Machines acting on my Behalf

August 1, 2012 by , under The Antiques, Design and Art World.

 

August 2012:

I wake to my electric alarm clock/radio set to one of my favorite talk shows in my area. After washing with soap and hot, clean water, I prepare my breakfast of healthy, tasty foods, set the house thermostat for the day, perk fresh coffee, and crank up my computer to review the last 8 hours of emails arriving from all over the world. My computer talks to my local server computers, which talks to all those other computers all over the world.

I don’t take these things for granted.

After the emails, I sit down with my breakfast, warm up the television, and watch the signals from our local stations. They’re ALL signals of my choice. As I drive around in my car on my errands, I’m back to using another radio – grabbing more signals out of the air… normally more TALK radio, discussing subjects that often engage me. My cell phone sounded off five times today while driving. I choose to wait on answering and drive safely.  Those signals are sent to me from tall metal towers up to 100 miles away. If I’m further yet, satellites spinning around the planet and multiple towers standing on Earth are used. I’m always within range of signals. My choice. My cell phone starts ringing and buzzing at me if someone sends signals to the tower, then the tower zaps the little machine in my pocket.

MORE signals, more machines, more stuff moving at the speed of light.  All invisible to me. All those signals, all the time, along with others’ signals, washing over my town, my autos, my home, through my trees, right into my house like there were no brick walls or panes of glass.

I don’t take these things for granted.

I think they’re amazing. When I watch a plane fly over, I think it’s amazing. When I see a Navy aircraft carrier afloat, it amazes me. When the Space Shuttles went up, when they returned, when we get pictures from the our Moon, or Mars, or as one of our machines sends signals as it passes Saturn – headed deeper into the universe, I’m amazed. I still think the “normal” telephone is amazing, as is the television, the radio, and the electric, water, and sewer systems of a city. The complexity of automobiles, tall buildings, the computer and web… they’re all amazing and wonderful. When I use my calculator, my turntable, my VCR, my CD and DVD player, my cassette tape player, the microwave…  The list is nearly endless, and sure, sometimes I use these machines as though they’ve always existed… but I know better than that.

I’m happy to be where I am. In another life, I may live in a box made of garbage, cardboard, and vermin. I may be cold and hungry, sick and uneducated. I may have no friends, no home, no one to call, no one with whom I can chat about nothing important at all.

These thoughts are NOT because I have machines acting on my “behalf” today. I was outside with my digital camera, taking photos of our lovely home, gardens, and trees.  What brought me to my senses was the feel of a fresh breeze on my arms, the low afternoon sun on my face, the odor of leaves on the ground, and the loud, powerful caw of neighborhood Crows.

I’m always amazed by these signals. I don’t take them for granted.

 

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