With a bit of imagination, one can see this scene as metaphor for old meeting new: modern technology side-by-side with superstition.
The garden of a hotel in/on Mauritius is guarded by the latest video surveillance equipment, while ancient figures watch over the spirits...or the spirits watch over the garden and anyone passing by. Who knows...
Modern travel includes a whole bunch of technology. Every device has a different set of cables and batter charger. One needs an extra bag only for cables, chargers, plugs, and adaptors.
I fondly recall the days, when one traveled with a pen and paper...which I still carry.
My daughter’s new house is almost finished. Today, the front door lock was installed, and I learned something. The door is opened with a fingerprint, not a key. This is a great feature with small children, who cannot be trusted with a key. Up to 99 people can be programmed to have access, if anyone is foolish enough to have so many close friends and relatives.
This feature caused my to think about fingerprints. What is the natural imperative for every human to have a unique pattern on each fingertip? Whatever phenomenon was responsible for life and evolution came up with this trait, so there must have been a reason. Everything in the universe is controlled by mathematics, I can see no rhyme or reason. Fingerprints are not physics, as far as I can recall from my course in high school. Did he/she/it/they (although I cannot see a committee being involved) already foresee the need for crime solving and door locks?
At least fingerprints serve useful purposed; unique snowflakes make no sense and serve none.
I just read an interesting book, Digital Vertigo, about the way the world has become/is heading. Basically, it is about social media and connectivity. The book predicts that everyone on the planet will be connected, somehow, in the future. If still alive, someone will have to place a gun to my head...
First conclusion: I am glad that I am retired! That is not my world. I use the internet (which supposedly will be replaced by social media), but do not want to join Facebook, Twitter, or their ilk (proliferation seems to be a potential problem). I am amazed at how much information people willingly make available to everyone. Aristotle, Konrad Lorenz, and others stated that “man is a social being”. All failed to reckon with the likes of people like me!
Next, I thought of the famous Apple commercial from the 80s, in which they portrayed IBM as Big Brother. I find it ironic, since Apple has taken over the role of Big Brother, because they “control/can spy on” anyone that purchases one of their products. This difference is that the drones the audience of today, as opposed to the actors in the IBM commercial audience, all volunteer to be watched.
Next, if everyone is connected everyone else on the planet, how many of those people will they actually know? The current definition of friend will no longer apply. I recall speaking with Russians, after the fall of the Soviet Union. They told me that a “friend” was someone you could trust with your life...because lives were lost and prisons filled because of non-friends. Connectivity cannot mean trust. I thought of a crowded London subway car, where people play with iPads, smart phones, etc. Many might be "connected" by some social media site, but are unaware to each other's proximity and actual existence. All remain mere "faces in a crowd", despite being connected. To me, this is "faux social".
Finally, I have another question. If connectivity means that people will “never be alone again”, what about jobs, salary, food...survival, which is the other (negative) trend of the future? I doubt that social media can solve society’s problems, nor do those companies want to. People running these businesses seem to be interested only in the money. If you read the book, you will notice how many times the author uses the term “multiple billionaire”.
After this brief foray into the real world, I will happily return to fiction...
I miss the days when one could travel without assorted cables, chords, plugs, chargers, and adapters. Then again, plugs and adapters are not so bad, other than taking luggage space and adding weight. No, cables cause the most aggravation (which they also do at home!), especially headphone cables.
Any irritation, large or small, on vacation is unwelcome. Having to deal the airport injustices, fellow travelers, and tipping cannot be avoided. Sadly, the invasion of more and more gadgets, without which modern humans cannot survive, ensure a tangle or two each day.
Adding to the list of what I hate—after people—and things that you cannot live with and cannot live without—like women—is technology.
At times, I miss the old days, when things were simpler. I’m talking about a time when there were three television channels and transistor radios, which played good music. Television had dials, which you had to stand up to operate. I recall the first video recorder, which had two levers to record and no timer. Now, one needs an advanced degree (or a teenaged child) to operate most household equipment. I have five remote controls in my living room to operate the television, even though some are multi-purpose. After the cleaning lady has been near the television, nothing seems to work the way it did before she arrived. It takes some random pushing of buttons to return to semi-normal. I do not expect to experience “normal” again anytime soon.
I have six computers, each handling different tasks. I do not want to rely on only Mac or PC, because each has its strengths and weaknesses. I do not discard old computers, because there is data which I do not want to move or erase. Mac has Word, but it is not as good as PC Word, which is useful for my dodgy novels. Mac is good for music and is linked to my phone, and it looks nice on my desk.
But, when I write a book, I use a Mont Blanc fountain pen and stand an antique stand-up desk. Sometimes, progress is our most important problem, and one must fight to maintain old ways.
NB. The title sounds like the firm which paid Romney obscene amounts of money to destroy jobs, but is spelled differently. That said, the definition works well, despite the different spelling.
I like maps. I like to know where I am and where I am going. I have been known to ask for directions, but can usually make it on my own...because I have a map.
I resisted for years acquiring a GPS in my car, despite family belittling, until it came as standard equipment in the latest model. I still consult and carry maps (best are Michelin), but have found traffic information useful. I make a habit of leaving the Autobahn to avoid traffic jams (Stau), not wishing to join the lemmings in the ensuing conversion of the highway into a giant parking lot. The GPS usually provides an early warning.
An article in The New Atlantic points out the loss humans must endure from too much technology and the death of adventurous forays into the unknown or uncharted.
I'm fairly certain that few care, because most people prefer ease to imagination and comfort to adventure.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.