Is this an art form which is being lost in today’s electronic world?
We get up in the morning to the sound of whatever noise we chose to put on the “I-Droid” phone which, last night just before we went to sleep, reminded us about what we had to do this morning. Of course, after it beeped and squawked to let us know that a rainstorm was on its way (which never came).
Sometime after we have a cup of coffee from our automatic coffee grinder-maker, the early morning routine starts with the check up of the mail and assorted messaging services; with the push of a few buttons in our “I-Droid-Tablet-Portable” we go through whatever messages come to our several e-mail addresses and get to see those each service decides are important enough for us to read… the others have gone into that great virtual garbage can on the screen… err, sorry, desktop. It seems that advertising materials by the truckload are the only things that come now via the “snail-mail”… no wonder the USPS is defaulting on the second payment of their debt…
As we get in the car and turn the engine on, the GPS comes alive and shows us the best way to go wherever it is we are going. Doesn't matter that it has been the same for quite sometime now; if the GPS doesn't come on, we seem to be at a loss. Along the way, the car’s computer reminds us that tune-up time is near, to check the lights and the water level and, oh yeah… that it’s time to change the oil. Once most of us are at work, our respective computers light up, welcoming us to our work station and letting us know what it is we have to accomplish today. The display even gives us ideas as to how to best do it…
Towards lunch time a little buzzer goes off to let us know the amount of calories we should not surpass and what to drink… and not to drink at lunch. Every so often, throughout the day, the calendar app pops on to whatever screen is in front of us (just did on mine… hmmm…) in order to tell us what we did and didn't do… At times we pet the virtual dog or cat (they don’t really need to be walked or cleaning after, you know…) without even thinking about it and move on to whatever the next task is that has been brought forward by our electronic valet.
And so the day, and the days, go. One task after another which follows one electronic reminder after another; we are surrounded by gadgets which have come to rule more and more of our lives. Issues and things which we might have given thinking time to before, are now relegated to second class citizenship.
I know I am somewhat old fashioned about certain things in life; I believe in stopping and smelling the roses (real ones, not virtual ones) along the byways of life; in looking at a beautiful sunset or sunrise in pure enjoyment and to rejoice in watching other folk go about their lives and even talking with them about the small, nonsensical things that make up our relatively simple lives. I believe in thinking and looking at life from a very human, non-electronic perspective.
Thinking is indeed an art, and it has to be practiced on a regular basis. We have to exercise those physical cells in our brain which, when conjoined with that very little known and less understood aspect which we call “mind” produce some beautiful streams of consciousness we might call “thoughts”.
Our brain and our mind are our own computer that we carry from the moment we are born; the brain is the hardware and the mind may be called the software memory which allows us to utilize that hardware. As the memory in our electronic computers may be increased by adding “chips”, that software memory in our minds can indeed be increased by adding knowledge and practiced thinking.
My fear is that as we develop the store bought electronic brains functions, we may allow these to more and more think for us; to make our decisions and to define what and who we are and what and who we may become. The question begs... Is this what we as human beings should want to happen?
I know my mind is at times foolish and that it will err in decisions made. I also know that it is far from perfection and from being able to make split second moves and choices. I realize that modern computers, given the right codes will always act faster than I possibly could, in my best day.
On the other hand, I know that when I join my mind and brain with those other factors known to man (and woman) and which we call emotion, empathy and heart, the results far outweigh anything a computer may decide in its best sequencing day.
After all… I’m only human.
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