Today’s post is completely atypical and is probably a one off. So get yourself ready, make yourself comfortable, take a deep breath and dive in.
This is going to make me sound very very old but…
I remember the days when televisions had a black and white picture and channels were changed by tuning a dial to the correct frequency for each station. I remember the excitement of getting the “television man” ti install a tv which he set up with clunky push buttons on the front which turned the set over to a pre-tuned channel.
The television man seemed to be a regular visitor as transistors and capacitors blew and were replaced by him,, removing the back panel from the tv and revealing the huge tube and electron gun (which sounded like a futuristic comic-book weapon) inside and he would patiently explain what everything inside was for to this 5,6,7 year old.
I loved science and the first remote control was a wonder, as its thick cable stretched across the living room floor. Next up came the amazing “clicker” which emitted a pitch above an adults upper hearing range. It clicked up channel and downchannel. I worked out that these two functions were different frequencies by repeatedly firing the thing in my ear at close range like an insane game of Russian roulette with the long term effects on my hearing (I won).
After that, there was the step into colour television. Colour transmissions reached our part of Britain relatively late- being surrounded by hills tv reception always suffered after the switchover from 405 line VHF transmissions to 625line UHF (the shorter wavelength was blocked by the hills).
TV evolution seemed to slow down, stepping out from wooden cabinets and into plastic casings.
Then introduction of a 4th TV channel, Breakfast Television, daytime television, a 5th channel (which was rolled out very, very slowly).
Fast forward to the here and now- hundreds of channels, live TV and catch-up services available in your pocket, on a phone, recent movies streamed over the internet which has become so pervasive you wouldn’t believe how young it is or how rapidly it’s grown up in the last couple of years.
I’ve always enjoyed the giddy headlong rush of technological advances but I’ve never felt the need to keep up with the Vanguard. The rallying call and clamour for the iPhon5s or 5c leaves me cold.
Technological advances used to seem to take place because it would improve people’s lives (I know, I picked TV as my subject but really that’s the poorest of examples).
Now, advances take place to worsen lives by luring us into spending money on buying a device that does amazing things (now with the stunning new feature of fingerprint recognition which is, I’m something we all need in what is basically just a phone.
I’m only picking on Apple because they’re in the news today. Everyone is doing this to us. We are the targets of corporate greed.
Just think what your money could be doing instead of filling the coffers of the richest companies of the world. If redistributed, it could be providing free healthcare for all, food for the hungry, housing for those without homes. Our world could be a much better place if only our vision wasn’t skewed by rampant consumerism….
don’t worry, it’s all over- you can relax again now