Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “evolution

The Non-Adopters

I have a problem.

I’m not sure if it’s a generational thing. I mean, I’m friends with people from many generations, and it doesn’t strike me as a generational thing. Here it is:

Why doesn’t everyone use Google (or, God forbid, “The Google”)?

There seems to be a subset of humanity that actively refuses to embrace technology. And the thing that really gets me is that technology is supposed to make our lives easier. If it isn’t helping you, don’t use it.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyPerhaps this has something to do with our gadget-obsessed society. It’s enough to own the bright, shiny toy. You don’t need to know how to use it. As long as you have it, your position in society is assured. We’ve replaced technological knowledge for the appearance of technological knowledge. “I have a smartphone, but I don’t know how to use it.”

I was so excited when Apple announced the iPad, because it was like someone announcing a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Here was a handheld device (okay, maybe not palm size, but still reasonable) that had an almost guaranteed connection to the Internet. The Internet. The most complete compiling of human information so far. You want it? You can find it. Science fiction became science fact. Grab your towels.

Another thing about the iPad is that it has nearly limitless potential. Want to use it as a gaming device? Go for it. How about a medical aid for nurses and doctors? It can do that, too. I’ve been asked what an iPad does, which baffles me. You can use it as a musical instrument. You can use it to send text messages or talk on Skype. You can use it to create graphs and set up visual aids for meetings. You can use it to scan credit cards for your business. It can’t make you a cup of coffee, but it can tell you where to find some, and it get you one at Starbucks if you add money to the app.

The iPad, while a technological advancement, is also hailing back to the cave man. Here’s a stick. What does it do? It does whatever you can make it do.

Now, not everyone is ready for an iPad. I understand that. If it doesn’t somehow make life easier (again), you don’t need it.

I believe technology is the one of the foundations of human evolution. Before “I have a smartphone, and I don’t know how to use it” was “I have a rock, and I know how to use it.” Those must have been exciting times, when Caveman Jobs held an event with his turtleneck (made out of actual turtle?), and announced the rock. Maybe he was even responsible for the slingshot. Ridiculous scenario or not, human innovation cannot be denied as a major component of our development.

There’s this aspect of my personality that makes me undauntingly curious. If I want to know something, nothing will keep me from it. I will read the books, I will take the classes. If I had more time, I would study everything from Accounting to Yiddish Studies (yeah, it’s a thing) and everything in between. I understand on an intellectual level that not everyone shares this insatiable thirst for knowledge. Fortunately, I’m not related to any of those people. My parents, my siblings, my aunts, uncles, and more, all share my desire to learn.

The Internet is a portal into the garnering of information. (I don’t believe everything I read on the Internet; I’m just saying you can find factual pieces if you know where/how to look).

If I don’t know how to do something, my first instinct is to turn to Google.

Why doesn’t everyone do this?facepalm

You know another thing that’s great about Google? You can just type in your question, right into the box, and it gleans your meaning. How? They employ linguists who seem to have the ability to read minds. Their algorithms incorporate data from your history of searches. They look at the way other people have reacted who have performed similar searches. Google is trying to make your life easier. Embrace it.

I think these non-adopters are going to have a problem very shortly. Human technology is evolving alarmingly fast (not that you need to read any books on it). If you can’t keep up now, what happens when everyone is wearing Google Glass? What happens when we develop a way to store our thoughts instantaneously to the cloud?

Human evolution is so closely linked with our development of better tools, it’s possible the swift development of technology could lead to species directed evolution. Yes, our tools now could determine the future of the human race.

So, get on board. The spaceship is leaving without you.

P.S. I’m ready for my nanite injection, Mr. DeMille.

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The Thing about Fear

By all rights, I guess I should be scared out of my wits. That’s what I’m told, anyhow. I should be panicked and nervous, sweaty palms and all. I should be jumping at loud sounds, flight or fight mode shifted into full-blown adrenaline rush.

But, I’m not.

You see, I’m moving to Los Angeles on Saturday. I mean, if you’ve kept up with this blog, I know you know that already, but, yes, Saturday is the big day. And, I’m not sure if I’m done with everything here.

But, my parents have promised to ship it if I need it.

A contingency of my friends and acquaintances have told me I’m brave. Brave is defined as “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.”

Perhaps it is bravery. I don’t think the pain I will face is physical. I suppose the biggest danger is going hungry because I run out of money. I know a big part of what makes this maneuver brave is the fact that I am walking away from acknowledged safety and comfort and heading into the unknown, where hardship and uncertainty are assured.

“Into the unknown!”
“Yes, but unfortunately there’s this dirty great sea monster in the way. “

Several people have asked me if I’m afraid.

I’m not.

So, why isn’t fear a factor?

Fear was a handy emotion. Way back in olden times, it helped keep us alive when we were fighting the saber-tooth tigers. It is a stress response that allows us to act without thinking. Again, a handy-dandy skill when you’re facing something that’s about to eat you or trample you. You don’t have time to waste thinking, “I should move a little to the left.”

Fear still serves a purpose. But, it can also hold you back.

Quotables:

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” -Rosa Parks

I want to write for television. There really isn’t anywhere else in the world that I can do that besides Los Angeles. New York comes in second, but it’s not (believe it or not) as easy to break into television taking the New York route. So, Los Angeles or bust. I’ve made up my mind. I know what must be done. I know it will be hard. I’m not afraid of working. I’m not afraid of failing.

But, I suppose, it’s just simply the fact that allowing fear to rule is never a good excuse. There are so many things that we could fear (worry is a state of fear), but it’s better to face it, take it head on. Conquer it. You can learn to control your fear response. Make the judgement. Is fear really helping? Or are you just a slave to years of living in caves worrying about being crushed by Og’s new invention “hawk blurg rugbug” or, as we commonly refer to it, “the Wheel?” It’s just mind over…mind.

As I head out to LA, be assured that I’m not facing my fear.

I’m fearless.