Posts Tagged ‘electronics’

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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I was proud of myself today. I took a whole hour, out of my already busy day, to bring my old PowerBook to the FedEx store for recycling. There was only one glitch. The Apple folks sent me an incomplete email, without the necessary bar code to make the FedEx transaction possible. I called Apple Customer Service, and was placed on hold for a good fifteen minutes. Once I got through, it was another fifteen minutes of questioning, and in the end no resolution. I was told to go home, pull out my Apple receipt, and then log onto the website, so that they can send me another email, this one hopefully with the magic bar code. I started wavering, considering other options. I could just ditch the thing at Goodwill, although it is totally broken, and then who knows what they will do with it. I even considered the ultimate crime, throwing it in the garbage. I became angry at Apple for sabotaging my best intentions. What will happen to the old computer? Right now, it is sitting on the floor, by my desk. It will be a while, before I take another shot at recycling it. In the mean time, I have decided to hold off on my criminal urges. It will be saved from the landfill, or another uncertain fate.

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