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Posts Tagged ‘computers’

12 by 8. That’s the universe I live in. 12 by 8, inches. Twelve hours a day, glued to my computer screen. I know, I can use my eyes, and my ears, and my mind to visit the world, from that tiny window. Still, that feels pretty limiting. I hadn’t really thought about it that way, until last weekend, when I decided to follow Charlotte’s hint to plant some vegetables in our yard.

In the midst of pulling out some weeds, it hit me big that I hadn’t been out in the world, really out, in a long long time. Out, as in getting down close to the earth. Out, as in getting drunk from forgotten smells, the grasses, the dirt, the air. Out, as in hearing the white noise from the dancing stems. Out, as in seeing the nearly invisible hairs on the tiny leaves . Out as in fighting with the subterranean roots, that threatened to overtake the fertile soil. Three hours later I rose, my body aching, and happy.

Since then, it has come to my attention, that the wonder of the Internet, and more broadly technology, comes at a price. We have shrunk our world to a series of metal boxes and rectangles. Computer, TV, car, plane, it’s all the same. A world that is tasteless, odorless, and cold. A world that filters all the noises and sights from the outside, according to some pre-established programs. A world that takes us further and further away from nature.

No wonder I feel cut off. 12 by 8, inches, that’s the extent of my connection.

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Below is a copy of the email I just sent today, to the Computer History Museum, that is based here in Silicon Valley:

Hello,

I am a blogger here in the Valley, and just featured a very powerful movie, ‘The Digital Dump’, in my blog. The 23′ documentary was produced by the Basel Action Network, and will be shown as part of the United Nations Association Film Festival, next week at Stanford University. ‘The Digital Dump’ is about the scandal of junk electronics, mostly computers, that are being dumped by the US and Europe, into developing countries such as Africa. The mountains of unusable computers end up being burnt, right in the middle of residential neighborhoods, resulting in extraordinary environmental health hazards, especially amongst children.

It struck me that ‘The Digital Dump’ story is a part of the computer history, here in Silicon Valley, and I was wondering if that is something you would consider showing in the context of your museum?

I look forward to your response.

Today is Blog Action Day, featuring the Environment. I felt moved to act, beyond just blogging. And felt stirrings of activism brewing.

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