Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Technology is Here to Stay!

Watching the news last night and watching the buzz building about Barack Obama's choice to announce his running mate by text messages via cell phones left me amused, agog and a little left out since I am maybe the only person on the planet who doesn't own a cell phone! Well, I know that is an exaggeration.

Still it brings up the issue of how the polls are going to be skewed unless they figure out some way to bring in all those people who don't have "land lines", not to mention all those who rarely answer those phones. Obviously, if the poll companies asked people to sign up for text messages that wouldn't mean all that much either since all the most eager supporters of each candidate would sign up. Of course, I have thought for decades that we ought to scrap polls all together and let the process take place. Reporting on it after it happens is news, shaping it by taking polls and reporting on them as though they were news that has always seemed to me to be influencing elections.

Still the "smart phones" are here to stay. I watched someone Google, use a map finder for directions and take phone calls on her new phone last week and was amused by how much I want one just because it so cute! (I couldn't work the keyboard and I couldn't read the screen so this isn't a serious want. It's sort of like infatuation.)

What I want is an automated house. They exist, I know. I already have a marvelous remote controlled honeycomb blind on one window. Now I would like to have the drapes in my bedroom wired so that I can open and close them with a remote. The blinds, unlike all the "instant on" appliances, are controlled by batteries. Now if the batteries could be solar rechargeable,I would be even happier.

A small flashlight that a friend gave me recharges by shaking it. It is a totally different mechanism than anything else I have seen. My father would have loved it! I would like the cordless phone to work this way. Wouldn't it also be lovely if the laptop battery could be rechargeable? (Maybe these already exist.)

I am not really a survivalist, but I do like the idea of technologies that make us independent from monolithic companies and allow us to take better care of ourselves. My friend who is sailing will have a good deal to contribute to this discussion when she returns. Maybe the place to start looking for the kinds of technologies I am wanting are businesses that serve campers and sailors. I found MRE's on a website last fall from a company that specializes in disaster preparedness supplies.

Maybe we should take some of the things that are designed for that use and integrate them into our daily lives. Hand-shaken flashlights, hand-cranked radios and solar-charged batteries.

I'd like a cistern too and then of course, the disaster preparedness kit should have filters to make the water potable.

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