Saturday, 28 June 2014

I ****ing love you, Twenty-first Century

Okay, I had been somewhat mildly drinking when I cooked up most of the theme and content of this posting.

As I'm in the process of renovating a house I am sans broadband most of the time.  So, having had a rigorous day sugar soaping or painting or whatever I went in search of a hostelry with wifi.  So, all hail the Crown and Septre, St Marychurch, Torquay who not only had free broadband but gave me a short pint for free as it had got down to the crunchy end of the barrel.

And when I went online not only did I find that two people had bought my book on Amazon, but that I had a comment on this little old blog.  What touched me was that we now live in a world where an Indian woman in Canada can casually comment on the musings of a white bloke from a doubly-landlocked county in England.

So, the cider asked me, with the whole planet getting huggy, if not downright touchy-feely, how can there still be evil in the world?

Now, I know that anybody below forty will probably roll their eyes at being impressed by our joined-up planet.  Social media is as natural and everyday as breathing.  Hey, this is supposed to be about sci-fi!  Give us a hovercar or something and get on with it.

My family have never been early adopters of technology (except for the colour television, but I think that came down to Dad watching snooker) hence I'm still impressed and amazed at the technology we already have.  Try going back to the 17th century and explaining television or electricity, you'll start to think none of it makes sense.  (I had the same feeling when I attempted to summarise the plot of Thelma and Louise one).

But (you knew there was a 'but' coming) richness of functionality and ease of use bring with them consequences.  You see, it's so easy to be an online author or 'generator of content' that we're all at it to the extent that the rate of consumption of that content is pathetic (I've now had three sales! the last one in dollars!! so it's probably not even somebody I know!!!)

I know that there's something imperial/paternalistic/fascist about the logical conclusion of this argument;  that the authors should be an elite minority producing a small amount of stuff for the many eyes and brains to feed off.  I like the idea of democritising writing but quality tends to go for a Burton.  As a consequence many of us end up writing for an audience of one: ourselves or, worse, our imaginary friend.  Hence it comes as such a pleasant surprise when a stranger makes contact based entirely on what you've written.

This is the main reason that I turned my back on Facebook and Twitter - I simply don't want to know, continuously and continually, what you're thinking/eating/buying/sleeping with (Okay, I am curious about the latter...)  Everybody's talking, but nobody's being heard...

Touchy-feely-huggy?  Yes, but a bit onanistic at the same time...

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