Technology and Photos

We’re scanning all our photos into the computer, putting them in folders labeled ‘Grandma’s Birthday’ or ‘Summer 77’.  And don’t forget to back those up on a flash drive.  And then what?  I have a dozen flash drives full of photos.  Why not keep the physical photos as back up?  Takes up too much space.  Maybe you have too many photos?  I know we do.  futureHusband being an amateur photographer and all, there are boxes of photos he wants me to scan.  (He can’t do it because it’s too confusing for him.  It’s a lousy excuse, but I wrote out the instructions, and still had to walk him through the steps.  I figured it was just easier if I did it myself.  But I drag my feet, because even after I’ve scanned, labeled, and shared boxes of photos…he won’t throw out the originals.  It will take more than a generation to delete paper from our lives, but it is coming.  Kids just email their homework to their teachers.  Everything will be done on iPads.  In time, even the musty smell of old book stores will dissipate.

The pace at which our technology is expanding is both awe inspiring and frightening.  I’m old enough to remember carbon paper and manual typewriters. It’s so long ago and I feel it was ‘better back then’, just like all old people do.  Today at Starbucks I saw little round disks with a hole in the middle, and a USB port.  They were wi-fi chargers.  You place them on the table and plug in your device and it charges.  I’m blown away by the technology.  But then I thought, aren’t radio waves sort of like wi-fi?  Does wi-fi use radio waves, or something else?  And then my brain begins to hurt and I stop thinking about it.

Glow-in-the-dark puppy created by Korean Scientists (2011)
Glow-in-the-dark puppy created by Korean Scientists (2011)

Things are changing in my world that I do not want changed.  Why do we need such technology?  You know, if ISIS or Russia, or China wanted to take over the US, all they’d have to do is sabotage our electricity.  No bombs required, and we’d be hostages.  Just because we have the capability to do something doesn’t mean we should.  We now know how to clone sheep and make puppies and fish glow in the dark.  Maybe in some obscure way this knowledge will help us learn something else.  But really; glow-in-the-dark puppies?

I must admit that use this technology too.  I have a Facebook page, my blog, my online store.  There’s even a MySpace page and some short stories floating around the World Wide Web. I love the fact that I have so much information at my fingertips.  The problem is it’s all the same information, often word for word, regardless of the subject from Aborigines to Zoology.  Google something.  Then check the first 3-5 sites.  See if the information varies much.  Granted, the information may be accurate.  But it may not be all the information.  I still trust books.  Especially encyclopedias, always an excellent unbiased source for information.  But they don’t update them anymore, and so much has been learned just in my lifetime they are quite obsolete.

hell-in-a-handbasketWhat are the dangers of people living online?  Kids glued to their phones and pads.  My grandson never puts his down.  It’s been months since I’ve seen his face.  Sociologically speaking we are doomed to live our lives in the dystopia of Demolition Man.  Everything will be purchased at Wal-mart and Amazon, from prescriptions to kinky sex toys.  There will be no grocery stores or kitchens in homes, everyone eats out.  I see it coming (as do a lot of old people), the end of the world, glad I won’t see it.  Thinking exactly like my Grandma did at the turn of the 20th century, and her father, and  his mother.  And so the world will go on as it always did.  The next generation dooming all of mankind ever since man learned he was different from the other animals.

Are we doomed?  Yes, of course we are.  Just like the Romans who killed themselves off with lead goblets, the Mayans who didn’t make it through years of drought, the First Nations of the Americas who couldn’t beat the modern weapons of the 15th Century White men.  Each great country or empire will come to an end.  And most didn’t disappear so much as they were absorbed by other cultures/countries.  It happened to the Great Soviet Union and Germany in my lifetime.  It can happen to the US.

12 thoughts on “Technology and Photos

  1. I have thought these things so many times. I have to catch myself sometimes: when I think in terms of “how different things are,” and better would be to think in terms of “how things actually are.” I think this because I have a teen (18 years old in ten days) who has never known anything but this jaw-dropping technology. Thus, it’s not jaw-dropping. It’s the usual. It’s no big deal. And when I hesitate a bit, I get the eye-rolling. ha ha!

    I try to tell my kid: “But I learned to type on a manual typewriter. In high school we mimeographed the school paper that I edited, with purple ink that went on wet. I used carbon paper in the Air Force. We had no cell phones; we had party lines, and only had to dial 5 numbers to get somebody local. My first grade teacher read us a newspaper article that predicted every household in America would soon have a television set, and we all laughed because the very idea was ludicrous.” But it’s not impressive to Tara. Only curious. I just sit quietly with my knowledge. Impressed with myself for having been able to absorb it all and become savvy in the new language of technology – as you have.

    At least I do see how far you have come, and I’m impressed with what you do, and how comfortable you are with it all. 🙂

  2. I started scanning billions and billions of boxes of stuff in 2001. Once I had digital files, I threw the originals away. Then, the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005. Everything gone.

    Now, if I have something to archive, I just take a picture of it, store the digital file, and create two backups.

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