Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why I love modern technology.

This weekend, I have interacted with friends all over the world. From people who live a couple of miles away, to people who live on the other side of the planet. I have done this through phone calls, text messages, online instant messages, and Facebook.

In what way is this technology not awesome? And, whilst I know I overuse that word, I mean it in its strictest sense here. Worthy of awe.

An example - today Nettie was hosting a tea party. I was sad I couldn't be there, but was pretty excited to hear about it. We were chatting on instant messenger, and she told me about her outfit. And then she sent me a picture of it. In real time. From the other side of the world. Here I am, sitting on my sofa in Scotland, and I am able to see what a beloved friend is wearing for a get-together in Australia. It's just mindboggling, sometimes.

Here's another example of how great this is. I went to the junk shop on Saturday, and returned with some treasures.

I posted a picture of the records on Facebook, and a friend of mine, who lives in the US, commented to say she loves Rosemary Clooney. I admitted I'd never actually heard her, so my friend gave me a link to one of Clooney's songs on youtube. I listened to it - it's beautiful - and then I decided to try and track down the dates of the two records. The Rosemary Clooney one was easy. I found a recording of the song in question, and it had the year of the album on the webpage, but the other is trickier.
It seems to be a not-very-well-known version of "Have You Met Miss Jones?". So, in my searches, I read a biography of the artist in question on wikipedia. I found a website where someone had recorded their gramophone playing one of his other songs. I bounced through IMDB. And I learnt lots of interesting new things! Unfortunately, none of them were the year of release for this particular record, but to me, that's not the big picture.

This is what I love about the internet. If you are a trivia lover like me, it can lead you down the rabbit hole to a wonderful world of facts and minutiae. It's a warehouse of people's passions (and, ok, some of those passions are disturbing things which are best avoided), and that is, to me, a Good Thing. I love that, for example, someone recorded their gramophone playing records from the 1950s. I love that there are webpages out there for people who are obsessed with My Little Ponies, or woodworking, or Batman, or model railways, or folk music, or pirate music, or oboes, or stamps, or tartans... or anything.

I know, it's not a very in-depth post today, but I think it's something worth thinking about. It reminds me of Clarke's Third Law:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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At 11:31 pm, Blogger Nettie said...

Magic indeed! :D


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