Sunday, 20 July 2014

I Was There. Or Was I?

I'm writing this watching cricket - anybody from beyond the colonies may wish to google that word.

One of my least favourite things about cricket - a short list - is the on-pitch advertising sheets: sizeable smeared, twisted and stretched logos that make no sense from any perspective other than as a television viewer.  And then they seem to float oddly over the grass, modern technology allowing a child in minutes to design precisely what only MC Escher could have managed previously.

My complaint is not over computers' ability to compute - such design all comes back to numbers, after all - but about how we have come to see things in a world full of screens.  For those in the stands at Lords (a five-figure number) the scene is set out for those watching on screens (a seven-? eight-? figure number).  That's just economics - and not my gripe either.

No, my point revolves around being there and watching it on a screen.

More and more of us do it, taking constant and continual images of whatever is happening before us.  But there seems to me a correlation between watching events that are happening before you via a screen instead and a sense of disconnection.

I posted a couple of weeks back about watching the Tour de France cycle past.  Of course, as soon as the leaders and the then the chasing pack came past up went my phone, the resulting photos posted below.

I have the photos, but the sudden sense of being at once removed from the action gives me a slight doubt that I was there.  The waiting, the anticipation, the build up - that's all embedded on my memory - but the race itself?  A slight blur, a vague recollection - just a couple of weeks later.  Even though I have the photos to prove I saw it whereas all I have of the build up are memories - which science has shown to be less than reliable.

Was I there?  In retrospect I'm not sure it wholly felt like it...

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