Sunday, August 16, 2015

Day 8.138 Hal on Wheels

Sufficiently advanced technologies are indistinguishable from magic.

So said Mr. 2001 A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clark. With kudos to Stanley Kubrick, who, although uncredited, I am sure shared Mr Clarke's understanding of science and magic, It is time to look a little closer at the brilliance of this concept.

I think about this every time I fly. I am sitting in an aluminum tube with fixed wings, sipping a cold beverage, taking notes on my computer, at over 500 miles per hour. Surely the airline industry recognizes this and adds a 'magic tax' to their basic fare structure.

Cellular telephones. No cords, cables, rotary dials or party lines. I can be (almost) anywhere and talk to (almost) anyone I choose. The sophistication of the latest phones, including wi-fi, bluetooth and GPS, is truly phenomenal. Seriously borderline magic. If the carriers weren't so over-filled with greed (I must buy a two-year contract?) I would answer every call with hocus-pocus instead of hello, but every time I pay my service bill I feel like I have been sawed in half.

Computer tech. Off the charts magical. The things we can do these days, that we couldn't dream of doing five-ten-twenty years ago are just as amazing as making an elephant disappear. In my little genre of video editing, I can do as much as my imagination allows. Yes, Final Cut Pro non-linear editing suites are a grand, my G5 (going on six) was almost three large, and my cameras, storage units and peripherals another couple of K's, for me to 'compete' with Hollywood, at home, with a zero budget, is like pulling a daily bunny out of my beret.

My bike. I have said this before and I will most likely say it a few more times before I am done, but the bicycle is arguably the most magical of all inventions. With it's (relatively) simple technology, utilitarian design ever increasing range of use, and zero fossil fuel consumption, it gets my vote as 'most magical'.

Granted all of the above take some human connection to be considered complete, but that is part of the magic, too.

They need our consciousness and awareness to properly reach the lofty goal of magic.  The case can be made, therefore, that we are all, those of us who fly, surf, chat, edit and ride, magicians.

These magic words being said, I will never name my bike HAL.

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