Protect Your Rights Now

What if I were to tell you that your most basic rights were being stolen from you.  The right of self-determination.  The right to use your time and live your life the way you see fit is being systematically stripped from you.

Pretty scary isn’t it?  But the really scary part is that you may not even realize it is happening, until it is too late.  We are systematically being manipulated into giving up control of our lives to others.  They say our lives will be easier, safer, and more productive.  Our needs will be anticipated and all the rough spots smoothed over.

It may be that the very fabric of our society will unravel if we don’t release our control to them.  You ask, “How can this be?  Is this a joke?  Are you kidding?”

No, I am not kidding.  This is no joke.  This is the absolute truth!

The media you use everyday, to make your lives easier, is actually controlling you.   Do you doubt this?  Remember the movie, You’ve Got Mail?  Every time the notification comes up, they runs to the computer to check the message.  We do the exact same thing.  If it has been awhile, we check anyway.

You've Got Mail Poster

All day long our phones ding, whistle, or chirp with notifications to let us know we have a message, important advertisement, a friend on social media has posted an important picture, or we have a new like or comment on our blog.  We rush to our phones to see what is going on.  Our phone is by our side at dinner, and in our hand when we are talking to someone.  In a meeting, and even while driving, we keep that phone in view just in case.

The apps we use each have features to keep us engaged with them:  a like occasionally, an emogie,  an attaboy of absolutely no monitary value, but panders to our need to belong and be accepted.  As we become increasingly connected technologically to our world, the control of our devices gets stronger.

We develop feelings of anxiety when we can’t check our likes, and heaven forbid our numbers dip.  Even though it isn’t a competition, we constantly check for the validation of another follower, our shares, and our likes across social media.

Knowing of this control by our devices is not enough to break their control.  We must make a conscious choice and make an effort to take our time back.  This technology connects us, and we value that.  We can chose to break the habit of constantly checking.  We can take some time that is technology free.  We do not need to respond to every notification.  We can set down our devices, and use our hands for something else.

Our society will not unravel if we don’t know immediately that we have another like.  In fact, we may feel refreshed, and still feel the connection and affirmation after we get a few other things done.

 

Note:  There were several notifications that flashed upon the screen while I was writing this.  I ignored them all as I crafted this post for you.

First Cell Phone

Do you know what this piece of technology is?  This is the Motorola Dyna TAC.  Hubby had to carry this around back in the day.  This is the original portable phone, aka the first cell phone, nicknamed the brick. The brick weighed 2 pound and cost $3995 and featured a half hour of talk time when fully charged.  (I just found one on E-Bay for $49.99)

Over burdened repair guys had to carry these phones, along with their tools, with them on their calls.   Salesmen had them mounted in their cars.  Wall street types would cart them along to their martini lunches.

No one had the brick just in case.  For just in case, we had pay phones, or friendly businesses that would let you use the phone in an emergency.  The brick had no games that could be played while waiting for an appointment.  The brick had no Kindle app for reading while you are waiting.  The brick had no camera, no pictures, no social media to share with.  The brick was used for business only. (Maybe the very rich used the brick for personal emergencies.)

The miniature version we have today, that we can just be slipped into a pocket, owes a debt to the brick.

 

 

Rare Item

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This 1979 technology is a 16,000 byte by 16 bit core memory  board, large capacity computer memory from the collection of Allen M. Sutton.  Today a 32 million byte thumb drive is a common computer memory device.

The Daily Post Photo Challenge:  Rare

Day 2 Quote Challenge

Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and ‘progress,’ everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, ‘Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.’”

― Robert Anton Wilson

When I saw today’s word, profound, I thought I might not be able to fulfill my quotes challenge and my Daily Post in the same posting.  I typed into my computer, ‘quotes profound’.  Success!  The internet did not let me down.  In fact, with the quote within the quote, I get two profound statements.  Many people don’t have the time in their daily lives to wonder how we got from being stone age rock wielders to our comfortable high-tech world of today.

These are the type of statements made by philosophers, theologians, sages, and other long ball hitters.  These statements are deeply layered keen insights into our human condition.  Statements for people with a vision for what could be.

You hear people bemoan the plight of our youth, because they are immersed in their devises.  Not long ago it was wondered why we would even need personal computers for our desks.  When the television was invented people scoffed, because who would want to sit in front of that thing for hour a day.  When the telephone was invented, the break down of society was predicted because people would no longer have a reason to leave their homes.  When printing and books came into being, the powers that be were concerned about the subversive nature of materials like the Bible, which average people were not smart enough to understand on their own.

The immoral music of Prince, replaced the immoral music of the Beatles of my youth, replacing the immoral music of Elvis before that, and every new creation, back to and including the great classical music of today were immoral, subversive, or just plain weird.

This is true of every endeavor of humankind, yet we just don’t stop.  On a personal note, Hubby knew the man who invented the blood pressure device you see in drug stores.  I thought, no, people aren’t going to do that.  We did not invest.  My bad.  We could be rich, instead, we maintained the status quo.

Now I hope you will continue to read about the 3 day Quote Challenge, and visit the bloggers I have nominated.  Or you could just be happy with the status quo and stop here.

I am participating in this challenge upon the invitation of Bee Organized with Pamela, with her cheerful and welcoming writing voice she welcomes us into her home and gives us tips to get organized, along with some other pieces of inspiration.  You will enjoy your visit.  I had a rough start on this challenge, but figured out how it was supposed to work.  I apologize to my nominees for any confusion I may have caused.

According to the rules, I nominate three bloggers to participate.  It is a joy to share their blogs with you.  I hope you will enjoy their blogs as much as I do.

Today’s nominees:

spanishwoods, a wonderful photographer, poet and essayist.  Always a joy.

Monique at DiviNation, a beautifully artistic person.  You will enjoy her postings.

Covert Novelist, Phyllis, is a writer, reviewer, and fun person.  Enjoy.

 

 

The Challenger Astronauts

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STS-51L Crew (l-r): Payload Specialists Christa McAuliffe and Gregory B. Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnik, Commander Francis R. Scobee, Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka.
Credits: NASA

 

After the Challenger explosion and the tragic death of these seven brave astronauts, President Ronald Reagan made this thoughtful statement to children who were following the mission due to the inclusion of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher,   “I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”

 

Store Robot

On this wonderful Wednesday I have been learned about a robot called Tally that can keep track of everything on the grocery store shelves.   It is a tall sleek device that rolls up and down the isles and looks for gaps, and things out of place.  I found the comments interesting.  While some people see this as a good way to free people up for more important and/or interesting tasks, others see it as a way to wipe out minimum wage jobs, and replace people.  Some of the comments say that replacing people who demand $15 an hour for menial labor is just what you should expect, but I am not sure this is the motivation.

Many years ago, I read The Third Wave, by Alvin Toffler.  This book was way above my head, but I ploughed through.  What I got out of the book was this:

  1. In a world where the horse an buggy were essentials, buggy whip manufactures were common.  As the car, replaced the horse and buggy, the buggy whip manufactures dwindled to one.  The very best buggy whip maker, and he can charge a lot for his skill and quality.
  2. Technology, particularly information technology, would become increasingly important.  Heavy industry that pollutes and requires cheep labor would be moved to third world countries.
  3. Healthcare, where technology and information perfectly compliment each other, would grow, and service industries would grow to meet the continued needs of the human population.
The world is changing, and change can be a struggle.  Expectations change, and we are constantly trying to catch up with change.  We can choose to just stop, and not play.  Modern life offers us much that we can live a nice life without:  tweets, social media, up to the minute weather updates, the latest blow by blow news reporting, and streaming media. We don’t need the constant contact with friends and family, with the ability to know exactly where to find them, what they are eating and what their pets are doing.  We don’t need to.  I just really like knowing I’m in contact incase.
This progression is inevitable, but we must remember the least capable within our society. If we do not have minimum wage jobs that can support those with varying degree of handicap, how are we going to help them to take care of themselves?  This information and technology age has the potential to leave many behind.
Tally is just another small step forward.  I am sure that Tally will streamline the ordering and restocking process that for now will still need to be done by people.  Now if Tally could walk my dogs, and pick up after them, that would be really great.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a sacred time in most households, when all distractions were shut off, and the family sat down together to enjoy each others company, share their day, and celebrate their successes.

Have you guessed? It was the family dinner. Televisions were turned off. If the telephone rang, which was unlikely because all your friends were also eating dinner, you politely answered that you would return their call after dinner. Dinner time was family time. The Beaver would tell how he hit a home run in the neighborhood ball game, while his brother would tell how well he thought he did on the math test. Ward would congratulate the boys and talk about his day, while June would serve up the family favorite: meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Once upon a time, most people looked forward to that time when the family came back together, and the meals that only Mom could make the best. But time marches on. Mom is to busy to cook, but the selection of carry in meals is terrific. The family can still eat together, if practice for an array of sports and other activates would only allow it. When the family does finally get together, they are often to exhausted for sharing, and besides, the television is on.

There is an alternative that many families take advantage of a few times a week. They eat out. No television, now they can talk.
Not so with the family we sat near a few nights ago. There they were with their three very well behaved kids. The only conversation those kids heard were from tables surrounding them, and Mom on the cell phone who at least once told them to shut up as she was talking on the phone.

Is it any wonder that these kids, came to visit our table. Mom did get off the phone to order them back by her side, and then manhandled them into place when they did not respond fast enough. The children were then promptly ignored.

This was only the most resent example of families totally being shut out by the cell phone. I’ve seen spouses with one on the phone while the other ate alone in a restaurant. I’ve seen people on an unfortunate date where the phone was in use by one.

Cell phones are everywhere. I’ve been in line at a store where everyone is trying to be quiet so as not to disturb the person on the phone. At the register you can’t tell if the person on phone is really aware of what is going on. At the playground the tweens all have their cell phones out and they don’t even talk, they text.

People driving while on their cell phones has caused many an uneasy moment, and even accidents. These real dangers have lead to a movement to take a no cell phone while driving pledge, and legislation requiring hands free for driving.

I’ve heard of a shop that has posted a sign that if you are using a cell phone, they will wait for you to complete your call so they don’t interrupt you to provide service. At movie theaters they request you turn off your phone, but in the darkened theater you can see the glow of the cell phone as people are texting.

Once upon a time had a lot of draw backs, but it had some really nice things also. If we are a little creative we can take control our cell phones and retain some of those nice things, like family dinners and sharing our day and successes.

Some Summer Ideas

School children are free of bulky jackets, and long to be free of school and outside in the warm sunshine. But wait, it is still May.

Well, it is only May for a few more days. We celebrate Memorial Day with a traditional family picnic on the last day of the month. Then it is June, but schools still have a week or so before they are out for the summer. Your favorite television shows has most likely already had its season finally, with an appropriate cliffhanger to keep you hooked in until the fall. Programming directors and station managers know that Memorial Day picnic will be the first of many keeping you away from the television.

Summer offers a host of activities from a day out in the yard to a day at the beach, and day trips to cross country trips. Our day to day habits change with the season. We go out early in the day, before the summer heat to get our exercise and yard chores completed. In the heat of the day we visit a pool with the kids, or go to the beach. We cook in the backyard to keep the heat out of the house, or take a trip to a park for a relaxing meal in the shade, and maybe a game of ball. Summer movies are an afternoon treat, providing a cool retreat.

Television must compete with all of the summer activities. Their advertising revenue depends upon being able to deliver viewers. Reruns of programming allow viewers to re-watch their favorite shows, or sample competing program. Summer is the perfect time to experiment with programming, as a viewer, or a station. Not wanting to lose your viewer ship, new programming is being promoted.

Summer offerings include many new programs: Scoundrels (ABC), criminals with good family values; The Gates (ABC), vampires with a taste for the good life; Hawaii Five-O (CBS), crime fighting in Hawaii; Farscape (from SciFi to CBS), USA astronaut runs for his life in a distant galaxy with escaped convicts; Nashville Star with Billy Ray Cyrus (NBC); and coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing (NBC).

There should be enough choices to keep just about anyone glued to the tube, and advertisers happy. Television holds our attention, entertains, and lulls us into inactivity. With overweight being a major health concern in our country for many, programmers have started to address the problem. I’ve watched programs with the littlest members of the family that attempt to engage children physically, by asking them to wavy their arms, hop, stoop down low, etc., to assist with the action on the screen. From what I have seen, there is very limited success in attaining physical involvement. As one who will watch an exercise program while eating my breakfast, I can predict it wouldn’t work on adults any better.

We like television, and sometimes a program comes along that we are willing to adjust our personal schedules to ensure we are free at viewing time. Many of us use a digital video recorder (DVR) to expand our viewing opportunities, while others choose not to watch. For most of us, the important choice is one of balance between the programs we enjoy, and the other things in our lives.

Just like a school kid, I can’t hardly wait for the new summer shows. I mean, I can hardly wait for summer.

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