THAT’S it – I’m over. I know I’ve made this proclamation before, to zero fanfare. But some light summer reading has reinforced my belief that my generation is efficiently and strategically being phased out.
This is more than the usual burden shouldered by my group, which disingenuously refers to itself as “middle-aged.” Most of us have always understood that, after 40, we’d experience random and humiliating aches and pains, a brisk, public slide down the sexual attractiveness scale, and a disturbing increase in mailed brochures from funeral homes. In other words, we’re starting to slowly circle the drain.
Now we’re also faced with the news that personal computer sales are in steep decline worldwide, falling between 11 and 14 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year.
Experts suggest that PCs might soon be elbowed out of the way by tablets, just as the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s lead troublemaker, predicted. “So what?” you say? Here’s the problem, Junior -- tablets are far too small for people who require bifocals for reading and writing.
Skeptical? I paid an innocent visit to my Internet bank account the other day to pay a bill, and was impertinently asked to fill out an online questionnaire about whether I’m a tablet user.
“No,” I answered firmly, almost destroying the “N” and “O” keys -- not that my murderous impulses will do any good. I expect to receive my first unsolicited estate planning advice from RBC shortly.
What possible societal use can there be for people like me if we can’t be sold gadgets and related gear that must be constantly updated and replaced? There are only so many calls for sage elders and wizened storytellers, and soon those, too, will be preferable in the form of an app.
Obviously, the unspoken plan of the techno-dweebs who now dominate our culture is to deport me and my bitter, squinting posse to remote mountain caves -- the kind Al Qaeda favours. There, we’ll be expected to spend our days quaintly trying to recall the precise wording of Motown hits. At night, we’ll have to hunt for wild creatures to supplement the provided supply of quinoa, and, since we’re too visually impaired to properly operate weapons, kill the critters with our shaking hands.
Evidently, there’s no turning back on this trend. England’s Mail Online triumphantly reported this week that two PhD students from the University of Lancaster have created “Ubi Displays” that are capable of turning any object into a tablet computer.
“The technology uses a projector, a webcam and a PC to create interactive multi-touch displays anywhere and on anything,” declared the Mail in the same tone of unquestioning delight that it will use to inform the world that the royal baby’s umbilical cord stump finally fell off.
As usual, nobody ever asks why being able to project a tablet computer on a wall is a positive innovation. The news story simply shows a picture of one of the inventors checking the temperature displayed on his front door as he leaves his house. Let the bells ring out. I have enough trouble getting my husband, Stanley to set down his iPhone when we’re dining at a restaurant, without having him watch the soy sauce bottle for the latest stats on who listened to his podcast, or read the NAZDAQ off his paper napkin.
I should never have thrown that Loonie into that well and wished for my family to read more. Hello, magical wish granter – I meant actual books.
As these stupid gadgets gain ground, those who don’t rely on them are literally becoming obsolete. The Telegraph online reported recently that an unemployed 58-year-old British man had tried to sell himself on e-Bay. Steve Sewell had experience as a labourer, bike mechanic, toilet paper tester and even an IT technician -- perhaps working at the latter two jobs simultaneously, as I’ve always suspected was the norm.
Despite Sewell’s starting the price at 99 pence, and tossing a little old-man-style humour into his post – “some wear to moving parts, surface finish worn” -- he was apparently suspected of being so undesirable that he didn’t attract a solitary bidder. And this was a tech guy, of sorts! What a ruthless world.
It cannot be a coincidence that at the same time as Limey scientists are arranging to turn everything into tablets to please impatient tech junkies, a British firm is developing a rocket engine that can bolt somebody into space in just 15 minutes. Reaction Engines’ Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, or SABRE, will travel up to five times the speed of sound. It may be fitted to existing aircraft, says the Mail Online, once again entirely unworried about why. The UK government will fund the project. Nope, there’s nothing remotely suspicious there.
I predict the imposition of a worldwide lottery that selects PC-users to fill the first million seats of one-way flights to the moon.
Just see if it ain’t so.