You might be a middle-aged digital dinosaur if you still remember this movie but, back in 1995 “The Net” (Starring Sandra Bullock) was a bit of a hit movie depicting a digital recluse coder who gets her identity stolen and actually has to go outside … to get it back.
The movie raised a lot of chuckles in the theatre as it depicted the daily life of Angela Bennet. Working from home fulltime she hardly leaves the house and orders everything online. From pizza to groceries and from software to styling products (just check out that hair). She communicates online with her clients who have never met her in real life and don’t know what she looks like. It was an exaggerated depiction of a lifestyle that would, despite the modern day possibilities of the internet, never become mainstream .. right ?
Flash forward a quarter of a century.
Flash forward a quarter of a century and look around. After day 300 of “working from home” I finish up my umpteenth videoconference with a team that I have never ever met in person. Unlike in “The Net” I do know what they look like but only as far down as their bellybuttons. The chime of my video doorbell rings and delivery guy number 3 of the day drops off another package. Via the Ring app on my phone I instruct him to just leave it on the doorstep. I wait to open the door until he drives off. I have truly mastered the art of consumption-without-human-contact.
Most of the conversations I have (aside from those with my dog and my spouse) are also with computers. I ask Google for the weather, tell Siri to play Retrowave music in the bathroom and try to convince Alexa to disclose the the actual age of Jennifer Connelly. The Netflix computer algorithm suggests I should watch some Spanish sitcom tonight and at about 10pm my Smartwatch tells me I should go to bed if I want to be rested tomorrow morning.
I’m worse than Bullock.
Looking back at my day, I’m not “like” Bullock in the net .. I’m even worse. The combination of the technology at hand and the current Covid Crisis has decreased the “face to face” human interactions significantly. We mail-order everything online, communicate digitally instead of face to face and are (almost) perfectly happy with the convenience. Sure, right now its because pandemic is sweeping the globe, and sneezing within a five yard radius from other people is considered extremely rude .. But still… Will things ever go back to “normal”?
This probably isn’t normal.
The answer is: Probably not. Even the biggest internet-hater has now tasted the sweet nectar of home delivery and thanks to working from home, none of us will ever need to wear pants again (maybe thats a bit strong). But I hope we don’t forget the value of human interaction. Buying something else because they are “out of stock” at the store helps you discover new products. Waiting in line at the restaurant gives you the opportunity to meet new people. Convenience is one thing, but I hope we all are social animals at some point. So when all of this covid stuff is over I thrive to go outside, shop “realtime”, meet people face to face and do all the inefficient “analogue” stuff that doesn’t take place behind a screen. If only so nobody can steal my identity 🙂
A little more than a decade after Amazon introduced the Kindle and turned the eReader market on its head, Knightwise reminisces about some of the earlier reading experiences and provides recommendations for a bunch of great reads.
Thank god its friday my friends and fellow geeks. Friday : That day in the week where we can shed our dull dry articles about command lines and the possible future of Windows 8 on daiperboxes and deal with whats really important : The ridiculously stupid. Let us all hold digital hands as we celebrate the release of a music album that can, without a doubt, be seen as one of the epic musical milestones of the 21st century. An album that will be owned by many of you, loved by all and probably will find its place in Picards personal musical library on the Enterprise D … in about 300 years. Who might this be who can create such a timeless piece of musical history ? Of course the answer is simple : Only the rider of the Knights (Wait .. that sounds all wrong from my point of view.) the “Watcher of the Bays” can do this. I am talking about the “VERY BEST” album of none other then “The Hoff”.
Compiled on a silver platter we can find some of his most popular tracks where he brings us the ultimate musical coitus with his personal awesomeness. An album that will stand the test of time, the call of ages .. Music that might even break dimensional rifts and rock Daleks right out of their armored casings. Bring forth the Hoff and let us revel in the wonderful reviews on Amazon.com where musical enthusiasts and geeks like ourselves .. chant praise to the Hoff. From the great book of Amazon I bring you this faithful Hoffstodians confession :
Economic nationalists throughout the country shuddered when the Commerce Department announced a Q3 trade imbalance comfortably exceeding $100 billion, the highest on record. We buy our electronics from Japan, our confections from France, and our oil from the Persian Gulf. So why must we import the cream of our own culture from abroad? We don’t store the Constitution in Germany. We don’t launch the Space Shuttle from China. So why must we buy our Hasselhoff from distant foreign lands? Demand for this benchmark piece of Americana will surely send the trade economy reeling even closer to the abyss. Its pending stupefying popularity notwithstanding, this is not an album without flaws, as flaws are inevitable when one takes on the impossible task of distilling Hasselhoff to a single disk. This is, after all, akin to reducing Aristotle to a lone pamphlet – nay, a matchbook cover. Because while this CD does include every Hasselhoff song that topped the charts in ninety countries or more, it was really the deep album work that made Hasselhoff synonymous with underground edge, incendiary lyrics, and youthful angst the world over. The poets who found their calling in the deeply nuanced lyrics of 1984’s “Night Rocker” will be crestfallen to see that album underrepresented beyond its touchstone hits. Jungle-based rebels from Columbia to Burma who viewed 1989’s “Looking for Freedom” as a clarion call to arms will be outraged that the entire second side of that inflammatory album is absent (with the inevitable exception of “Flying on the Wings of Tenderness”). And lovers who exchanged their lifetime vows to the ballads of “Crazy For You” will be devastated to see that only two of them are included here (even “I Wanna Move to the Beat of Your Heart” is inexplicably omitted!). However, the wounds gouged into our souls by these countless omissions are salved by the sweet succor of the eighteen songs that are included. All told, despite the travesties that come from reducing Hasselfhoff to a single disc, this is clearly one of the finest works in the entire oeuvre of human expression. By Charles
So let us dance into the weekend with this wonderful video clip. Some call it the worst song ever made .. I call it an artistic exploration of how far you can take bad green-screen technology before it makes your eyes bleed. Aside from “Looking for Freedom” this must be his all time best !