07/06/2010

Papers and tiny computers. That's all. You can dump the rest.

I'm writing this on a piece of paper. With a pencil. Well, clearly I'm not, otherwise it wouln't come up on the screen. And I could say that I did and now I'm just copying out and so the creative process happened with the pencil. Except for the last two sentences. Three now. Four. Meh.

So let me try again. I started to write this on a piece of paper. With a pencil. I was lying on my lego-strewn, not exactly clean, not exactly antique but certainly old, rug from Kars. I was surrounded - still am, I'm just sitting there now instead of lying - by old wooden chests and tables, more rugs, and antique metal artefacts. The shelves on the wall opposite me are filled with books way beyond their capacity. One small segment of the shelf has a small cubic black tv on it, with a dvd player and a satellite box. Wires are dripping from that shelf like the guts out of a deceased StarWars monster. Disgusting.

Above that shelf is where we keep piles of cds and dvds. Who ever thought they'd be easier to store and more convenient (longer lasting even) than lps? The only thing in their favour is that you can play them on your computer. Except the dvd/cd player part of a laptop is usually the first to give. So I tend to keep my music and my films on my hard disk, and on little usb storage things (so little I lose them. Damn.)

There's a couple of laptops under a chair somewhere. One went bang last time my daughter was watching Doctor Who on her usb plug. I need to look at it someday soon. It's not great as it doesn't connect to the wireless and has a battery life of exactly 5 seconds. The other one works fine but doesn't have a lead, and also no batter life (oh yes, and the dvd player on it is broken).

The way I'm going on you'd think I just don't like modern technology. (If you were unkind you might even go so far as to say that I'm the poncy type who pretends to live in the past). You'd be wrong. I just don't think it's modern enough. I don't like wires. I don't see why everything can't just be transmitted some other way. And be smaller, and flatter, and prettier. I hate my big desktop in the office, if only because of its clunky shape and its sickly greyish beige colour. What were they thinking? Before netbooks came out, I always prefered apple for that reason. Now I think that Steve Jobs is a bit up himself - and let's face it, you can't skype or word process or download movies illegally on the iPad so what's the point? - so I'm basically over it. Kinda.

So I have a mini laptop. As does my husband. He's streaming some very bad tv on it right now. We've each got mobile phones. I've got an iPod touch for music, ebooks, and the web. And a camera of course (can't really manage with my phone camera - I need a separate thing). And I feel I couldn't live without that stuff. Really. It's difficult enough if I have to go without for a few hours. Or an entire night.

But the rest of it, tv, dvds, cds, vcds (video cds, cheap quality films you get in Turkey and other countries where copyright laws are subject to interpretation), big computers - all those things that clutter and drip wires - are much more dinosaur like to me than my pen and paper. Or my books even. I'd dump them happily were it not for the fact that the tv has the bbc on satellite and that the dvd players on the broken laptops won't play the teletubbies. Other than that, they're redundant. They don't do anything that I can't do better with my netbook. And they're big. And they've got wires.

Conversely, the books, the paper and the pens, they work well with the technology. You can go from the one to the other. It's a nice change, a change of perspective even which can only help when you're trying to write.

Last year we managed to get rid of our video tapes.We had half of the Buffy series on tapes. It took mountains of space. Now I've got the whole series on my netbook.  Had we kept the tapes a few more months I'd have felt we'd have to give them to a museum! Who even owns
a video player these days?

This week I'm using my own photo instead of the weekend assignment logo, because, er, I don't like that logo, and also the picture is my illustration. But this is a post for the weekend assignment #321 'Where's your buggy whip?'

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6 comments:

JulieB said...

Totally agree - all these gadgets and contraptions are great, but I do sometimes wonder whether they really make life easier, or bring with them a whole new set of problems!

@jencull (jen) said...

I am a gadget lover but I love that newer technology makes things smaller, neater and less wiring. It at least means I can have more gadgets :D Love your netbook, very neat:) Jen.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Now, there's an aspect of all this I hadn't considered. Modern technology becomes outdated very quickly, or just plain breaks down. But books tend to have a much longer, er, shelf life. Pens and pencils too, as technology, but pens leaks or run dry, and pencils break or wear down and the eraser dries out. But at least they're cheap to replace!

Thanks for your insights!

Sandrine said...

I sometimes think that we're so addicted to technology that we're always looking forward to the next advance. We're living in sci-fi... But honestly, my daugher told me the other day that 'they' had invented contact lenses you could browse the web on. It would be like having the web on drip, except without the annoying tube things. No wires at all. Except she was probably making it up...
Thank you all for your comments.

Mike said...

I see your point completely, but I'm a gadget freak. I don't have a ton of things, but I've always liked electronic "toys." I don't know why. I don't think they necessarily make life easier, but I just enjoy using them. You know?

You mad e a very good point, though.

Sandrine said...

Don't mistake me: I love electronic gadgets. But I feel crowded and uncomfortable if I have too many and then I resent them and want to go all minimalist.

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