I play pool. As soon as I got good at it, it got expensive. I was finishing a game in fifteen minutes or less. This became very expensive since I was paying per game. So, I set myself a rule: I could not take the easiest shot. I got better. I spent more. I made another rule: I could not take the second easiest shot. After that, I simply upped my restrictions and had to take a shot with a strict difficulty level: off the bumper, off 2 bumpers, a combo, and a triple. Well, one day, I said heck with the rules, I want to feel awesome. I’m going to play a game taking all the easiest shots. I’ll probably finish it in five minutes, but leave the table feeling like a complete champ. That didn’t happen. The game lasted 45 minutes. I had spent so much time on the harder shots that I had lost my groove on the easy ones. The same thing will happen with technology. I want to give the advice to all human kind to keep this in mind. I want to tell them to remember their roots. Remember and practice the simple things in love. God forbid, if there was mass chaos, you don’t want to have to run out your door with your shoelaces untied.
Unfortunately, this advice is all but useless. Man will be man. People will be people. When afforded the opportunity, we are lazy. It is our nature to discard responsibilities when they are not necessary. It is survival of the fittest. It is our desire to reach a higher level of functioning: ever higher and higher. Why clutter the mind, why clutter your time, your life with unnecessary things? Why tie your shoes when you could be doing so much more important things? I don’t want to call it laziness, it’s not. The problem is dependency. It’s not always a good idea. Things change, technologies can disappear. People die. Things die. And if you are left without a shoe-tier, you could die. Just ask your mother…if she’s alive.
So, to divert from the physical, let’s move on to the intellectual. We’ve already got calculators, but I still remember having to learn the times table. Whatever happened to that, anyway? I can’t believe the crap my daughter brings home. Something about counting your fingers and taking away some and adding some and using so many on one hand and however many on the other and you are left with the answer. All I needed was a graph. All my parents needed were a whip and a graph. Funny, my gran has severe Alzheimer’s and she still knows her tables. I have a hard enough time with math without the calculator. What’s going to happen to my daughter when it’s taken away? She’s not going to have a clue because I don’t think she even understands the finger thing. I see her with that calculator. Besides, they only do the pretend learning of multiplication for a quarter, and then they go right to the computer. She’d be stupid to not just push through that one quarter then completely forget about her fingers. Besides, that’s discrimination. What about the kids with no fingers. And what about my grandkids? They don’t have a chance.
How far are we going to let this technology dependency go? Exactly how much are we going to let it do for us? As much as possible. We are creatures of efficiency. We cut corners. We like it easy. We forget the rewards of simple tasks so quickly. But we still conquer tasks. We desire increasingly difficult obstacles, just ask any gamer. I mean, that’s the point of any game. Would you want to be stuck on a 10 piece floor puzzle for the rest of your life? I doubt it. And, oh gosh, don’t tell my middle aged friends that they can never do a super-hard-advanced Sudoku. Or go ahead, give them a puzzle book with only easy ones and see if they don’t tell you where you can put it. So, we will keep pushing technology in our effort to push ourselves. But at what point will we be slaves to these inventions? In so many ways, we already are. We are forced to. For example: I hate DVDs. I horde VHS. I can’t help it. Besides my love for the retro and vintage, I have 3 kids. Hello?! How long do you think a DVD lasts in my house? Not long…unless you count the workout ones. Fortunately, I can still find VHS, of course they are not the new releases, but hey…Still, I have found a place in my heart to pity those poor 8 track tape lovers. What about those record things with movies on them? I’ve only seen one in my life. It was pretty cool…
So, what is the exact event that will change our dependency forever? The better question is: will we survive it? We have cars parking for us; we have computers filing for us, we have machines filling our prescriptions. But there is also human error. Maybe we should work together with these beings. Now, there’s a thought…We are going to push technology to do everything. It will be thinking for us as much as we can make it do for us. We have the ability to make it do just that. But at what point will it stop? What do we have that it doesn’t? Even emotion can be simulated. So can personality and originality. We will literally be able to make walking, talking, fully functioning humans…well almost humans. What will the difference be? Philosophical. It will be but a philosophical difference. And like many of our notorious villains in the past, some of these hubots will want to take over the world. That’s how much they’ll think for us. Will they succeed? That is a whole other debate. A very philosophical one. I think it would make a huge difference if we remembered the simplicities. I wouldn’t want our heroes to trip on their own shoelaces while trying to destroy our evil electrical clones.