I find that it’s not so simple to develop a nice coherent philosophy to live by, even, or maybe especially, in relation to those things that matter.
Take technology, for example.
Through some combination of nostalgia for a bygone era and miserliness, I am drawn towards a low-tech lifestyle. Although I own a cell phone, it was by far the dumbest phone that I could find – several years ago. We also own a car but I lament the fact that, despite it’s almost 17 years, it doesn’t have roll-up windows. Our single desktop computer serves nearly all of our technological needs: communication, entertainment, data management. But you may be thinking; you have a goddamned computer! Indeed.
If you catch me in the right moment though, I will argue that much of my technology usage is dictated by the society that I live in. I love blogging but I would take any of my favorite bloggers in three dimensions, perhaps over a glass of wine in my kitchen, any day. I revere the internet but, given just the right circumstances, I would much rather give up my connection than, say, my coffee.
There is, however, one realm of technology that I get particularly excited about: imaging. From digital photography to bioluminescence, I am amazed at how much humans have been able to extend our already impressive visual abilities. Working as a biologist, I was blown away by the incredible advances in microscopy, allowing us to see ever deeper into cells at ever higher resolutions.
And then there’s ultrasound.
I can find no criticism for a technology that has the ability to tell me that my young fetus is actually growing and thriving, that, so far, everything looks just as it should. And, I’m even more humbled by the way that the grainy black and white likeness of a tiny hand or a gently curved shoulder can cause even the most weary of expectant mother’s hearts to puddle in her chest cavity.