Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Everything’s Falling Behind (Technologically)

Originally posted on September 19, 2008

The curve of being techologically “with it”  advances on many fronts, and while I sometimes feel ahead of the curve because I even have a  blog AND a website—two websites, even!—then am humbled by learning that friends are using video-Skype, and Ipod for doing Power-Point presentations, and doing all sorts of fancy stuff that leave me something between astonished, greedy, jealous, admiring, wondering, interested, confused, intimidated, overwhelmed, and amused and letting-go.

Still, I keep hearing in the back of my mind the lyrics and faint melody of the song, “Everythin’s Up To Date in Kansas City” (This is sung by the character Will in the early part of the early 1940s Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Musical, Oklahoma! ):
I got to Kansas City on a Frid’y / By Sattidy I larned a thing or two.
‘Coz up to then I didn’t have an idy / Of whut the modren world was comin’ to!
I counted twenty gas buggies goin’ by theirsel’s /Almost ev’ry time I tuk a walk.
‘Nen I put my ear to a Bell Telephone / And a strange womern started in to talk!
. . .
Ev’rythin’s up to date in Kansas City / They’ve gone about as fur as they c’n go!
They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high,
About as high as a buildin’ orta grow.
Ev’rythin’s like a dream in Kansas City, / It’s better than a magic lantern show!
Y’ c’n turn the radiator on / Whenever you want some heat.
With ev’ry kind o’ comfort / Ev’ry house is all complete.
You c’n walk to privies in the rain / And never wet your feet!
They’ve gone about as fur as they c’n go!

So I’ve become more vividly aware of the accelerated advance of relevant technology, how friends are able to play in ways I never knew about. This differs from occasional news in Scientific American or other sources, about how “they” are finding planets or black holes or other fancy stuff. But those guys aren’t my reference group, and these pals who are exploring new frontiers are—in the sense of “hey, maybe I should look into that.”

Backing off and noticing the whole dynamic from a wider perspective, I realize that I can not keep up—it’s all happening too much and too fast. I don’t have a television set and so miss out on much that is current eventful—celebrity wise—and don’t recognize as a result many of the faces on the People Magazine and other spin-offs. I’m am “out of it” in many social sub-groups, no doubt. Funny, I don’t care, and rather find myself a little roll-my-eyes-ing at those who are more “in.”

Part of this is my unconscious “shadow” complex of shame and envy by a relative nerd to those who seem more popular, or at least interested in what popular kids do—e.g., sports, travel, poker, etc. My more mature self is more self-accepting that we all have our place in this big world. But a third wacky-myth-making complex is suggesting that we do really (whatever really means) live in different worlds. Those funny cosmological theorists who are suggesting spin-off multiple (billions of) universes to explain certain conundrums in theory. At first I scorned them for violating the philosophical criterion of Occam’s Razor in unnecessarily hypothesizing excessive entities; but then it occurred to me that in the realms of the mind the metaphor of different worlds really applies. Of course we overlap—the boundaries in the mind-field are quite permeable—but still from my perspective of trans-dimensional metaphysics (in which mind is a dimension as much as matter, time, space, or energy), of course there would seem to be a near-infinite number of dimensions.

Anyway, all that by way of laughing at the funny riddles of the cosmos, its mystery and (to me) invitation to wonder even as I theorize; to investigate even as I surrender any hope of ever really knowing the whole picture. It’s all good.

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