Monday, November 12, 2007


I am Wolfestine... and I am an addict. They say the first step of getting rid of a habit is to accept that you are an addict. No I am not addicted to any intoxicant... or any stimulant for that matter... I am a techno-addict. I am addicted to technology. I was tempted to start this post like I started my last one (Sitting in my room, I look around and...) but it’s just that it is only when I am sitting in my room all alone, do I get these thoughts.

I am sure almost all of you reading this post would agree that to some degree you too are addicted to technology. Although it is more of the younger generation that is addicted to it, the older ones are just as susceptible to getting captivated. Like in the case of any habit, it usually takes a while to realize the fact that you are hooked on. The realization usually comes with the loss of a gadget of service. For me it all began when I was without a net connection for almost 6 months. I became famished for the internet, a scavenger for bandwidth. They say time is the best healer, and so I waited. I waited until I finally got an internet connection. It was then that I realized the importance of a simple transfer of data packets, from my computer to my ISP, in my life.

The final blow, which proved my dependence on technology, came when my hard-disk crashed. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t use my computer for a while. It was accompanied by a grave implication. All my (though seemingly unimportant) data was now gone. Everything that I had been hoarding for over two years was gone in a flash. (For the record, I had also been writing more posts for my blog, which I intended to post once I got the time to do so. They too were lost in this catastrophe.) And for some reason this tragedy left a hollow spot within me. It was like losing a near n dear one. Okay I agree I exaggerated it a bit too much but lets not digress. My point was that I for one just can’t live without some gadgetry in my vicinity, be it my computer, my phone or even a television remote, of course each of them accompanied by their respective service (i.e. a net connection, a service provider, and a cable TV).

Can you even imagine what it would be like to live without anything that ran on an electronic circuit? Something that could help us simulate such a condition would be a pinch. Well I could explain you what a pinch is with references to Wikipedia n other encyclopedias. Or I could quote Basher Tarr (played by Don Cheadle) from the movie Ocean’s ElevenA pinch is a device that creates like a cardiac arrest for any broadband circuitry. Or better yet, a pinch is a bomb, now but without a bomb. See when a nuclear weapon detonates, it unleashes an electro magnetic pulse, which shuts down any power source within its blast radius. And it tends not to matter in most cases because a nuclear weapon usually destroys anything you might want to need power for anyway. You see a pinch creates a similar electromagnetic pulse, but without the fuss of mass destruction and death. So instead of Hiroshima, you’d be getting a 17th century.”

Life in the absence of technology has often been depicted in movies of the likes of The Day After Tomorrow and more recently, in Die Hard 4 where this terrorist holds up a fire-sale in the US. And no it’s not the regular fire-sale. It is a three step systematic attack on the entire national infrastructure. In step one take out all the transportation, step two the financial base and telecoms, step three is get rid of the all the utilities gas, water, electric, nuclear, pretty much everything that is run by computers, which today is almost everything. So that’s why they call it a fire sale, because everything must go.

Though it all may seem like fiction to you, the latest in war-fare technology doesn’t really depends on wiping out an entire population, but more on disabling it. No matter how much you deny it, but the fact remains that if you knock out the infrastructure of a country, you will cause more havoc than bombing a couple of its cities would.

Being tech-savvy also affects our health adversely. So much technology, all around us has also forced us to incorporate a sedentary lifestyle. This in turn leads to obesity which of course brings along with it a whole lot of other complication.

No matter how hard I try, to spend a day away from technology, I eventually end up fiddling with my cell phone, or switching on my computer. There is this advertisement on the national geographic channel called find the genius within you. They claim Einstein’s brain weighed in at around 1240 grams, while the average human brain weighs somewhere close to 1400 grams. So according to them, we are better equipped at becoming a genius. The common knowledge and skills of an average human being of today is far greater than what it used to be in the 18th century. As a result, we ought to be better equipped to handle the complications in our life, and this is all so because of the technological revolution.

One question that arise is should we embrace technology and let it dominate our world. Once again, highlighting the imaginations of many a fiction writers, I would like to mention the case where technology, originally designed to make human life simper and peaceful, ends up making it worse (Think in the lines of The Terminator Series, iRobot, Stealth). But of course in these movies, the (good) guys successfully regain control of the world again. What if, in real life, we are not able to defeat what we created? Is it safe to let be a techno-addict? I am not so sure. All I can say is I am Wolfestine... and I am an addict.

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