Monday, June 27, 2011


My wife asked me to burn a CD the other day for the car and it got me thinking. Isn't media like paper? Haven't we moved passed the need for it?

We certainly have the technology: three iPods, three iPhones, an iPad, and a Kindle all of which are capable of playing music. But the iPods require a headset to listen which is illegal to use while driving. The iPhones are a better choice except that who wants to run down their battery for music. The iPad is new and is still being setup and the Kindle is a poor choice because the control is poor.

It would be nice if we had a car that lets you integrate the music player into it but we don't. We have a car with a CD player which was a requirement for me when we bought the thing seven years ago. Consequently the CDs stack up, like books and DVDs, because they require no extra power and this makes the disk the best choice all around.

Of course, using a gadget for music means checking the battery of the thing.  I am tired of checking the power level of all these devices or my laptops.  Frankly the issue of batteries makes these devices little more than toys.  The power cables that entangle the devices are even worse.  But there's probably a whole blog post about how much I hate all the power cables for these devices.

Now I'm not saying get rid of CDs or the devices that will probably replace them. But I am noticing the clutter of my life collect like cholesterol in the blood and wondering if there isn't a better way. Sometimes I think we have too much technology and promoted without thinking about it's impact on our society or the world. The car is a good example. When there were only a few they weren't a problem. But now in a world of seven billion and counting they are a major source of pollution and potential cause for climate change.

Computer technology is no different. The proliferation of technology is changing us in ways we don't even realize yet and despite this we embrace it like candy and ice cream. I am guilty of this as anyone. But the words of Thoreau scream in my ears to simplify. Perhaps I'm too far down the technology path to change. Perhaps I don't really want to. Or perhaps it's an addiction like cigarettes. I don't know. But it troubles me... Not enough not to buy an iPad but enough to say something. Yellow alert.

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