Today I rail on the Consumer Electronics Show. I’ve watched, with little interest, the steady stream of gadgets that make your life easier. Say what? “Saves you time”, “Saves you effort”. “Hey Cortana”, “Hey Google”, “Hey Alexa”, “Hey Siri”. “Do this for me”. “Do that for me”. “Life Hacks” to simplify your burdensome existence. Seriously, a digital personal assistant? I can see the benefit for the handicapped or disabled.
For the life of me, why can’t you do these things for yourself? Are you really too busy to get off your butt and turn something on/off? Do you really need an app to tell you that fuzzy green thing in the fridge should be tossed?
Is it easier to listen to (and follow!) artificial intelligence than your own brain? Where goest that greatest of man’s faculties, volition? Or another real human being? Is direct social intercourse really that threatening?
New studies out that you don’t give your child a hand held computer (phone) until 8th grade. Calls by the educating community for Apple to lead the effort against screen addiction. I see so many of today’s youth with a device seemingly implanted at the end of their arms, now no longer needing even the simplest of digits to command their ever shrinking world. Childhood obesity a national crisis.
I used to run the open roads everywhere. The white knuckled elderly driver my only fear. No way I’d train on those same byways now, nine out of ten drivers staring intently at something in their crotch.
“Oh but Willie, you’re just too old to appreciate all the modern conveniences.” No, I’m too full of vigor (piss and vinegar?). Able to chop wood all day. To hand farm. To bust out a wall. To build a structure. To grow and cook my own food. I call bs on eat fit go and blue apron and all the other prefab, Sysco derived, lazy man’s meals. If you’re too busy to create your own repast you’re life is completely out of my realm of understanding. I still celebrate that Linda and I have not owned a microwave in almost five years.
You gentle readers are likely the exception. Runners. Last bastion of freedom. But even that is threatened. Treadmills, the bane of Real Runners only the tip of the iceberg. Peloton unveiling their latest, greatest attempt at digitizing, nay bastardizing, our sport by putting your running mates all in a nice little box in front of your face. One more step away from Reality. I’m glad I’m 60.