Saturday, January 21, 2012

Communications devolution

Seeing an e-reader on the train the other day, I was inspired with an overwhelming desire not to get one. No surprises there as I am an old grouch in a younger person's body, and I have that inspiration almost every day, but seriously, why buy them? Because you can't get a paper book with buttons on it? If I had a book like that, I'd spend all my time changing channels and never bother actually reading a book, which would somewhat defeat the purpose, old bean.

It's getting harder to keep up with the latest thing in the world of stuff. we don't just have to deal with the communications revolution, but the communications insurrection that happened after the first communications revolution, and then the communications putsch that happened after the communications insurrection, and then the communications coup, and the ongoing communications civil war, and so on, and so on. If I had kept up with all the things I was meant to keep up with in the thirty odd years that I have been on this earth, I would now be in possession of not only a laptop, and a blog, and an email, and a mobile phone, and a television, but I would also have an iPod, an iPad, an iBook, a video player, a cassette deck, a tape answering machine, a Super 8 player, a twitter account, a tumblr account, a fax machine, a Nintendo, an Atari, a Commodore 64, a Kodak camera, a ham radio set, a UHF, several phrase books of Japanese-English, French-English, Auslan-English, and possibly a set of message flags, a pigeon farm, and a telegraph machine. What would I do with all those things? I don't even want a bloody NBN, which Stephen Conroy keeps threatening me with.*

I mean, it's all a bit much for me. When I was a kid, communications was simple: the phone would ring, you would race your brothers to get it, and wrestle it out of their hands before shouting


And waiting for the lovely connection ladies on the other end to ask you nicely if your parents were around.** Now that is what communications should be about, ladies and gentlemen. Why did things ever change?

*Should be another ten years or so before it arrives anyway, there is that at least.

**Yes, we had a telephone exchange in Balranald. I guess we must have been one of the last places in Australia to get a wired up properly.


Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

"It's always sad and traumatic and occasions nostalgic, purist paeans to the days of yore whenever the dear old childhood technology gets edged out by something more modern. Plato, for instance (or one of those other dead Greeks), was bummed when the written word started taking off. He thought it would be the ruin of civilization if people didn't have to memorize everything all the time."
- Twisty Faster

TimT said...

Hmmm. That is a knowledgeable comment. Does it come in book form?

Email: timhtrain - at -

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