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Thursday / May 30.
HomemitwocentsAs I See It: The Foibles of Technology

As I See It: The Foibles of Technology

The modern era is one of immediacy and exposure, very public exposure as it appears through the common social networking media.

As my 19 year old son reminded me the other day, “Dad, life has moved on, if you don’t have Facebook, you may as well be dead”. Thanks mate, but I’m not keen on having the details of my life spread round the globe in a matter of minutes, let alone that photo of me doing my geriatric exercises, and by the way, you don’t pay any rent at this residence so be very careful what you say…

Instant Gratification

I can get by with the one modern advancement of email, in fact I’m not quite sure how we ever sat down with a pen/pencil/biro, typewriter (“Dad, what’s a typewriter?” Well, you can see them in the museum next to the turntable, which naturally leads to the sequiter, “What is a record?” etc, etc) and composed a snail mail repose.

Now we want an instant response to a business or personal query, the spam is a nuisance but at least all I have to do is hit the ‘Delete’ button. I am both simultaneously delighted and insulted that so many people all over the world want me to buy their sexual enhancement and/or anti-aging products – a popularity determined by a deficiency, sounds very 21st Century.

Now we want an instant response to a business or personal query, the spam is a nuisance but at least all I have to do is hit the ‘Delete’ button

This brings me to the present…

I wanted to send my wife an email to her work the other day. Her work email had changed so I got one of those politically correct and enormously irritating ‘Email address unknown-contact your server’ messages – i.e. no help at all.

I give my wife a ring and check it out. “Yeah, we have changed the email and all the letterheads. It is my rather painful job to alter these for all the employees and bosses.”

At least when I used to send a letter, some nice postal official gave me a hand written message and considered where it might have been sent on to, the good old ‘forwarding address’. Now as soon as we have to do something ‘by hand’, it seems like we can’t cope.

Stop whinging and just send me the email…

The email arrives with the new address; it is longer than a Tony Abbott bike ride and just as narcissistically edifying. I am quite familiar with her work place, but change is hard to do and I’m just coming to grips with the new name.

Moving with the Times

I can remember when the CCLRU was a couple of crowded rooms on the 2nd floor of the old Optometry Building. The west facing windows had a splendid view of the Village Green, the home of UNSW cricket and a location that beckoned me regularly, especially when Graham Dick was waxing eloquently on the principles of Optical Instruments. Everyone knew about the two rooms, we just weren’t too sure what the ‘mad professor’ (just a ‘doctor’ in those days) was creating.

I became a ‘student of interest’ to the doctor, not because of my intense interest or ability in the advancement of contact lens research, but because I could be seconded to coach his son’s cricket team in lieu of missing the odd CL lecture. Two rooms grew rapidly and more space had to be found. A complete building on Randwick Campus was taken over and eventually the new Optometry Building back on the Kensington campus became yet another expanding venue.

All that is tribute to an expanding mind in a growing field of experimentation and discovery. It is a wonderful achievement but now the ultimate recognition has arrived. There is no better way to express one’s progress in life in our new electronic age than to have your own email domain. My son has a lot of work to do to go from a Facebook obsession to a domain name, especially one like ‘brienholdenvision’.

The .org is just a sexy add on!