On being, old.

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-11-21 - Jonism

<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>

When I was a younger man I found it curious how some around me had lived before TV, frozen food, zippers.

So what incredible inventions happened after I got used to making fun of old farts for not understanding modern technology?

Genetic engineering; barcodes; post-it-note; car airbags; cellular phones; World Wide Web; Apple, Windows, Amazon; Hubble Telescope; texting; video games; streaming music; email; cellphones; GPS; videos; comments.

When I was a kid, if we wanted to find an answer to something we had to go find a book about it. And if information wasn't common enough to have been written about, you were out of luck. And if it was something that wasn't popular enough that you might already have the book or newspaper it was written in, you were still out of luck. You could drive to a library or try and find someone to ask. But for the most part you were just never going to know.

I wonder if that also meant that I/we just didn't think about things beyond our limited immediate knowledge. I remember not having a TV. Then having a TV with only 3 channels. The only things I knew about world or national events were what I saw on the nightly news.

And how much did the books I happened to grow up with affect the person I could become? I grew up with an encyclopedia, lots of 60s counter-culture books, and a vast number of cookbooks. Is that why I'm a know-it-all, liberty and freedom obsessed foodie? How different would I be if my folks had had a fascination with Bible studies and public service, rather than cooking and Beatniks?

There's also things I had to deal with all the time that don't even exist anymore. I remember when long distance phone calls were crazy expensive. So if you wanted to call someone not in your area code you had to plan on having a big bill for it at the end of the month. Long distance friends or lovers typically meant writing a lot of letters.

Compared to the 70s and 80s, it seems like today's culture is floundering in information rather than being empowered by it. And all that ready access to information seems to have given a powerful voice to the worst of us, while drowning out the best of us.

Am I advocating for a return to simpler times? Certainly not. The internet and video games are things that I'd never want to give up.

Buy prints

<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>
Sign-In With Google To Leave a Comment:
<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>
News
Eugene weather
53.87 degrees F, Clouds (overcast clouds)
Min: 53.04 ,Max: 56.35 ,Humidity: 93, Wind: 11.5
Eugene, OR - Best Restaurants
Eugene, OR - Things to do
Eugene, OR - Fish reports
Oregon road conditions
Recent Posts
- The grand tour
    The move to Oregon was supposed to include many regular road trips. It hasn't. But there was this one.
- Jon is an idiot
    For 4 minutes, out in the Nevada desert, there will be an eclipse in two days. Against odds, I hope to will be there.
- Jon is a failure
    When I look back over my 60 years, the things that I remember most are my failures. And what I worry about most for the future.
- Seasons
    One of the most confusing things in my life right now is seasons. I lived without them for 27 years. They are very inconvenient.
- Baseline
    Our two year journey to deconstruct and understand the concept of existential happiness is over. So what have we found?
- Jon is not crazy
    The crazy is gone. Now we tidy up after the mess two years of crazy has left behind. Or Not.
- New Jon vs
    I was caught off guard by the folks disappointed that I was moving on from "New Jon" posts.
Food I Cooked
Old School Blogroll
kottke.org
Home of fine hypertext products.
MetaFilter
A community weblog.
A Chicken Is Not Pillage
You forgot his exclamation point! It defines him. He put it there for a reason, to show how in! your! face! he is.
jessamyn.com
abada abada - twenty years of jessamyn
Matt Haughey
A Whole Lotta Nothing
dooce
Heater, Mother Of Lance
Anil Dash
A blog about making culture. Since 1999.
Some Bits
Nelson's weblog
Everlasting Blort
proud member of the reality-based community
Whatever
This machine mocks fascists
Scripting News
It's even worse than it appears.
Flutterby
Short attention spans in a world full of flowers
mimi smartypants
Seriously, though: what's with the penguins?
Montreal City Weblog
Stupid Evil Bastard
What the fuck is wrong with you people?
Idle Words
brevity is for the weak
Making Light
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
wilwheaton.net
50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong
Justin Hall
Growing & breaking down since 1994
Mike the Mad Biologist
Helping idiots who desperately need my assistance by calling them fucking morons since 2004
jwz
MSSV
AKMA’s Random Thoughts
Ruminations about hermeneutics, theology, theory, politics, ecclesiastical life… and exercise.
things magazine
An occasional weblog about objects, collections and discoveries
Miscellaneous Heathen
Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
kimberussell.com
where it's always Virgo Season
Cockeyed
Recent Trips
Getting it ready for you.