Friday, January 30, 2009

Keeping Change in Perspective: Ellen Glasgow

"All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward." ~Ellen Glasgow

Lately, I have found myself saying, "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should."  This applies to technology, mostly.  

Take for example the change from analog television to digital.  Oddly enough, Europe has been digital for many years and the U.S. had the opportunity to change, but like choosing VHS format over Betamax, we drove too far down the wrong road.  Now, we are looking Feb. 17 in the face, the people who probably needed those coupons for the digital converter box didn't get them and now the money has run out.  Congress was debating whether or not to postpone the changeover, but now with the economy the way it is, TV stations all over the country are supporting digital and analog stations and they can't wait to change over and only provide one service.

The boxes are complicated and if you ever want to watch one channel while taping another, forget it.  You have to have a converter box for both the TV and the VCR.  It's ridiculous.  I understand why they are making the change, but I get so sick of the ploys to get me to buy stuff all over again.  We are supposed to be trying to simplify things, not rebuy every video we every purchased again in DVD or BlueRay or HiDef.  Ugh.  I refuse to be caught up in all of that.  

Another fine example that illustrates that all change is not progress - DVD players in cars.  I understand the theory about why people might think this is a good idea, however, the first ad I ever saw for one of the Vans with a DVD player in it was one of the most horrific examples of why we SHOULDN'T have DVD players in cars.  In the commercial, two lovely parents put their two lovely, but rambunctious young children in the car, strap them in and plug them in.  The kids are totally enraptured by the cartoon on the DVD with their little headphones on and all is quiet for Mommy and Daddy to drive to work - no contact with their little ones, no learning happening, no connecting, no singing, no family interaction.  Just zombied out little kids who will be deaf from all the earplug listening they do.  

Or...(I'm on a roll...haha) teeny, tiny televisions.  I bought an iPod nano and it apparently has video capability.  I don't want to watch a two inch movie.  I don't think it is healthy.  I don't think I need to watch any more video than I already do.  But we can, so we do.  When are we going to have legislation that says no video watching while you drive?  How many pedestrians will be hit by cars because they were watching the TV in their watch?

I'm a fairly liberal person, but lately, I have marveled at the lack of restraint we all seem to have. We all buy whatever we want, whenever we want.  We have all this crap (myself included) and there is no anticipation.  There is no thought about why something might be a good or a bad idea.  Will it affect our health?  Will it affect our planet?  Will it hurt us later?

Take for example wireless internet and all the cell phone towers and whatnot.  Now I am reading that many birds get confused and off track due to the electrical currents of wifi and cell towers and all that.  This year, they are having an epidemic of pelican deaths - seems they didn't fly south early enough because of global climate change and then when they did, many of them got confused due to the "stuff" in the atmosphere, flew off course and are now dying off in record numbers.  Will all of this affect our chemistry?  Our weather?  Will we just eventualy be born with a bluetooth in our ear like the Borg?

I know this is a rant, so bear with me. I don't obsess about this on a daily basis...these are just a few of the things that keep my brain busy all the time.

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