To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You young folks, like change destiny, can't fully appreciate how technology has changed in the lifetimes of even us not-yet-old ones. F asked me once what computer games I liked when I was a little girl.
There were no computer games when I was a little girl.
Remember the scene in Apollo 13, where Tom Hanks waves his hand at a building and says it contains "the computer"? And the scene where people in the control room were doing calculations with slide rules? I was 9 years old then. When I started college, you could play Pac Man and Space Invaders in an arcade, and that was about it. Papers were typed on typewriters. Research was done in the library, with actual books. A notebook was a three-ring binder with paper in it. The Internet was a subject for science fiction.

So every now and then I hear a phrase, or run across one in my surfing, and it gives me a little jolt to think about what we would have made of it when I was a teenager.
- I went to Office Depot to buy a little wheel for my mouse.
- A worm shut down the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles and the New York Times (this happened a few years ago, remember?)
- If you get email from the FBI, don't open it - it's a virus.
- The server has crashed. We might as well go home.
- I'm going to blog about this.


F said...
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Laura(southernxyl) said...
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change destiny said...

I would have responded earlier but i was out of town . Well , first i live in a country in Africa which i think gives me the right to say that i am fully awared of the diffrence modern technology has made in our lives . Simply because there are many people in my country who are still homeless , who still don't know how to read and write and who still do not know that there could be light at night other than the moon's . I see the contradicion every single day in my life . I bet you never did , did you? Not that i like the sitiuation in my country however , i do accept it and i understand how much our lives has been blessed by getting to know just a little bit of the facts of life that we do . Humanity still has lots to know though . And never will we reach full knowledge no matter how hard we seek it . But trying is always going to get us ahead .
I've been studying modern physics for more than 11 years now .I know it's strange because i'm still 18 but my collegues are all between 19 and 21 . I got switched two years ahead when i was younger . And i'm in second year in civil engineering .Give me a break . Ofcourse i'll lose your bet . If i ask the proffesor in college about the luminiferous ether , he'll kick me out of the lecture . Not only because it has nothing to do with civil engineering , but also because we had three chapters about it two years before even entering college .
Also want to add one thing . Narrowing down our lives to understand physics and trignometry all the time is a disaster . Sciences are rather important but we do have souls . When you wake up in the morning open your windows , feel the sun on your skin and breath in fresh air , you just don't want to calculate the percentage of pollutants in the air you breathed or know what is the speed and the angle by which the sun rays travelled in order to reach you or measure the temprature it caused and know how many o3 molecules has been skipped or find out what 's the mechanical force you've used in order to open the window in the first place and how much work energy you've consumed or..or ...or..or ........
It's simply so frustrating . I'd just like to leave my mind at the moment i enjoyed the sunlight and the morning breeze .

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Change destiny, did I make you mad? I'm sorry. We have homeless and illiterate people here too, you know. And I know how smart and well-educated you are. Children here do not typically study Blake's poetry.

The point of my post was that even the most highly educated and advanced people, 20 years ago, would have read those phrases I mentioned in a newspaper and wondered for a very long time what they could possibly mean. I first thought about that with the worm thing - that we would all have thought it was an intestinal parasite epidemic, or a monster out of a science fiction movie, smashing the landscape like Godzilla.

And the luminiferous ether suggestion was a joke. I guess our senses of humor were not as synchronized as I thought.