Time Will Always March On. That’s What It Does.

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Un quartier embrouillé (A confused neighborhood) Albert Robida [Public domain],1883  via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve often said I love living in the future, and that’s true. I love the technology; I love knowing that, whatever the question, I can find an answer if I ask my BFF Google. I love that we can meet like this, in the middle of an imaginary space, you in your corner of the world, me in mine.

I love that I can carry a library in my phone.

But.

But.

There are people who don’t seem to enjoy the idea of progress, who want to grasp onto stale, useless ideas with both hands, ideas that never really belonged in the world in the first place, but were jammed in very round spaces with their corners sheered off. There are people who seem find the only thing that makes them comfortable, that makes them feel secure, is the discomfort of others.

Well, the world has changed with or without them. The world will continue to change with or without them. So they can cry into their Youtube because they fear consequences for their deliberate actions, but the universe will remain ummoved.

We will remain unmoved.

We live in the future. There’s no room for the past here.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

And Sometimes the Future is Bradbury & Orwell

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If you’ve read my blog before, then you know I love living in the future. I love the novel ease of a new bit of technology; I love having our corner of the universe at my fingertips. That’s not a metaphor either; if I want, I can visit Pluto:

Or see a galaxy more than 13 billion light years away:

It’s magnificent. Truly magnificent.

Until it isn’t.

With every new bit of technology, it seems we lose a bit of of our privacy. It’s not a de facto requirement, either, that we should. The reality is that the data collected by the companies who make the technology is the real goldmine.

Take those fun little app games. Ever consider the permissions they require? Or what the companies do with all that data they can mine from your phone?

Odds are, they’re selling it.

Which brings me to my real gripe. My productivity was greatly curtailed yesterday when I agreed to what turned out to be a massive Windows update. And now, sitting on the bottom left of my screen, someone named Cortana has invited herself into my home.

With Cortana, the computer’s microphone is always turned on. ALWAYS. AL. WAYS. Even on your login screen (though I believe you can turn that “feature” off). Cortana watches and records everything you do on your computer, ostensibly to improve her results.

Ostensibly.

I think I have her off right now, but I really can’t be sure she’s not still listening. She controls the microphone. Not me.

But beyond something that could be in 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, it seems like a collection of data like never before, and that’s considering Google, who knows what the next question on my mind is going to be after I’ve typed one in. Google, who knows where I’ve been and asks me creepy questions about it, like a stalkery ex who wants you to know he knows.

But Google doesn’t know when I start typing and stop typing in my word processing program, coincidentally also from Microsoft. It doesn’t know the content of my spreadsheets. It doesn’t know if I’m playing a game on my PC, or using photo editing software, or watching TV while I work on the computer.

Cortana would know. She’d be able to hear what the show was, too. The operating system sees all.

Take, for example, this reassuring line from the privacy agreement:

“However, we do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos or other personal files to target ads to you.”

Note Microsoft isn’t saying that they don’t collect this data. They are tacitly admitting that they do. They are only saying that they don’t use it for advertising.

How very generous.

Our privacy could easily be assured, even with the use of this kind of technology. The data collected, for example, could just stay local and never be reported to Microsoft.

But that’s not how it works. Nope, we are simply money-generating units in the new future machine.

In or near Chicago in October? Come see “Me Inside Me Presents: Witch, Please,” on October 1, 8, 22 and 29 at Donny’s Skybox Theater at 7 pm. Tickets available at SecondCity.com.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Who Needs Tomorrow? The Future is Today

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We are, without doubt, living in the future. Huge portions of our lives take place somewhere that doesn’t even exist, not in the physical sense, anyway. In our pockets and purses, we carry the kind of computing power that once couldn’t possibly be achieved by full rooms of machines, whirring away as hard as they could. We have a probe gathering data on the surface of another planet.

Another planet.

And here’s the strange thing, when you think about it: there is yet still more future to come. Technology evolves, so fast sometimes it feels as though it’s spinning ever outward toward things of which, from here, we can’t possibly conceive. Our culture, a much more slow-moving, plodding beast, struggles to keep up with it.

There times where I find myself remarking, often to myself, that I love living in the future. I love the internet and the universe it offers. I love easy information, once the treasure in a hunt through card catalogs and careful paging through indices, now in front of me at any time a question strikes my fancy.

It’s ironic, because I watch nearly every period drama that comes my way, studying the details, the nuances, the flavor and cadence of life in another era. Flounces and corsets and fringed dresses and circle skirts, whatever decade, whatever century, I watch them.

But not with any sense of nostalgia. Not with any longing for a time I’d be constantly be battling for breath against the crush of whale bones. Not for a time when transportation came with four legs and I’d be grateful for it.

It’s almost with a sense of relief, a sense of knowing how it could have been, and feeling lucky I live now, when every day confirms the future is now.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!