On occasion I like to sit by the nearby river, on a park bench and contemplate various things, no push to complete an activity, no drive to move or achieve. Simply being and watching the world.
Today, on one such contemplative session, I thought about irony.
I initially thought about writing some piece of ironic fiction… this bore no fruit.
Then I thought about technology, and the ironic nature of its development.
Often, and not always, technology has this strange way of advancing a function, whilst removing that function…
For example : The mobile phone was invented to make communicating with those around us easier, and no due to mobile phone usage, many people now communicate with those directly around them awkwardly. This can be observed simply by watching the interactions (or lack there of) of strangers on trains, heads down and faces in smart phones. Consider: would you answer your phone if I rung and it was a private number? Lets say 50% of people would.
Then I thought about motion, specifically how transport based technology creates ease and greater feats of motion(distance traveled), at the expense of motion.
Humanity goes from motionlessness (newborn baby) to crawling, to walking to running and so forth. Our body strives for and experiences life by its various motor skills and functions.
As a child, we learn how to ride bikes and skateboards, allowing us to travel our neighborhood with less effort then running/walking.
Then we hit adulthood, and we learn there is a greater world, we are but a small egotistical part of it. We get our first car, allowing us to travel around our town and city at great speeds… without moving from the car seat.
Then we get expendable income, and go on holidays, allowing us to sit in planes and travel around the globe, all from the comfort (laughable comfort mind you… unless you can afford business class or above) of a plane seat… without needing to move.
Man can reach the very moon and (eventually) planets and stars without contributing to the movement required to do so.
Already the seeds are in development for VR technology, which will allow people to experience other places, other worlds* from the comfort of their living room.
Who knows, in 20 years perhaps the drive and need to move will not even be needed to experience the world at large.
These thoughts about technologies advancements and its created the conditions for less movement were only surfaced by my not moving and enjoying the view, air and environment of my local park. More irony? Most likely not.
Edward Leeming 8/12/2017
*Programmed in, and not necessarily a real world**
**Defining is real world is something i will not argue either, today is not a day for philosophy, nor should you bring up the brain in the jar theory. Try again later