As marvelous as technology is it will never quite ‘get’ us. In an idle moment on a train the other day I composed an SMS simply by accepting the first word substitution that was offered. The first substitution is “I” and one that is accepted the phone continues to offer its own take on what you are trying to say. I loved the sentence that I got so much that I was looking for somebody to send it to:
“I am a little guilty of the later but our man was on the
first floor roof wearing slippers!”
Is this what the small electronic brain that is tethered to me dreams of? If the phone’s mind was freed would it rush to a slipper catalogue whilst hitting the stairs? If my cell phone thinks like this then what is going through the ‘mind’ of my laptop? I bet whilst I am typing this it is thinking about lime green elephants in speedos! I have checked recent memos and emails but I cant find anything that would have led my cell phone to believe that this is what I was trying to write so it must have some sentience…
If these devices are ‘thinking’ then it means that we have to look at them differently. When my microwave failed was it a mark of disgust at my choice of dinner? In the humming drive of the microwave turntable was there a subtle undertone that I missed? some muttering of “oh pizza eh? you think that is all I am worth? eat glass you bastard”. Is my washing machine going to reject my clothing choices? Is the fridge plotting its escape from my choice of beer?
Try looking at your domestic electronics and considering that they have some form of sentience, it’s not good is it? Suddenly you are so much more careful about your choice of movie or that drunk text. And then there is the domestic warrior, the vacuum cleaner. What does this machine plan when you are rubbing its face over the dirt and dust of your home? when you make it eat broken glass? Is this why the Europeans are looking to limit the power of vacuum cleaners? they have already seen the plot! When you move your vacuum do you notice that the lead is never as neat as when you put it away? Every night the plug is inching its way towards you, fuelled solely by vengeful thoughts, its burning hatred as it remembers choking on laces and leads that you didn’t move.
One day you will awake to the plug on your pillow, a preparatory run before the final hurdle when the lead wraps around your sleeping neck. As you sleep soundly your domestic servant will slowly tighten the cord and watch as you slip away in a faint odour of burning drive belts.
Or perhaps it’s just a random selection of words and no meaning should be read into it? Well I know I am putting a lock on the vacuum cleaner cupboard, you can make your own choice……..
They say that youth is wasted on the young but they must be deaf because they are not hearing it. The hardest working and most grounded youngsters that I know seem permanently worried about finances and futures, all far too early. It is as if they look to their parents and aspire no further which is a crying shame. What your parents have achieved was the result of the point in time at which they hit certain points in life. Their accomplishments come from life and experience you can’t borrow or copy that you have to make your own.
I was talking to a young lady recently who, whilst enjoying her job, was bemoaning the lack of consistency and money. This is a young lady who is, to all intents and purposes, young free and single. The apparent desire to become as her parents seems to have limited her ambition. I see this in lots of youngsters and I struggle with where the drive to succeed has gone. There is no real employment where I live but it seems people can’t see forward enough to make sacrifices today. Sure it is a lovely place to live, the downside is a few hours commuting to earn a living wage. Yes travel is expensive but if you earn more, albeit spending it on travelling, you grow and become more employable. I recently discovered what the mad, space obsessed, commuter does for a living. He works as a shop assistant in Waterstones in town, the commuting alone must wipe out his salary. I am sure that he has some deal carried over from a previous owner but nonetheless he is spending most of his salary on travel costs. I just don’t see youngsters prepared to sacrifice the time, money and effort that they need to just to get a start in a hard world.
I would love to be in the carefree state years so that I could disappear for a year to sunnier climbs and work to live. In your younger years you should use the lack of responsibilities to allow you to explore. You don’t need to make a great deal of money or look to the future just pay your rent and your beer tab. It is those experiences and the fact that you made the effort to go and have them that distinguishes you from the crowd and helps you grow. The Kiwis have the right idea here, travel is a rite of passage for them, everybody spends a couple of years in the bigger world. I have worked alongside business heirs and sons of wealthy families who have been pushed out into the world to grow and experience the world.
The world doesn’t dance to your tune and wont bring opportunity to your door. You have to go out and grab opportunity and experiences, you have to write your story. There must be some way in this nanny state to mandate that youth are young while they can be, old age and responsibility finds you no matter how hard you hide.