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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


So here we are. 
What a magical time in which we live. We carry the world in our pockets and hold the computing power of a hundred Apollo spacecrafts in our hands. What used to take up entire rooms and floors of office buildings in Don Draper’s day are now parked on any given lap at Starbucks, with a latte on the side. (Back then, one would probably assume that “a latte” was the title of Dean Martin’s latest hit.)
It’s not like the way it used to be. No sir. Things are way better now. It’s magic, I tells ye. (I say that in my best 1890s prospector voice.)
Why, back in the day, if you had a notion you wanted to transfer from your head to the world, you had to actually write things down, or type them up. It involved stationery stores and blotters and sharpeners. Paper cuts were rampant. Shudder.
Yes, kids, I realize that this semi-nostalgic yet demi-sardonic look at the written note is well-trod territory for me (see September 24th’s “historical musing”) but on this, my natal anniversary, I feel the need to marvel at how far we’ve come.
Because it’s just magical. 
Think about it: say you wanted to delete all the information that you had written or typed or carved onto the stone tablets. In order to do this, you had to take the physical object in your hands and destroy it the old-fashioned way: tearing, shredding, crumpling, shooting, imploding... or worse, erasing endlessly with a little pink piece of rubber that left so many nubs in its wake. So much trouble to go through. And so painful, too, to watch one’s words ripped to pieces and tossed away.
And if you wanted to delete something by accident, well, it involved leaving the oven on and burning down the house. That or having a very hungry and not-at-all picky dog.
Not like today. Today, there are a myriad of simple ways to accidentally delete something you really need, and in many cases, you don’t even realize you’re getting rid of important notes until after you’ve done it! It’s not only effective, it’s a real time saver!
Oh, it’s amazing magic. Not like the kind of magic where you know the rabbit was in the bottom of the hat the whole time, or the kind where the assistant isn’t really gone, just hidden behind the panel. 
No sir or madam. These days, when my magical machines make something disappear, it’s really gone. Presto. 
Sooo much better.
(Hey, can you hear the sarcasm dripping all over the floor?)
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

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