Sunday, October 31, 2010

UNIVACuous


We have it all backwards

Kids should be required to have cell phones in school. Heck, schools should issue them instead of text books. It's the natural evolution of the UNIVAC, the beast of a machine that predicted Eisenhower's victory 58 years ago.

Let the kids roam the Internet. Let them ChaCha ("powered by people"), Skype, Poke ("Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life"), Tweet ("without a doubt the best way to share and discover what is happening right now"), and Google (who knows more about you than you do) their way to Network Nirvana, entering a state of High Holiness that prepares them for whatever standardized tests stand between them and the Glory of our Homeland.

And then, when the last bell rings, make them check them at the door. No phone, no net, no GPS, no electronic tether to the adult world that forgot what the Earth smells like in autumn.

Disconnect our children from the technological teat of tedium, let them wander around lost in the smoky November air. They will scrape off skin, break bones, maybe lose a tooth or two. They will do things that would make their mothers keel over (but will have enough sense to keep quiet).





They will squash bugs, torment cats, chase squirrels, and tease dogs. They will break windows with errant baseballs, and hearts with errant words. They will wreck good clothes and develop bad habits.

And through all this they will learn how to live in a world larger than themselves, a world larger than any of us.

And when they do, they will feel the weight of the first UNIVAC in their hands as they grab the now loathsome machines, sauntering back into the building full of professionals who try to mold them into something more than machine, but less than human.




Photo from the Library of Congress. Not sure where the guy's nose went--an alien, maybe?
Hops and morning glory mine, from yesterday.

2 comments:

John Spencer said...

In watching the Giants make their way through the playoffs (woot, woot) I keep feeling that the cell phone commercials seem more like a preview for a movie version of "Brave New World" than a commercial for something I need.

Meanwhile, we are slowly moving more Luddite in our house - getting rid of the drier, setting up anti-computer hours and being deliberate about watching the sun set.

Perhaps I am becoming the Unibomber (minus the violence). Or maybe we're just carving out a Walden's Pond in the middle of suburbia.

doyle said...

Dear john,

Walden's Pond exists in every teaspoon of soil, every drop of pond water.

You know this already, of course.

But now you gone done triggered whatever snoop system the NSA might be using (Echelon?).

Used to be calling yourself a Christian was enough to preclude any hints of violence. Used to be.

Sadly, His words got misrepresented along the way. Christian soldier should be an oxymoron.