Thursday, January 28, 2016

Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs

The folks over at WordPress have a Daily Prompt, and this one really caught my interest. What would life be like without computers? While I'm not old enough to remember life before computers were invented (the first machine that could be considered a computer was invented in 1822), I am old enough to remember life before computers became common place in every home. and restaurant and shopping mall and...

First, a little of my history with computers:

When I started college, the university had only what would now be thought of as very, very old Apple computers on campus, so I'm very comfortable with Apple and Macs.

My parents bought their the first computer when I was in high school. I think it was a Texas Instruments machine, and I taught myself some very basic coding in Basic on it.

The first computer I purchased myself was a Hewlett Packard desktop with a screen that was heavier than the tower housing the guts. At the time, my brother was working for HP, so it made a lot of sense to support a company that was making it possible for him support his family. Since then, I've purchased many computers and laptops, the latest is an iMac with a bigger screen than the T.V. I grew up watching. How crazy is that?

I think we would all adapt quickly to a life without computers. Humans are interesting creatures. We are one of the few species on this planet that bend our environment to fit what we think we need instead of adapting to our environment, though not all of us. Looking at native communities in third-world countries, we see that life without computers is completely possible (and was for most of the history of this little, blue ball winging through the cosmos). The U.S. Post Office would probably cheer the loudest as people would need their services for more than junk mail again. I don't know that life would become simpler or slower. We would find other ways of doing the things that computers do for us. Handwriting would suddenly re-emerge as a vital skill taught in schools again. Learning to compute (ha!) complex equations in our heads and on paper would catch on again. And you would probably long for your old analog T.V. and phonograph again. Information and news would come more from your neighbors, friends, and family than from your phone. You might actually get to know your neighbors. A strange concept these days.

I don't think it would be the end of the world. In fact, it might be kind of nice...

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