We begin our blog post today with a paraphrased quote about technology by Douglass Adams:
- Anything invented before you were born is normal and natural and just part of the world.
- Anything invented between your birth and when you are 30 is new and exciting and you can probably get a good career in it.
- Anything invented after you are 3o is against the natural order of things.
I was born into a world with TV, rotary phones, vacuum tubes, plastic, mustache wax and Star Wars. These things, in more or less equal amounts, makeup my world view. The Internets, heated seats, sexy robots, personal computers, carbide tipped saw blades, digital animation and words starting with a capital “X” in place of “ex” came about before the technophobia cutoff age and my creative output is through them and about them (technically Facebook also got in under the wire, but that don’t mean I ain’t ag’in it!). This means that hoverboards, hover boots, hover cars, hover bots, hover dogs, hover dog bots and jetpacks will be confusing to me and I will be constantly harassing my kid as to how to operate them (“Dad, just visualize the holo-connection in your mind sphere and set the ‘hover’ field to ‘zero delta v’, it’s as simple as first grade rocket science! Oh, and while were at it, can you try again to mind fax me mom’s recipe for soilent tacos?”).
This impending chasm between my personal understanding of the world around me and that of The Child’s occurred while we watching some World World on Netflix. The Child pointed to the loading bar and said, “Dad, what’s that for using for?”
“What’s that for using for” is a phrase that I love so much I’ve started using it in my conversations with regular adult humans.
I began to explain, in child terms, how a loading bar is a graphical representation of the amount of data gathered or the progress of an action. That is how I understand it. I said, “When that gray bar is full the movie is ready,” or something like that. The Child, for whom instantaneous media is as natural as the Sun being bright or farts being funny looked at me with disbelief. I thought I had explained it well, but she put me straight.
“Um, I don’t know about that, Dad. Those are the ghosts that go to find my movie from the world.”
That’s one for the holo-recording.