Friday, January 21, 2011

So it begins

Well I'm back to posting my thoughts on the ultra-saturated world of weblogs and the internet in general.  The cliche is that opinions are like assholes-- everyone has one.  If that's the case, then I have a million assholes, and this is the venue for conveying them to the world.

Anyhow, I type this on my new laptop.  I'm much more excited about the portable music recording and editing possibilities for this contraption than I am for any other reason for having it.  I did buy that Tascam Digital 4-track recorder, but my capabilities for editing were limited thanks to my previous relic of a computer.  My resistance to electronic gadgets is not out of an inherent luddite attitude.  I grew up with a healthy affinity for modern technology, rapidly soaking up any info on the subject thanks to a subscription to PC/Computing and an internet subscription as a kid.  I used to have the ambition to become an electrical engineer, then a computer engineer, and then a computer programmer.  Ah, despite an "affinity for language," writing code couldn't sustain my interest for more than a semester in high school.

Nowadays, it appears as though we're all shackled to our electronic devices.  Smartphones become more and more ubiquitous.  Tablets are slowly gaining a foothold in the affluent beach cities I now have to frequent.  I'm still puttering around with my seemingly ancient pay-as-you-go phone that I paid $30 for.  I resisted getting a cell phone for the longest time.  It's probably the little bit of Django Reinhardt in me that stands in opposition to the electronic tether.  Back in his day, often enough he'd forgo any commitments he had made for the day in order to go for a walk in the park.  I guess the way I look at it is that I spend enough of the looking at an electronic screen through the screen in my head.  It's nice to simply stop and smell the damn roses.

Now I'm not about to ignore any of the advantages offered by the technology in my life.  Youtube and Wikipedia are probably my top two most frequented sites, and I am extremely grateful for the resources availed by them.  However, I'm of the (perhaps mistaken) idea that this technology exists in order to enrich my life, not hold it hostage.  I'm reminded of a great article I read about the "coming technological singularity" and the potential dangers contained therein.  While I'm more inclined to agree with Douglas Hofstadter's assessment that it won't be so easy (or necessarily even possible) to just transplant human consciousness into bytes and silicon, I don't find it hard to believe that (assuming economic and political situations allow) sometime in the future we do find ourselves irreversibly "wired."  While this may make life more "convenient" so to speak, will we necessarily be more spiritually fulfilled?  Oh, there's the dangerous line I might be crossing--moving from technobabble to quasi-religious psychobabble.  Now, obvious to anyone that knows me, I'm not necessarily talking about the replacement of God in our lives with a silicon calf.  I'm just always wary about anything that merely fulfills and increases our desires rather than abating them.  This is a topic I could go on about, but I'll leave it here for now.

Anyway, I'll end this with one of my favorite pieces by greatest rhythm section ever.

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