Mind-Numbing Technology

THX 1138 surrounded by machine police.
Sure, the down side’s emotional isolation and government overreach. But I wish you weren’t so negative about it.

While taking up the movie challenge from Jar Jar Hater, I was unable to find two of the movies on Netflix. This was irksome, but only because I enjoy being able to stream HD movies, instead of SD movies like some savage. (First World Problem!)

As mentioned before, one of the movie challenges was to watch the 1998 version of Great Expectations. Failing Netflix, I was pointed to Amazon.com.

It bore a passing resemblance to the book (though I will never understand the name changes), Chris Cooper pegs Joe and DeNiro…DeNiros up the place.

That is, however, beside the point.

What really struck me while watching was that here I was, watching a movie on a laptop, moving around the house—feeding the cat and cleaning. When we were kids, VCRs were the exception and not the rule; and here I am, able to “dial up” a movie on demand, drop $3 for it and be able to move around without having to pause or come back to it later. Sure, once morons like Martin O’Malley have their way the price will increase, but for now it’s a perfect price point; in fact, if I remember correctly, $3 was the average movie rental price from the local video store near where I grew up.

Best of all, there’s no container or tape to throw away and sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. I view it, it’s done, and the only thing I’ve done is expose myself to a little extra radiation and eye strain.

And then thinking about the Evil That Men Do and that sometimes we all act really sh***y to each other, look at the wondrous progress we get to enjoy. It was a Kurzweil-type moment: Holy Crap, look what we’ve accomplished just because we wanted to do it.

I ate food that took 3 minutes to prepare in a microwave, tweeted while watching the movie and was able to move around unfettered as a movie approached, but never crossed, the Threshold of an Unbearable Amount of Gwyneth Paltrow.

If I get a cut, I don’t even worry about infection. If I eat improperly, I have vitamins that help ensure my body stays in balance. All in a climate-controlled house, and connected to a worldwide network of people at a moment’s notice. I know not everyone has it this good, but every time the bar raises, so does the baseline.

I know I’ve marveled at this before and I do what I can to try to help others – without government coercion, largesse or waste. But what a wonderful world in which we live. One that’s so marvelous, we can spend years and years bugging awesome people like me about a movie we disliked more than a decade ago, like Korean Cigarette Smoking Moriarty Man did earlier this week.

Pretty awesome.

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