In Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, 3001: The Final Odyssey, he made a very interesting point, he said that, “…a man from the year 1000 would regard today’s technology as magic.”
In the same vein, I believe that he also said that much of the technology in the year 3000 will seem like magic to a person from our era.
But so many of the gizmos that I’m using today seem like pure magic to the 1940’s-boy that is clamoring inside my head.
I do things that I just couldn’t have conceived of when I was a young man. For example, I use my phone for all my banking and bill paying, to take quality photographs, as a photo album, as a calculator, as a means of receiving and sending messages and mail, for navigation in any part of the world, as a flashlight, alarm clock, dictionary, phone book, newspaper, calendar, weather report source, and much more. Perhaps, the most drastic thing of all is that I have given away all my books to local libraries.
The few books I keep are for decoration and sentimental reasons. I have thousands, perhaps millions, of volumes in my pocket, on my phone, to read at my pleasure and usually read three or four books at the same time: fiction in the morning, history in the afternoon, and maybe a little philosophy toward the end of the day. My faithful friend always bookmarks the last page read so I don’t get confused.
When my wife and I go on a trip we no longer pack any books. Zero! We just load the books that we plan to read into the phone and go off on our trip never missing a lick. I read the New York Times and my local paper every day, even while tripping. Furthermore, if some interesting reading opportunity arises, even in the middle of the ocean, we download the appropriate tome and become instant experts in even the most arcane subjects. Speaking of travel, even if we are gone for months, we keep track of our accounts and bill paying with you know what.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t borrow books from the library anymore. It’s easier and cheaper to buy them from Kindle. I like libraries and browse the shelves as in days of yore. My visits are usually to attend meetings.
People often tell me that they like the look and feel of a bound paper book and would miss it terribly if they couldn’t hold in in their hands.
I, for my part, like the look and feel of my phone. It’s so light. I like its smooth, warm surface. I like the way it smells. Beyond that, I like that I can look up words I don’t understand immediately without interrupting my reading. I can share interesting bits and articles with friends. I can bring up a map if I care to look more closely at the geography of a read.
We just got a new TV. It’s a smart one and twice as big as the Old 40-incher. It does lots of tricks. Thank heavens, we had our grandchildren to set it up and explain the magic in terms we could understand.
Oh, and I forgot to say that, without the use of wire connections, I dictated these musings and printed them, from my phone and onto your computer,
As the wise man said, “Gee whiz! It’s magic!”