We’ve all seen it; the traffic inevitably comes to a stand still. The flashing orange lights and construction signs abruptly merging multiple lanes down to only one. There are no other options…
This is how technology feels to me-everything consolidated and merged down to only one lane, and it is the same for everyone. What’s more, is the merge is into the fast lane. You only have a few seconds, go. Whether this is industry or consumer/trend driven is debatable, but it is putting all the eggs into one basket.
There is time and place for technology. My gripe is that it changes so fast and dominates everything. There is the collective tendency to put all eggs into one basket. By choice, some people have to start living differently. This just makes sense.
I don’t want a Tesla or a car or phone that does everything for me including think. I could c a r e l e s s. I was impressed, however to see that one of the eco e-cars charging in the lot the other day was a Tesla. That’s for someone else though. I’m not interested. Instead, I want a camel. You went back to reread that sentence, just admit it. A camel would be the coolest ride, and they are so perfectly adapted through natural selection to a desert environment such as Utah. Further, a few camels here and there would be more sustainable and in wiser stewardship than millions of cars. Not to worry; it isn’t everyone and their dog, just a few people and their camel.
Your Tesla with all its fancy gadgetry can’t adapt to specific biomes the way nature can. Still, I’m glad they’re available for those who want them, especially since they have the eco/e-car side.
But some of us have to be the ones to say “naa, I’m good.” Not everyone should try to do and live like everyone else. This is chaos.
“Why not just a good old fashioned horse?”
That sounds great too and all; nothing against horses; it’s just that camel being so perfectly designed for the desert and all; it just makes sense.
The thing is I want less and less to do with the direction that technology is taking, and taking us with it so rapidly that we don’t even notice. That camel is my ride, slow and steady. You think I’m kidding, and although I may be partially, but the point is to consider the possibilities and to think outside the box. This may sound funny, and something you’d associate with India, or the Middle East, and not the U.S. Yet, in terms of population, the U.S is third behind China and India respectively at around 380 million (1) anyway. The difference is timing. The former two took a few thousand years, and due to the rapid industrial revolution, we did it in America in a few hundred.
Then there is the one lane thing, built for only one type of transportation. Motor vehicles obviously dominate. Society itself is practically designed around it. There is what, 2% (just a guess) of space left for anything else including pedestrians. This is short sighted, monoculture on steroids and meth. Diversity is the answer and it should be woven through the design. There should be options for alternative travel: lanes, routes, thoroughfares, roads for escooters, bicycles, skateboards, walkers, joggers, paths for camels and those who have formed admirable bonds with their animals.
It’s curious that developed countries reach a point of saturation with things (literally heaps of stuff), technology and its accompanying mayhem and stress. Then, towards a solution, those developed nations always look back to simpler days and ancient ways, and traditions of developing nations for simpler, quieter, slower, more thorough and lighter ways that aren’t so stressful, hectic or destructive. Better yet, there would be ammended zoning adjustments to the infrastructure to make all of this more feasible. The boards, bikes, e scooters and animals for those who choose to use them as transportation. This relieves some of the pressure so that not everybody is trying to live, house, buy the same way.
My friend’s 12 year old daughter actually said about her cell phone the other day “mom, I don’t want all this anymore; can we just go back to when you were growing up in the 80’s?” It is no joke. She truly said that. I wish I could have caught it on video for you. This is a flip side to this issue. Kids get blamed for being inside too much playing too many video games, always in front of a screen, not getting outside in the sunshine for exercise, etc. Yet, what other options do they really have in this matrix for them to do so?? When we were growing up there were fields and forests. Things have drastically changed as you may have noticed. That is all gone now. Everybody knows we need three more medical clinics on every corner. I hope you’re sensing my sarcasm here. We’ve had very little say and it practically all happened overnight.
Just imagine the possibilities of organization by choice that more evenly distributes the eggs of society instead of them all being lumped into one basket. They are spilling over the side of the container. The eggs are breaking on the sidewalk; they make for a slimy mess when people step in them. They are being hurled at cars; it is ruining the paint and creating tension, stress, frustration and mayhem.
Some of us from the camel caravan look to the side and laugh at all the mayhem never looking back. We know we don’t need to.
(1.) Social Problems, 13th edition.