So. This is my first ever blog. Wow! Okay well, had vague idea about what I would say, but not sure if I will actually be able to make anything coherent out of it – do please bear with me whilst I attempt to get this right whilst making every cock-up known to man and possibly also a few whose existence up until this point has hitherto only been hypothesised. Have just deleted all the crap I wrote on my phone earlier as being unsuitable and in process have found something else to comment on.
Things that Amaze Me.
I expect a lot of the things that I find incredible or amazing are simply a little too complex for my non-technogeek brain to cope with. Modern technology, for example. I just sent a Note that I typed on my iPhone to my email address…..and it was there WITHIN SECONDS! How is that even possible?? How can it be that I can press a button on one device and send a few typed words out into the ether, for them to re-appear on my laptop screen almost instantly? It’s like that teleporting chocolate bar in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Oh I know that it’s all to do with data being sent over wifi interwebby techie-wechie stuff…but to me it just seems miraculous, even after I’ve been using it for months. Reminds me of what Arthur C. Clarke once said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” If you think about it, say someone from the middle ages had somehow (perhaps via the Tardis?!) been catapulted into the twentieth century and happened to witness…oh, I don’t know…a helicopter taking off, or a heart transplant, or even heard a radio playing. S/he would undoubtedly be struck dumb with astonishment, jaw gaping, eyes popping, the lot.
Just as we would if we were to see someone (for example) actually teleporting themselves today. Which leads on to something else. I guess a lot of people around my age or younger maybe feel slightly scornful (entirely wrongly, of course) of people our parents’ age or older who don’t seem to be able to grasp computers or the internet. “Oh I don’t understand it all” they say, “I don’t trust things on that internet, ebay and whatnot”. How silly! we think. How backward of them, are they really so narrow-minded as to be unwilling even to try it out?
But let’s think about what our reactions would be if, as postulated a moment ago, we were to witness someone teleporting from one side of the room to the other, perhaps using dual teleporting devices, one at either end. We are struck dumb with astonishment, jaws gaping, eyes popping and all the rest of it. (For better example of this reaction, refer to Jurassic Park, when Sam Neill and thingummy first see the dinosaurs. My absolute favourite moment in the whole film). How can this be?? How is it possible that this person’s (call him Bob) atoms have evaporated from point A and reassembled perfectly MOMENTS LATER at point B?
Bob just smiles nonchalantly, he’s done this several times now and teleporting no longer holds any fears for him, despite the fact that he still doesn’t entirely understand himself how it all works. He looks at our incredulous faces and grins again. “Care to have a go?” he asks casually.
“What??” we cry. “You mean…you want us to step inside that thing and be totally disassembled, evaoprating COMPLETELY and then hopefully re-appear over there in that other thingy? Are you out of your mind?? It might not be safe! In fact it almost certainly isn’t! And what if it doesn’t work?? If I don’t reassemble back again…I’ll disappear! Does that mean I’ll die? Can you get people back if that happens?”
Bob reassures us. It’s been done hundreds of times now, no one has ever been lost, or indeed hurt in any way. Once or twice people may have taken a little longer to re-appear, but that was just low battery power on the machine – but it’s too late. There is no way he is going to convince us now. Bob is visibly disappointed. He even demonstrates the device again to show us how easy and harmless it is…but to no avail. The horrifying image of our bodies, dissolved into billions of atoms and caught, trapped forever in space has taken hold and we will not be persuaded.
Of course, a few years later, when we have our own children and this technology has become almost universally used everywhere, people are continually popping in and out of thin air quite cheerfully as they go about their daily business, going to the shops, fetching children from school etc. But we, the older generation, never quite lose our mistrust of something that we still don’t fully understand, although our children have tried many times to explain it to their poor woolly-headed elders.
Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that we should try to be patient and show more consideration and understanding for older people who have difficulty grasping the technological wonders of our modern age: email, internet banking, google, facebook and all the rest of it. Because we too may one day find ourselves in a very similar situation and then also suffer the embarrassment of our own children knowing more about the world they grew up in than we ourselves could ever know. And we will no doubt be hoping that they show us the same consideration and understanding, in the face of such bewildering changes and advances, that I’m sure our parents and grandparents would like from us today.
Rambling ends here. Comments much appreciated. Hopefully boredom has not set in and made your brain start to rot. Unfortunately no liability accepted if such is the case 😉