Monday, 28 November 2011

Post the First

I remember back in the early nineties I shared a flat with a mate (who now lives in the States. Not my fault I hasten to add, he went of his own volition), and he introduced me to the wonders of the Internet. I remember that it was a strange new world. People could communicate with one another over vast distances essentially for free over a 56k dial up connection. Martin (that's my mate) had an early Pentium PC and when we weren't using it for marathon Daggerfall sessions he introduced me to email, chat rooms, fan sites and also the vast amount of porn available. Come on, we were two single blokes in our early twenties. What else were we going to look at?

I remember using Ask Jeeves and Yahoo to search for things. Google wasn't the search engine of choice. Do you hear people telling you to "Yahoo" something? Not so much. I remember even back then folk were saying that using AOL was a mistake as it was insidious and sinister. Even then. Some things never change. It's good to know there are still some constants.We spoke about how immediate things were all of a sudden. How maybe one day we might never leave the comfort of our own homes. I had a Nokia mobile phone that I could change the front of. There was a game called Snake on it. It was indeed all new and exciting. 

In the past twenty years we have seen the rise and fall of CD's. I think I have come to an age where I am resigned to the fact that I probably won't buy another CD again. I have an iPod now. My entire record collection fits in my pocket. I can buy albums over the internet. Hell, I can steal them too if I was so disposed. We have seen the rise and fall of Nokia. They are on one last push to keep their foothold in the smartphone market with Windows software on their current products. I have an iPhone now. I can honestly say that the day I got my greasy mitts on it my perception of the world and how I could interact with it changed dramatically. It's astonishing really, the sheer power of these tools we still refer to as "phones". They are so much more than that, yet we haven't decided on a more appropriate name for them. Some small part of societies collective conciousness can't bring itself to take itself away from that word to replace it with another. So scared is it in fact, we daren't admit that Messrs Huxley and Orwell are bang on the money. 

I am reviewing this post and noticing that it is a bit on the melancholy side. Apologies for that, I didn't mean to go down that road, but it's late and I'm listening to Maria Mckee's self titled album. It's fantastic by the way and not a sign of "Show me Heaven", thank goodness. As I'm typing these words, realising the album is twenty years old and has me remeniscing for simpler times. Hey, at least I'm not posting with words such as "Hey! Welcome to my first blog!! Thanks for stopping by!!! I can't control the exclamation marks!!!!" Come on folks, Why use four when you only need one? It just makes you look illiterate. Which quite frankly, you probably are if you think you need more than one. It's a pet hate. I make no apologies. 

I suppose what I am trying to say is that although the world seems to be moving impossibly fast of late, we don't have to be scared. To paraphrase the words of the father of modern Buddhism, Nichirien Daishonin "Embrace change, with change there can be no conflict". Conflict, in this sense is constructive. From debate comes resolution. We should all take from what the world throws at us and make the best of it. Whenever we can. 

I had a bash at Buddhism once. Not really my bag, but hey, whatever gets you through the day.

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