Needing a whole new world like a hole in the head

Call me an early adapter.

A cultural shift is brewing, a movement toward resisting the encroachment of gadgetry.

I signed up as a charter member of the movement.

Nonetheless . . .

The cruel world forces one to have some kind of mobile phone these days. The cars encourage us to travel all over the place. We still need to some degree to stay in touch with our home base. The pay phone booths have all been smashed to smithereens.

Having to have to have a phone I had a flip-phone. The Hardware cost $20. The Software cost $100/year. That bought me twenty million minutes of talk time (flip phone didn’t do data, didn’t do apps) of which I used about twenty in the course of a year. But the audio quality of my particular model stunk and after a while my wife wouldn’t talk to me. When I went to get A Hardware Upgrade ($25) I discovered that a rudimentary smartphone and an upgraded flip-phone now cost the same $25.

Good, I guess, because the cruel world is forcing one to have a smartphone. Not only have the pay phone booths been deconstructed, but now the corner library wants you to flash a QR.

My smartphone is rudimentary but, as they all are, it’s a whole world. It does twenty million things. Each screen has a hundred special pixels that do something when touched. If you touch the wrong one you’re lost and you have to figure out how to untouch. There are a hundred Cool Things you could do with It if you had twenty weeks to read up about them. There are a hundred settings.

It can be done, although I can’t say I actually know anyone who knows all the settings, does all the things, manages all their messages in such a way as to avoid overwhelm.

It can be done, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s a whole ’nother new world, as is the aura surrounding every machine, every device, all Hardware, all Software, all media, all projects, all strivings, all desiderata within mass institutional-technological society.

The movement to resist doubled its membership last year from six to twelve. By doubling every year we figure to encompass all of humanity by the end of the millennium.