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Tech Obesity *munch*

Here’s a brilliant New Year’s Day piece by New York Times columnist, Pico Iyer, simply titled ‘The Joy of Quiet’. I’m probably not surprised if this article had been intentionally written to pack some New Year’s Day punch. If you have not made any new year resolutions, great. You might want to read this before making any.

Here are some of my favourite picks, though there are many others that are as quotable:

We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. Partly because we’re so busy communicating. And — as he might also have said — we’re rushing to meet so many deadlines that we hardly register that what we need most are lifelines.

But why not? We have abundance these days…

So what to do? The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them; the information revolution came without an instruction manual. All the data in the world cannot teach us how to sift through data; images don’t show us how to process images. The only way to do justice to our onscreen lives is by summoning exactly the emotional and moral clarity that can’t be found on any screen.

I believe time has come, that we are only going to immerse ourselves in as many devices and screens as we can finitely handle. We are only going to absorb as much information as we can feed on. This is where we have to be picky and selective. And, the benefits of being picky and selective are huge.

I’m not taking pride in being less susceptible to the over-reliance on technology, gadgetry, media and all things that munch data (in fact, who wouldn’t mind a bit more help for convenience sake?), but my conviction all along has been that, it seems pointless to dedicate ourselves to the relentless pursuit for more information and convenience. I’m not certain if I can stop using my computer as my work demands it, but there are 101 things that I’m certain that are probably redundant to me.

How much information does one really need anyway?

I know computers, machines, mobiles, whatever you call them, need plenty of yummy data (sometimes you can hear them scream, “Give me more, bugger!”) because they are dumb and inanimate. You need to give them instructions. They need to be told.

OK, maybe the right context to re-frame this is: What are you giving up in return for this information? And then, you can re-visit and re-answer the first question again.

If I could put it in another analogy, we have unknowingly “outsourced” most of our daily lives, emotions and thinking away to these technology that we have somewhat ceased to live, express and think, even if not, minimally.

People need to get a grip. Without your smartphone or tablet or PS3 or Wii or Facebook or Twitter, you are not dead, you can do something ELSE.

1 comment(s) to this post


this good our generation’s souls!

#1danielkhoo  ::  6 January 2012, 00:55  ::  #

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to be posted on 26 July 2017, 06:37

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