Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's not January anymore

I think we survived the first month of 2011. Writing that, it occurred to me that you, person reading this, have never heard me say 2011 out loud and I feel a strong need to tell you that I do not say it 'twenty-eleven.' I am a 'two thousand-eleven'er all the way.

This may seem absurd. After all, in a world of abbreviations, short cuts, lols, auto complete and general laziness, why waste time on an extra syllable? Hell, why even bother with the twenty/two thousand? We could shorten it to just saying the '11 part and would people care? Why are we still recording history in regards to the somewhat archaic birth of Christ anyway? Why do we still use the Roman calendar? 365 and 1/4 days per year? 12 months with either 30 or 31 days and even one with only 28?


But what makes sense? Honestly, I'm just screaming even more nonsense into a universe of ramblings and inconsistency. I think we've gotten to the point where we cling to any scrap of familiar as the world shifts around us so rapidly. Sure, some people think technology is great and we're ridiculously advanced and humans are the most awesome thing that every happened to the planet and we need to keep moving forward towards technology and someday we'll fix everything if we throw away everything we've made obsolete...

Yet most technological advancements are built on the past, especially software. A book I was reading called You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier shows how easy it is for a whimsical design to become locked it. And so even when we think we're moving out of the past, we're just creating our own version of it.

Technology may have advanced in the last two thousand/one hundred/fifty/twenty/ten/however many years but human beings haven't really. Not morally. We're still angry, angsty, jealous, hot headed, judgmental, self serving--not individually but generally. So while Hank is super excited about a big telescope and a new Apple product seems to emerge every other week, I'm still questioning whether we're morally advanced enough to handle it all. What's changed since Christ was around and religious prosecution was the norm? Do we learn from history or are we doomed to repeat it?

Yup. It's Thursday.

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