20.10.11

Just Some Thoughts I Had When I Heard Stephen Fry Talking About Mobile Libraries.

I am so glad I was born when I was. 



Right on the cusp of the snowballing of new technologies, which although has been happening always, is now so advancing in such obvious, global, and useful and relevant ways. I was introduced to the internet just when it started getting going, the same with facebook, twitter, tumblr, blogs. I had a myspace. I can use tumblr now as a twenty one year old - not as the emotional outpouring of nonsense and quotes and photos of myself that it would be if I was fourteen - but as a moodboard and archive for everything I see. And I see so much! Everyday I read through at roughly 100 blog posts, written by people all over the world, containing countless images and links to other things plus scrolling endlessly through even more images and reading books and reading things online and listening to new music and old music and things I don't own and learning about places I've never been and people I will never meet.

I can take 30 photographs in a minute and see them instantly, and there is no such thing as waste. Wherever I am I can record a video with one hand and show it to everyone I know or keep it forever and never show anybody. I can talk to people on the phone whenever I want, even if I'm not at home or they're not at home. I can show pictures to my mum that I think she'd like to see - anytime: just send it in an email and it will be there waiting for her when she looks at her computer. Whenever I wonder anything about anything I just have to type a question and I can find out the answer almost instantly.

But at the same time, I am just old enough to remember before this was everyday life. I remember the first time someone told me about Google. I remember when nobody had a mobile phone and you had to ring the house and ask for them or just go round and knock on the door to see if they wanted to 'play out'. I remember when film cameras were the only kind of cameras, when if you wanted a new song you had to tape it off the radio. I remember genuine mixtapes and when I got a cd player and you only had to press a button once to go all the way to the next song it was so amazing. I remember floppy disks and the sound they made when you put them in the computer. I remember when the computer screen was black with green flashing letters and a mouse was still just a little animal. I remember when Big Brother was a thing from a book, not a tv show. I remember when there was only 4 channels....and all that was on at nighttime was ceefax.

I am so glad of this because now I can take photographs with film but I can scan them in and show people all over the world who I don't know. My friends can send me things in the post but I can take a picture of it and keep the memory of it saved in the ether next to a million other things I saw that week. I can see a link on a webpage, posted to my friend my some stranger, it will show me a video and lead me to buy a book without ever leaving my bed. I can learn about the past and then find a genuine old thing and learn from the past. I can play a record on a record player and know the satisfaction of lowering the needle in the right place...and then read about the making of the album and what drugs the singer was on when they wrote the songs and how long it spent at number 1 in the Swedish album charts.

I can design a concept for a window display that knows when people walk past it and the outfits move in real life or in a video; I can have ridiculous ideas which belong in the sci-fi future and know that it is entirely possible and probable that they will come true before I am forty years old. 

I cannot even fathom the kinds of things that will exist when I am seventy years old & I can't wait. Next stop hoverboards!

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