the "twettle," a kettle that seems to send you a tweet when your water has boiled. I thought it was ironic that she tweeted that this was depressing, and then I got to thinking about whether it's depressing at all. In fact, the internet does seep into our lives in a disconcerting way. The other day I was doing some gardening, and I was struck by how...well, how 3-dimensional everything was. You "get around" in gardening in a completely different way than you get around the internet. Duh.
The funny thing is that spending a lot of time online makes "surfing" and "following links" and "googling" seem like the default. In fact, recently I was looking around the house for a lost...who knows what? (We constantly seem to lose things around here.) And it actually crossed my mind that I ought to be able to just google it. What better way to find what you're looking for? Searching in the real world is just so crude. You have to walk from room to room, open drawers, lift up stacks of stuff. Last thing I need: a twettle.
In my opinion, the virtualization of the world is one of the most intersting subjects that there is. Of course it only affects a fairly small percentage of the world's population, but for those of us immersed in it, it really is a significant change. Just one example is watching people find houses by staring at GPS locaters insead of where they actually are.
I have thought a lot about the negatives and positives of this particular version of the railroad riding on us, and I think the one clear negative (from my perspective) is the reduction of "free time" and a general acceleration of activity. Many professions now cary the implicit expectation of perpetual availalbily because of the ubiquity of communication technology. Sure you can work at home if you want: but you also are always working at home. It requires special effort to draw the lines.
Something has gone wrong. For example, yesterday Jean thanked us for reading her interview because it was "so long". Actually, the interview isn't very long in terms of my pre-internet attention span. It's good to sit down and read an old-fashioned book for a while every day.
Another negative--If you're planning a trip, you can find out everything about your destination in advance, even using google earth to scope out the terrain. So by the time you get there, all sense of exploring the unknown is lost. That's unfortunate. On the other hand, I think it's cool to have conversations with people in far away places. If I stuck to having conversations with people whole live within 10 miles, I'd be stuck talking about...who knows what.
Jean, I just love your sense of humor. This post cracks me up!
Doesn't a kettle just whistle when it wants you? (At least, that's what Lauren Bacall told me.)
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