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On Demand Reality

While reading Esther M. Sternberg’s excellent book, “Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being” I was taken by an argument that our ability to see colours has developed out of evolutionary necessity- as herbivores we needed to see the green leaves as food but as we developed our palate we also needed to be aware of colour to distinguish a ripe red fruit from one that was either not yet ripe or possibly rotten. Our ability to see colours came into play when we needed them or as the Buddhist saying goes, .
I think of this in all the ballyhoo over the apple watch and all the other new technology that is in the wings and while I wonder if it is truly necessary or even important I find some solace in the hope that we will find what we need as we truly need it. Perhaps everything, technology included, is evolving just as it needs to and when we really need the next app or service, it will be there. Perhaps this is the ushering in of the on demand reality, with everything at the touch of a button.

On-Demand

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Let the Midnight Special shine a ever loving light on me

Recently, my wife mentioned how almost everything seemed to be “on demand”. Drones to bring books or small packages immediately after we order them, movies and tv respond to our whims appearing and disappearing like doves at a magic show. While this is an irrefutable aspect of our ongoing technology it made us wonder, have we killed the idea of something being special. We both come from a generation that remembers counting down the days till “The Wizard of Oz” would make its yearly appearance on TV, gathering in a darkened living room huddled around the popcorn and the glow of the cathode ray tube because this was an event that would only happen once a year. It was special Miss it and you were out for another year.
It makes me wonder with everything on demand is there anything we still wait for? Is there any value in waiting or anything worth waiting for? Do we know what it is to be patient in a world where a half an hour for a pizza may be too long to wait or has everything become on demand where nothing is worth waiting for ?

 

andy-warhol-waiting

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