Lamenting change

Ever notice how technology is speeding up? I went to get my minidisc recorder fixed at the Sony shop and the technician told me (incorrectly it seems, for now) that Sony will no longer be making them. "The minidisc is dead." The CD and DVD will be next. Then the hard drive. Who needs them when you can get tiny flash cards that can store 4 or even 8 GB. It's not a long shot to think that they will soon store 60, 100, or 800 GB in a piece of plastic shorter than a matchbox one tenth the width. Nen told me that someone nailed an SD card to a tree and was still able to get most of the data off it.

So familiar data storage devices will go the way of the typewriter. I remember in the mid '80s lamenting the fact that typewriters were destined for the scrapheap with the rise of computers. Surely we would still use typewriters occasionally? It seems we don't.

It's funny how things we have taken for granted as constants in this modern age are rapidly falling by the wayside. Two other examples are 35mm film and public telephones.

What is driving this exponential development in technology? Why is it that from the 1300s to the late 1700s there was virtually none? Today we talk of obsolescence in terms of months or weeks. Or days.

I think you can understand this process better by looking at a human being as a microcosm of it. We often consider things to be impossible and this alone prevents us from tackling them. Once someone takes the plunge and opens a particular door we see a corridor to other doors. They open to others and so on. The possibilities become endless.

Our forefathers considered many things to be impossible. "Trains can't travel faster than 30 mph because the human body is not built to withstand such speeds. People's heads will blow off." Once such self-imposed limitations are lifted, entire universes of unexplored possibilities are opened up. The more you explore, the more corridors you find and the more doors you have to open. It becomes exponential.

So don't lament the pace of technology. Embrace it, and use it as a model for your own life. Don't put up your own limitations. There are enough out there already.
Post a Comment