March 8, 2001
I Could Never Leave the House
I don't understand the Unabomber. Remember him? I remember, back in grad school, seeing his manifesto printed in the New York Times and thinking, "Y'know, he's not crazy. He just really, really hates technology." Now, maybe that's not an accurate summary, but that's what I was thinking at the time.
Today, I'm thinking that I could live like he did, alone in the woods in a shack with none of the technological conveniences of the day. I could do without watching television, listening to music, knowing what time it is, talking on the telephone. I love to write letters, so I could still communicate, much like the Unabomber did (sans bombs, of course). I love to read, and there's daylight for that, since, in this scenario, I would have no electricity. I don't cook, so the kitchen is a non-issue. I could totally remove myself from all types of communication.
As long as I had the Internet.
For example, I can log on to Pink Dot and order food, drinks, sundries, household goods aplenty. Yes, there's a Ralph's 1/2 block from my apartment, but I'd rather go to PDquick.com and click on the list they've created, showing me everything I've ever ordered from them, and have the heavy things brought right to my apartment for just a few bucks more than it would cost to get dressed, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and walk to Ralph's (and that takes too much time, once you factor in wandering up and down the aisles, standing in line, schlepping the bags home).
I can read all of the news on my favorite websites. I can post on boards where people with common interests live and lurk. I can update my website a dozen times, manage my eCircles, and shop, all from home. Amazon.com loves me. Think I'm overstating it? Well, like Pink Dot, they keep up with my purchases. They also, bless their hearts, keep up with items I own that did not come from their site. More importantly, they care what I think about these things that I own. When no one in the world cares about me, Amazon.com wants to know if I like the things I've filled my shelves with. Oh, they are so sweet! I've ranked over 600 items, just so they can suggest the perfect Robyn Hitchcock CD, the coolest toys, and books written just for me.
Of course, if I'm here living the Unabomber life, I can't listen to the CDs they've recommended I buy. I can't watch the videos they suggest I add to my collection. That's okay. I don't need technology. I'll use Launch.com to hear music and watch some streaming video on some of those sites that have yet to go out of business. Let me add those lists to my bookmark file on the Palm Pilot. Oh, I'll just beam it over later.
Okay, so where was I? Oh, yeah, living without technology.... I don't know what the big deal is. I mean, it's not like I'm unreasonable. My iBook and my Palm Pilot (which really isn't a Palm Pilot, it's a Visor) aren't technology. They're pets!
Oh, wait. Maybe I'm not up for a technology-free existence. I'm just lazy. Whew! That's better. I can totally live with that. www.lazybutts.com? Hmm....
Posted by bonnie at March 8, 2001 2:07 PM