Iconoclasts

I overheard a friend of mine practically selling the latest "smart phones" to another friend who just lost his phone. It reminded me of an American inventor featured in this show called "Iconoclasts" together with actress Isabella Rosellini. The show basically reveals the real people behind legends and celebrities. The inventor's name was Dean Kamen, he had created several helpful tools, one of the more famous was called Segway, a two-wheeled self-balancing electric vehicle. I followed around Dean and Isabella as they explored Dean's estate and his inventions, which were either fascinating contraptions or noble ideas. Dean exuded an astounding humility for an individual with such power of mind. At one of point of the conversation, as they were talking about the great problems of the world while Dean was showing Isabella his portable water distiller, Dean expressed his frustration with humanity. He said and I quote "Technology is easy, we have the technology, it's changing people's mindsets that's hard." This was actually the statement that echoed in my head as I was listening in to my friends' conversation. The loss of a mobile phone is an opportunity, a breather, from the quasi-communication frenzy humanity has become addicted to. The type of communication that's cowardly, insincere, and rude. Shoutouts, text messages, and forwarded emails, although helpful in various ways, foster this kind of communication. The loss of a mobile phone presents a period of pure communication, a space and a time for silence and an opportunity to gaze at the real world instead of a virtuak one that fits in your palm. Listening to my friend talking about the latest and the trendiest phones made me realize, it is with this kind of contagious blind campaigning that breeds more of this consuming frenzy. The "advantages" and "special features" of the phones my friend was talking about seem to mask a bigger, more sinister purchase. It wasn't just the "Experia" or the "Aino" that was being rallied for, it was this counterculture. One needs to be in touch at this age but it seems dubious to bite at every offering the market presents. Questions should be posed before an important purchase. Do we really need all these extra features? Is it the right time to buy this? Is this a good deal? Is this really for utility purposes or just gloss? Technology is easy, and technology is good, but if it creates a false need and an unnecessary compromise, it defeats its own purpose.