My spouse and I are both what are called early adopters of technology. We went quickly from the 78’s we inherited from our parents (78 RPM records) to 33’s to 8 tracks to cassette tapes to CDs and now we use MP3 and MP4. All of that has occurred in a mere half decade.
We got our first home computer in 1987. We bought our first Video disk player about that time. We had a television but no access to broadcast television. Movies were just right for us.
We were using the internet regularly in the late 1980s in 1996 bought a car online. The dealer had never heard of it and did not quite know what to make of our request but we worked it out.
The car we bought online was our red Subaru that died in the fire. We were living in Alaska and decided to move back to the lower 48 because of family. We drove to Alaska in our old red Subaru (1998). Going back East we did not have time to drive. We sold our old red Subaru station wagon to a community service agency and bought a new red Subaru online.
A friend who was moving to the Anchorage Bowl from the Alaska bush needed a car since you never left the bush with a car, they were too hard to get there. Because there were no roads, the cars came on cargo ships or in the cargo hold of commercial airplanes. Either way it was a big deal. Our friend sold his care when he moved in from the bush. He bought our car in a sale we transacted over the internet. When moving day came we drove to the airport, got out of our car, got on the plane, landed in New Hampshire got off the plane and meet a person from the Subaru dealership and drove off in our new Red Subaru. My friend picked up our former car at the airport the afternoon on the morning we left.
That is what technology can get for you when it goes well.
On the other hand, technology gets us just so far because however far it takes us we think it should take us one or 12 more steps further. If you are like me, you spend as much or more time trying to get the technology to bow to your will than it would take to hand deliver 1000 miles away the document that is bringing you to your knees.
Tonight I tried to electronically sign and return three pages of a real estate listing so that we can put some land we own on the market. Hopefully we will be able to sell it and have more funds for recovering from this fire. It took me over an hour and three computer programs before I conceded defeat. I did get one document to work but the others were too obstreperous. I have printed them out so I can sign them and then promptly loose them for weeks before having to be reminded by the agent that I needed to send the papers and I will have to start all over.
Our 36th wedding anniversary is Monday, just two days from now. Four our anniversary in 1988, my spouse gave me the latest technology, a CD player with amazing speakers He bought a few disks. I only remember one. The others faded into nothingness when I heard the music on the one. That one disk was Christori’s Dream by David Lanz. When I heard the music I was enraptured. All could say it that I had never heard it but that I had always known it. That may be the best of all possible uses for technology.
It is intoxicating finding something you have never known directly but that you always knew was there. With our multinational world technology, the world is literally at our fingertips. If we can dream it we can experiences it. The Internet has had less ability to level the playing field than we early adopters had dreamed but the chances that it has brought to us are far more than we dreamed.
Using today technology that does exist and asking technology to go many step beyond what we have now is the way that technology progresses. Someone thinks of something that is missing, often something that is missing and cool, and we are off on another round of finding what we had never known but always knew was there.
I hope our house is like that. We are encountering yet more problems and delays. We are back to the proverbial drawing board. We have been at that broad form months.I want to see a how what is on that board will look in real life. The 3-d renderings of my house are falling short now. i wants to go touch the whole thing. I know there are many emails, phone calls, video conferences and Skypes yet to be had.
When the house finally does arrive, it, along with our washer and dryer and all of our computers and pads and PDAs and smart phones will belong to a network of ours. We can ask it to turn the heat up or down from our cell phones. We can turn on the oven on so that it will be hot when we arrive with take and bake pizza. We are thinking that we should teach it to order pizza for us. Perhaps it can teach the Subaru how to do takeout. If they can do that I certainly can do the dishes.