Monday, January 5, 2015


I have lived through remarkable changes during my seventy plus years.  I have probably seen more change in my lifetime than any single person from any prior generation. 

The greatest changes have happen over the past thirty years due to the advent of micro-miniature computer advancements.   These advancements have increased life expectancy, aided in every form of endeavor and made mankind more in control of his or her environment.     Life without electronics would be unimaginable to most people.

However, for every advancement we lose something of our humanity. 

Life was not ideal in the forties and fifties when I was a child.    There were many groups of people disenfranchised because of race or social status. But, there was a peace and a pace of life that was far more comforting than today.   There were no cell phones and people did not stay connected 24/7; if you were traveling you waited until your destination to communicate with friends or family: you actually talked to people face to face – people relished conversation.   There was no TV or texting so people ate meals together and conversed.   You communicated with distant friends and family with hand written letters – a personal touch that is lacking in e-mail.   Everything was slower: more personal.  

Today on technology news new products for 2015 were listed.
1.    A wearable camera that live streams to the internet.
2.    Electronic house plant waterer.
3.    Levitating speakers.
4.    A tooth brush that connects to your smartphone and keeps track of each time you brush and allows interactive games.
5.    A wrist watch that connects to your smart phone or computer and notes all your activity, physical condition and keeps time.
6.    Electronic roller skates.
7.    Coffee pot that is activated by your smart phone.
8.    Electronic baby bottle that tracks an infant’s intake and tells you the correct angle for efficient feeding.
9.    A wearable thermometer connected to your blue tooth that monitors your or your children’s temperature 24/7.
10.                    GPS tracking devices for young children.
11.                    GPS tracking wrist watches for your older children.
12.                    GPS tracking devices for your pets.
13.                    House locks that lock or unlock with a touch of your finger.
14.                    Travel bags and suit cases that lock and unlock via smartphone.
15.                    Gas cooking ranges that have digital video displays and can be operated with your smartphone.
16.                    Numerous home security cameras: one with an orb recording capability (spherical recording.)
17.                    An electronic belt that warns you if you gain weight and automatically loosens when you sit down.
18.                    And of course, numerous personal drones with various capabilities.

It is a new world.   Many things are better, but at a cost.

the Ol'Buzzard


  1. Phones are a good example in my life. The first phone in the house had a crank on it and was on a party line. Now we have smart phones.

    The thing that gets me is what happened to AM radio (besides the fact that it got taken over by Reich-WingNut BULLSHIT0, when I was in high school you could get many stations on AM (that's all we had). Now the stations I used to listen to don't want to come in. I don't know if they've reduced the power or is it because there is now so many radio signals in the air that AM gets drowned out???

    1. Late at night I use to listen to country from Del Rio, Texas and black rock and roll from Memphis, Tennessee on AM. Like you we didn't have or know anything about FM.

    2. At night I used to listen to WLS from Chicago and at times The Grand Ole Opry from a Nashville station. Sometimes would even get a station out of New Orleans.

  2. GPS for kids and pets has been around for awhile. They put GPS trackers on old people in nursing homes, too, so if some geezer with dementia goes wandering off into the night they can find him fast.

    1. I love GPS. Beats the hell out of compass and maps. I guess these new releases are just packaged differently - probably smaller.

  3. I could not live with out radio! When I was a kid, it was my gate way to alien Chicago Blues, The Grand Ol' Opry, CBC...I had a big old radio that had pretty good shortwave reception. In the 60's and 70's every town had a station that played new rock, that's how the music industry existed. I think that the freedom that alternative radio gave the music industry at that time inspired the music business to take chances. It's impossible to to imagine a tight assed hard boiled music executive giving an unknown freak like Frank Zappa the opportunity to release a double record of outside the box noise today. I love the surreal musician, Sun Ra and he existed totally outside of the industry. He sold his records out of the trunks of cars....hand made record sleeves, because the companies he recorded with had the courage and were able to take chances to give him the freedom to exist. Speaking of Mr. Ra and the difference between then and now and the control of technology over our lives, he applied for an American passport in the 1960's. He refused to give any real information about himself....his real name, place of birth and age. It might be more of testimony to the power of utter weirdness, but he was issued a passport in the name of Sun Ra, with no birthdate listed and his birthplace was listed as the planet Saturn. He traveled all over the world with that passport until his death in the early mid 1990's. No one could get away with that today. I have a cell phone we use occasionally. I like my computer and have learned most of what I know through osmosis. Working as a graphic artist, I fell deeply into the devils playpen of Photoshop....I relied on it so much that I almost had to learn how to draw all over again. I try to live with as little technology as possible. I hate that my car needs a specialist to do diagnostics with the chips. I did treat my self to one tech present for Christmas...I bought a new Grundig 12 band radio! My old Yacht Boy died after 22 years. We still have great radio here in France. Much of the country is rural and there is great eclectic programming and local stations. Last night on France Inter, I listened to a great program featuring the new recording by the guitarist James of the classic American proto punk artists of all time...and the presenters of the program did a live phone interview with Mr. Williamson...Politics, music, in depth news...Radio still lives in France! I even listen to BBC4 on long wave!

  4. My mother in law (my kids' last grandparent) just turned 95. Trying to imagine what she has seen and heard is hard. Skype really confuses her.

    I walk my dog through the local cemetery and look at tombstones of babushka's born in 1900 and died in 1997. Never mind the technology, try to imagine the history she lived through.

    Things were always better "twenty years before we were born" but a great deal of the current plastic happiness is stuff I am content to live without.

    Happy New Year!


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