Before Google Wave
Before GPS Tracking systems on cars and mobile phones
Before Big Brother
Before Dave Matthew’s Ants were marching
Before chat rooms
Before the Apple Hammer Thrower dawned the drones into a new world
Before Terry Gilliam’s vision of Brazil
George Orwell eloquently penned a story so reamed in horror and fear that it could only be dismissed as fanatical fiction. The joke may be on the 6.2 billion robots that inhabit the earth.
1984 was not a piece of literature but a warning. The industrial revolution that begin post Civil War was a newborn baby just opening its eyes to a world of possibility. Assembly lines enhanced our ability to mass produce and thus lead to a world of gluttony. Let’s not blame Mr. Ford or Mr Rockefeller. Eli Whitney is the forefather of the industrial revolution when he managed to develop a device that could mass produce cotton for textiles. Oh yes, the cotton gin. Back to the Industrial Revolution. There were initial limitations. We were confined to set hours due to darkness and limited means of communications Step in, stage right Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison who gave us the phone and light (Not without the assistance of Phineas Bogg and his trusting boy wonder Voyager). If you did not get the Voyagers reference I will not dock you points. Fast forward one hundred and forty years later past Teddy Roosevelt, the rise of the National Park System, Woodrow Wilson and the United Nations, more states, the Great Depression, Truman, the bomb, the rest of the Billy Joel song, Apple’s technological explosion, AIDS, Rent, virtual reality, WII and now….
We are becoming victims of our own self created genius. Has innovation made our daily lives easier or sucked away the emotion and spirituality that once completed our very being?
We know we are being watched and we have accepted that. Our obsessions, our addictions, our fascinations are all being captured and stored by the very beings that we have chosen to protect us from violations of the principles of freedom.
Quite a conundrum we have gotten ourselves into.
Can we reverse the curse that is controlling our lives? Do we accept it? Or perhaps there is a compromise.
I can suggest a few ways to blend your lives to create a fine mix of virtual and actual reality:
1) Roll around in some leaves
2) Make a snowman
3) Buy a plane ticket without planning anything and just go
4) Lay on a beach at night and just watch the stars twinkle
5) Hug someone and tell them you love them
6) Hide your blackberry or IPhone for one full weekend
7) Fly a kite/Jump out of a phone/Parasail – Anything that involves wind and defying gravity
8 ) Coach a youth sports team
9) Foster a dog
10) Close your eyes and take a deep breathe!
The rest is up to you.