Here’s a modern experience – I am 69
Part way down reading this piece I remembered something that I should have on my shopping list – I shop my big shop on Mondays and it’s only Thursday – so I went and added it (do it now or you’ll forget) to my list which is on my ‘phone (using ‘Memo’). Then I read the piece a bit further and got to the Fitbit which I’d heard of but did not know anything about so I went and looked that up – and bought one online. Not to make you feel bad Ms Prendergast but I keyed my whole debit card number; expiry date and security code from memory and they worked.
Buying one is not as silly as it sounds because i am a fat b*stard with atrial fibrillation and a bad sleep pattern all of which (hopefully) the little gadget will help with. I also momentarily have a bit of money because I moved house and there was a small amount of overs. I already use a Polar watch for exercise heart rate data which I add to my PC through an IrDA (look it up – Oh, ok, it’s not the Iskandar Regional Development Authority it’s an Infra Red Data Adaptor (or adapter, both permissible according to the online dictionary)). It’s very important while I’m exercising (35mins each weekday exercise bike only at the moment, I left my rowing machine with my ex-partner who was good to take it because she didn’t really want it either, I’m going to buy another soon) because with the fibrillation my heart sometimes goes bonkers and quite often when that happens I feel nothing much for several minutes while it’s happening and then (sometimes) get hospitalised. With the monitor I can slow down immediately and I get away with it every time which is about once a month.
So having bought the Fitbit I had to add the amount I spent to the spreadsheet I keep of my spending – mustn’t let that wander off. While I was there I got a reminder to check that my credit card had been paid – I set the reminders up, I used to be a programmer/developer/business analyst whatevertheftheyarecallednow (which brought ‘I coulda bin a contender’ to mind, God knows why but I often say that line to myself in the way I hope Marlon said it) so I logged on to my bank account to check and found that a direct debit which should have gone from my personal bank account had actually gone from my joint account which sent it over the end, so I had to do a transfer between accounts and then ‘phone the people who do that direct debit to change the account they demand from….And…breathe
So you’re not wrong Ms Prendergast, about the whole ‘what would happen to civilisation’ thing.
Some years ago, my whimsical brain (as opposed to the usual boring one) came up with a thought experiment like this: Suppose that you could get a big thick multistranded cable – such as links computer bits internally, especially in mainframes – and plug it into a socket in someone’s head and connect them to a similar socket in someone else’s head (I suppose these days you would do it wirelessly but the interference doesn’t bear thinking about) and it connected all of their thoughts and memories – how long would they exist as independent personalities ? And what would be the defining component of the connection that made them coalesce ? Thought – would they be able to argue with each other ? Well, I argue internally all the time but it’s a muted affair and quick. Memory ? Well, memory’s quite passive. You would have to bring it up and again, there might be conflicts.
And so on.