Spring versus the Machine
Do we have to choose?
With winter quickly losing its grip on our lives, and the days getting warm and sunny, I pause on this park bench to enjoy the journey that I am blessed to be on. A few short years ago I was running around like a madman and getting there tired and exhausted. I have decided to slow down my pace and walk there instead. I find that I get there sooner and less tired when I walk. I am not homeless and without purpose. As a matter of fact, I work very hard and I have tremendous pride in the level of education, accomplishment, and life experience that I am achieving with the resources and time that I have available to me.
Like many of the people I play and work with, we have become slaves to the machines. This is not a rant about all the evils of “the machines”. We have created the machines to make our lives easier. We created them so that we could perform tasks more efficiently and more safely. We also wanted them to perform all those mundane jobs that we were rapidly getting sick of.
What we did not consider was the depth of attachment we would develop with the machine. The machine is always there to help us accomplish a task or perform a function. He has no emotion, so we can choose to call him names, yell at him and even hit him at times, without fear of reprisal. We have become so attached to the machine, that now, … we work for him! We cannot leave him unattended for long periods of time and we feel lonely and naked when he is not there with us.
I did mention that he has no emotion so therefore he does not care about our feelings. He cares even less about our family and our friends. He demands total obedience. He demands that we be on time and always there to manipulate his levers, his buttons, or his keyboard. Some of his younger cousins have keypads and biometric functions of the “touchy-see-me” kind, hell some of them are happy to only take your picture.
The more I try to make him seem inhuman, the more emotional I become. So many of my favorite companions are machines. They cook my food, weigh my foods to regulate my weight, and they even grind and blend my meals so that I don’t have to work so hard at chewing and eating them. Machines do all my complicated calculations so that I don’t to spend weeks and months on long versions of calculus or astronomy.
Machines brought me the breakfast that I had this morning and they even cooked it for me. Another machine kept track of the time while it was cooking so I could surf the internet to purchase a new Spot Gen 3 Satellite Messenger for my son, so he can stay in contact with his family while he is on his vacation.
When I receive this machine I will bring it to him in my truck. Its air-conditioned environment, push button music functions, and the Blue-tooth telephone connection, are all there so that I don’t have to lean too far, get too uncomfortable or stay out of touch with all of my other machinery. Sounds more appealing than leaving with an oxen cart in a driving rainstorm and taking two days to get there, not to mention spending the wet, cold night under the ox cart in the company of the ox himself. I feel guilty now for being so hard on my machinery.
I am going to text a human being and inform it that I will be staying here in the warm sunshine to contemplate my new relationship with my machine. I must make myself more available to him, to his needs, and his requirements. I will email a picture of my machine to my friend and tell it that I will not be able to attend its meeting in a human form. Ah! … something has just appeared on my scanner. Its “heat signature” qualifies it to be of the human variety. It is a human female.
This human female has just sat next to me. My sensors are detecting warm zones of life. The screen is re-starting now. She is smiling. Her gentle expression seems warmer than the sun shining on me. Perhaps I can use my technological prowess to understand this “machine” and its many functions. I must be careful to not touch the wrong button. This could cause the machine to crash!
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about living life in an age of technology, I would be very pleased to hear about them. Why not use some form of machinery to send me a message?
Please do not use paper and pencil to reach me. I may not be here for that long. The trees have not been cut yet for the paper and the pencils are on a ship, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
E-mails use the magic of flight and are not affected by the chilly Spring weather.