps us to do things faster and more efficiently, also takes away our ability to think and reason for ourselves. Instant information, instant money, instant satisfaction has become the norm of everyday life. The kids today don't know what it is like to have to wait for an answer, wait for a movie to be released in the theater or even wait for a web page to appear on their computer screen. It is all there at our fingertips yet we are all more impatient that we've ever been. Some day, a computer will be manufactured with such a fast processor, that it will physically suck the users brain right out of their skull while booting. Not a bad idea. The way things are going, by then, we will not need anything but a specific data cable, a laptop and a bird brain to plug it into. With all that instant information, who will need to examine or contemplate? We have technology in place to do this for us. Now, with all this cutting edge, high tech help we should be drooling idiots by the year 2025.
One day last week I was at my desk, minding my own business when an email pops up on my screen. I proceeded to read the email, of course, because I'm pretty observant and smart. I also know that when the sun comes up it is "morning" and when it goes down, this means "night". Well, I'm not sure everyone gets the "electronic mail" concept. It's like the telephone in a way but I assume most people get that concept. If you work in an office with more than two hundred employees and send an email to someone on the other end of the building, several departments away, the idea is that email would be your friend. This technology was invented to save you a lot of time and help air breathers communicate. When someone who works in a completely different department, a different building, and obviously a different level of reality appears at my desk and asks "Did you get my e-mail?" I begin to worry. Would this person call someone's home and when there is no answer, proceed to drive to their house, knock on the door and say "Did you get my call? I called you, did you know that? I just thought I would check?".Sounds funny and is scary.
I proceeded to look up at this poor slob and say "Yes, right after you sent it to me. Did you think there was something wrong with the network, your computer, my computer? You came all the way over here to ask me if I got your e-mail" With a confused, dead pan look, the techno-wizard answers creatively, "I wanted to explain it to you." Well, isn't that considerate? What needs to be explained? After reading it again I began to understand why Bill Gates may think I didn't retain all of his critical instructions. Let's review. The subject line said "Meeting tomorrow at 11:00am". Could this be Mountain Time? Is the meeting in the Bahamas? Maybe not. After a look at the message content, I realize that it may be something inside the mail that is needing explanation. Was it written in Arabic? Is there a riddle involved? Do the words threaten national security? It doesn't seem to be any of those things but I can still understand why explanation is needed. The main body of the e-mail reads as follows: "Meeting Location: South Conference Room, Time: 11:00am, Subject: Third Quarter Office Moves, Note: Please bring individual plans and share concerns." I'm sure glad that this needed an explanation. All those confusing words and obscure phrases make my brain hurt.
What would I do without people like this? I know, I know - Keep my sanity. - BT