The instrument used to whack me was a nicely crafted bit of Consumer Nonsense such as often seems to happen to me. The attack was unprovoked (or not very much so) and left me in a bit of a daze for hours after. Let me explain....
I used to remember phone numbers. I also remembered birthdays, street addresses, spelling, and peoples' names (although I was NEVER very good at that). Now I no longer need to remember. My phone holds ALL the phone numbers to which I have ever been exposed. It remembers for me. Street addresses are not nearly as relevant as email addresses - and email addresses are on their way to being completely supplanted by IM, Facebook, or chat identities.
I do not mean to downplay the significance of this "FC" (abbreviated to save my repetition). The ramifications and long term effects of the FC could be very deep and very far reaching. There is reason to be cautious. There is reason to be concerned. But we humans, sadly, are unable to measure our reactions. It is never enough to take in the news and think rationally about it. We see a splendid opportunity to panic. And we avail ourselves of it fully.
Speaking at Takovo, celebrating the 2nd Serbian Uprising (where they actually managed a good slap at Ali Pasha, leaving the Ottoman Turks to slowly lose interest and drift home 63 years later), the Deputy Prime Minister said:
The world's legion paranoid masses announced the end of the world for May 21. I am not sure anymore why the world had to come to an end seven months ago, but it seems this month we will get another shot at putting our cosmic lives in order and getting ready for the New End of the World on December 21.
We usually think we don't have enough of it, as if it would suddenly run out. And sometimes time seems to stand still. We set ourselves appointments in time, deadlines in time, and sometimes allow ourselves a timeout.
The whole world has agreed to this arbitrary standard, as a means of segmenting our finite human sojourn on this planet. We have divided it up into a certain amount of months, weeks, days, and hours and we agree to allow it to reign supreme over all our activities. Time is a cruel master - it never bends to our needs and we are forever chasing after it.
He began to speak to other cavemen about his discovery. He began to extol the virtues of making as many cavelings as possible with as many cave women as could be found. And he also began to warn everyone against lying with their fellow cavemen. He told them it was Wrong. He told them it was Unnatural. He said it would affect their ability to hunt mammoths and make fire.
In the old days, the phone was a fixed object in some corner of the house, usually next to a comfortable chair, so you could sit and chat with whoever was on the other side of the receiver. When the phone would ring, we usually knew who it might be - a friend, your Aunt Wendy, your sister in Chicago.
But that was then. Today Bob never calls. You read his Facebook updates. You might occasionally exchange "likes," possibly the odd instant message chat. And in the end, you know pretty much what Bob has been doing and what he likes and what is happening around him. The same for your sister and Aunt Wendy. The virtual nature of our communications today means that we have the impression of talking to people all the time. We open some social media site with our morning coffee or tea and instantly know what our thousands of friends are doing. Especially the friends we never met.