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Monday, May 7, 2012

George Carlin and The Last Crusade

Last week my work laptop went BSOD. That’s Blue Screen of Death for all those not in the know. Anyway, I got a loaner and via the network I can at least work in some semblance. I have access to my email and the network but none of my stuff is there.

Working through this issue reminds me of the classic, and very spot on, bits from George Carlin. Being on a loaner laptop is like spending a night or two at a friend’s house. Sure, you can bring along the essentials but you never feel quite as relaxed putting your stuff into an overnight bag and spending the night away from the rest of your stuff.

It’s amazing how dependent we’ve become on our computers. It’s even more apparent when we don’t have them at the ready. So, here I am with webmail open and it fails out. Great, no email. Well, at least I can do work through the other website I am usually using. What the hell was the server name, again? Crap. I had it bookmarked in my favorites. Oooh, that’s right. I don’t have my computer and I didn’t back up my favorites to my network folder. Well, I guess I can always check Facebook for a moment. I don’t remember my password. SHIT!

Yep, it sucks. But this got me to thinking. You have your laptop which has all your applications, favorites, files, and notes. Then you have to go somewhere and all you have is your phone. Well, in essence, your phone becomes that next logical progression in Carlin’s chain of relocating to a new place with your stuff. If you lose your phone or are in a bad service location, you need to rely on that more powerful, yet less effective machine to recall your information. That’s your brain.

What did we do before Cell Phones, Smart Phones, computers, and PDAs? How did we remember all the important stuff like phone numbers, names, birthdays, important meetings, recipes, movie trivia, the 76 Phillies roster, and meaning of life?

As Henry Jones Sr. once said, “I wrote them down in my diary so I wouldn’t have to remember them.”

Well, said Dr. Jones.

They say we only use a small percentage of our brain power. Has technology reduced that number even further? How much longer before we are entirely dependent on machines to remember everything. We’ve already lost the ability to write. Our grammar is failing. We are discarding books for ebooks. We abbreviate and create acronyms.

And even though I am getting a newer laptop, reimaged from my old one, I will still have to go back and add all kinds of stuff, notes, files, etc. that will be undoubtedly lost from my old one.   I will have to remember what that is, though.

We are becoming dumber, as I once said a long time ago.  I just don't remember when I said it.   It's on this blog somewhere.

Go. Find.  Read.  Remember.

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