Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Intellectual Speeding Ticket

I am constantly fascinated with how this world chooses to fight its intellectual battles. This is not to say that all battles are either intellectual or involve any intellect at all, but for the sake of the argument, we’ll just say that most arguments pertaining to the state of the world at this present moment involve some intellect, seeing as how there are two sides to every argument. That being said, print media has generally been a large portion of any debater’s arsenal of arguments. Ranging from governmental elections to wars, weather catastrophes, obituaries, sports news, local commentary, the funnies and the JC Penny Sunday Sale, newspapers and magazines have played a large role in the communication of ideas.

Until now.

Now don’t misunderstand my previous comments as to mean that newspapers, along with other forms of print media, are no longer used in the information world. They are. They are just not as important of a weapon as they were in the past 200 years. This strikes me as odd because print material has always, in some form, been around. From cave drawings to the New York Times, information has been available, and still is, in print form. And it has only taken the last 5 to 6 years to change all of that. Blogs are now what the newspaper used to be, which is the way that most of the world obtains its information on current events.

Now that the format is changing, how will we spread the message to those who are unplugged from the virtual world of the Web? Imagine for a second that it is 1969 (and for example, lets just say it’s a Monday) and you are at a protest. You have your tie-dye shirt on, your hair is long and you haven’t taken a shower in, well, a while. Now lets say a fellow protester offers you a slip of paper containing either positive or negative propaganda about the cause you are currently like totally raging against man, or did I just blow your mind?

Anyway, my question is if you were to fast-forward 40 years into the future, and you are now at a similar protest (and likely for a similar cause as this world, or at least this nation tends to learn things very slowly) how would you get that information? Well, you wouldn’t. That fellow protester would push his paper and ink opinion on you and you would undoubtedly crumple it up and throw it away, or drop it on the ground, or use it to roll a joint. This is because it is on paper, and as we all know, paper is boring. You don’t have time to read a piece of paper, but if the exact same information were to be forwarded to your Blackberry, you would then immediately turn your brain into a sponge of which its only purpose is to obtain said information from your 3-inch* electronic deity.

Let’s face it, we are rarely at home. With how fast the world moves, we spend most of our lives outside the house. As a consequence, we tend to assume that any form of information we may have an interest in will eventually be available on our PC when we get home later that night. What worries me is that we may get the information too late. Unless we are all issued a Blackberry paid for by the government (and this is unlikely) or some other electronic device used to gather information off of the internet, we will just have to wait. We can’t always be at our computers, but we don’t have enough time to read the paper. My question is, now that the way we send information has changed (email, blogs, websites) when will we advance the way that we receive the information?

If we are currently engaging in a heated debate about the environment, taxes, fashion, or that new hottie working in the mailroom, we can not afford to wait until we get home to find out that there was more information available. Blogs allow for by-the-minute updates of any subject matter you could fathom, but it is useless if we can’t get the information as fast as we can send it. If there is some new technology out there that assists in this effort then by all means please tell me, as I am more than willing to learn. But until then, I’m just gonna’ keep hoping the government passes a Blackberry my way (what colors do they come in?).

Once upon a time, I could control myself

*It should be noted that the author of this post has NO IDEA what the size of a Blackberry is.

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