Not too long ago (as in yesterday, I think – but my days are a blur right now) I saw this Douglas Adams quote:
1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
And I thought to myself….well, that ain’t right. I’m not exactly an early adopter – but I’ve been kinda making a career around this social media thing for a little while (particularly as it relates to local government – I know snooze – if you’re interested you can check out my work blog where my latest blog posts deal with the complexities of applying for government funding, a host of links to data policy and a ‘fun’ post on library policy in the digital age).
I like to think of myself as fairly open minded and willing to think of the possibilities of new tech as applied to 1. my life 2. public policy and locally administered services. I struggled to think of things tech that were invented after I turned 30 that I thought were dubious. Frivolous and probably the recipe for softening the moral fibre of society, yes. In violation of the universal constants as we knew them, no.
But last night as I walking up Victoria Street – I saw an add for wireless charging. I’d read about this before but this was the first time I’d seen a genuine ad on a bus stop.
And I thought That just ain’t right.
How does it know where to send the electricity? Won’t the electricity just be floating around doing strange things to our brains and nervous systems and turn us into weird half-human, half-portable electronic device susceptible to marketing messages delivered via electro-magnetic pulses.
And part of me is thinking, hey that looks kinda cool. No wires. You just lay your phone, whatever – on the mat and you’re charging. But it’s not that simple…you can’t just buy the charging mat – you also have to buy a receiver (which appears to be in the shape of a case for your device or a battery door for Blackberries for example). So, slightly less cool – and anyway – no doubt a contributor to the dissolute nature of modern youth and against the natural order of things.
Read more about inductive charging on wikipedia.