Friday, November 30, 2012


I've been blogging and Facebooking for some time now.  It will soon be five years since I started posting on Facebook, a much shorter time that I have been blogging.  For quite a while, my activity in both cases was rather sporadic.  Only recently have I been taking a much more active role in both outlets.

The world has changed tremendously in the interval between my birth in 1934 and now.  Much of the farm work was still being done with horses back then.  Not very much is still being done that way.  We were in the middle of "The Great Depression" and the dust bowl was ravaging much of the Midwest.  Farms were relatively small, compared with modern family and non-family corporations spread over hundreds and thousands of acres.  Even electricity, indoor plumbing and phone service, along with much more we now take for granted, was an ethereal dream in our rural world.

We learned how to handle the soil better, thus revitalizing our bread basket, and World War II forced us into a period of technological progress that has increased at an ever accelerating pace.  Most new devices only have a few months to enjoy their ascendancy before a new and much improved model comes along.  Now, just about any business can take credit cards with a simple attachment to their cellphone that's only about an inch square!  And, you sign with your finger -- on that little screen!  Remember those clunky machines that the card was placed in and double copies were then printed on multicopy paper receipts?  Ancient history in just a few years!   

I remember the "clunky" cell phones that began to appear back about forty years ago.  They're quite a contrast to the ubiquitous little wonders we all have become accustomed to and which are an integral part of just about everyone's life.  If I remember to take my phone with me, anyone who wants to can reach me from anywhere in the world instantaneously, and if I fail to answer or the line is tied up, there's voice messaging.  No more answering services or individual answering machines.

Personally, I can't keep up with it all.  I'm still typing on a "tower" computer with a big plug-in keyboard.  It's a dinosaur!  After about three years!  My next one will probably be a lap top I can take anywhere there is a wireless connection available that will leave this one in the dust.  It could also be a super cell phone that would fit in my hand!  Don't know how typing would go on one of those though with my big fingers.  My Aflac District Manager sends me emails from his phone all the time.

Then, there's tweeting.  I haven't gotten into that.  Maybe I will.  Maybe I won't.  So far, blogging and facebooking is doing me just fine.  It's about all I want to wrap my aged mind around for the present.

What worries me is the lack of progress in ameliorating and reversing some gargantuan problems like climate change and the mindless determination of idealogues to force their thinking and ways on everyone else.  They're all convinced that they have the answers and the world's problems would cease overnight if everybody just wised up and became like them -- of course, with them in charge and calling the shots.  If science disagrees with them, science has to be wrong.  Funny.  It works just fine when it gives them smaller and better computers and a plethora of other wonders.

How long can we cling to superstition and mindlessly go our way oblivious to what we are doing to our planet?  Can we go on demanding that others see things our way or else?  How long can we "luck out" with no one daring to use those weapons of mass destruction that many nations have and others are jealously and determinedly seeking?  When will a superbug get loose and drasically alter the state of the world?

These are just some of the uneasy questions that plague me and lessen my natural bent toward optimism.  History proves that no outside force intervenes to stop the mad choices humans in power make.  We're on our own.  Viruses mutate and it's only a matter of time before one unleashes a pandemic.  No "god" has ever intervened to stop a plague.  The CDC isn't all that omnipotent either, but they do a tolerably good job most of the time.

I'm going to go on capitalizing on the advances and utilizing them for my own and others benefit.  I just hope that, in the end, enough reason and humanitarianism will prevail to prevent the wholesale destruction and carnage that could erupt at any time.


No comments:

Post a Comment