Observations About Technology Over Those Years

I hardly ever write about my birthday. However, I am about to reached a goal of mine that of having been around for 7-decades. I have outlived my father by several years and my mother by nearly 2-decades. Having nearly reached 70, I have reset my longevity goal. My next milestone goal is that of reaching 100-years on earth.

George Burns George Burns
Assuming that next goal is relatively easy, my final goal will be a real Herculean task...that of reaching March 10, 2043...49-days after getting to my 100th birthday. George Burns and I share the same birth date but not the year. George was born on January 20, 1896 and died 48-days past his 100th year of earth. While I loved George's acting ability and his sense of humor, we have had a long debate about the decision of the government to move the inauguration of a president from March 4th to January 20th. George maintained for much of his life that it was as a tribute to him due to his birth date. I maintained that it was a tribute to me. While he died on March 9, 1996, I have planned for years to win our friendly argument by outliving him by a day.

To reach that supreme goal, I exercise every day for 45-minutes and do 300-crunches. While that is not any guarantee that I will beat George on longevity, it is surely my intention.

Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody
While I look forward to my next two longevity goals, the reaching of 70 is also a time for me to look back at my life. At the beginning of my life, I was intrigued by technology. I would sit in front of a piece of technology...a black and white TV. Every evening at 5:30, I was fascinated by technology as I sat in front of our Muntz TV and watched the Howdy Doody Show with Buffalo Bob, Clarabell, Phineas T. Bluster, and Princess Summerfall Winterspring.

At the other end of my life, technology still intrigues me. The technology of the early part of the 21st century has the ability to see people make speeches, campaign for election, hit homeruns, sing, and dance. When I was an infant, they had motion picture cameras for family use. My dad would send back home movies that he took during the time that he was away from my mother and me. I still have movies of him at various training camps in the US or places in the Pacific during WWII where he was stationed. However, these were for our family back home. Only his immediate family every saw or even cared to see the motion pictures that he made. My mother would take pictures and send them back to him of me as an infant or toddling around in Merchantville, NJ. Here again, only he and a couple of buddies would see them.

Interestingly, toward the end of my life, what will my family have to remember me...my legacy to them and the world in which I lived? I have a website with articles, interviews, and photos from around the world. Our home is filled with dozens of large mounted photos that I have taken from around the world. Along with the photos are many artifacts picked up while on our overseas travels. In addition to loving my family, I love travel and teaching. Ann, my wife, and kids have all seen my website and all the photos and things from overseas. There is not much that I can say or give them that they don't already know or have.

However, because of the technology of the early 21st century, I will soon have Ann videotape my interviewing of Jack who is 2½. However, imagine Jack's response to watching the interview 20-years after the fact. That will absolutely mesmerize him as an adult.

I ask my toddling grandson what he sees as important. What will he say that he likes to do? How will he describe his relationship to his parents and 6-month old baby brother? That interview along with my interview of Owen, his brother, will be a part of my legacy given to these two small additions to my family. Anyone in his or her 70s will have similar opportunities to use various technological advancements to enlarge their family legacies.

Nevertheless, these technological advancements are like yin/yang. There are positives attributes these new inventions. However, there are also negative issues surrounding this technology. Not only can we remember the good times that we have with family and friends, but the Internet provides for us an interesting legacy of politicians and others who directly or indirectly affect our lives. They will see the blessings of the Internet, but its curses also. This is particularly true of video tapes. We have had newspapers, magazines, and TVs for many years. While they provide often firsthand reporting, what happened yesterday is not easily retrieved tomorrow for the world to review.

There are loads of examples of this...in several of my articles regarding the flip flopping double-talk of Mitt Romney during the recent election. Whether he saw the curse of the videotapes or not, everyone else certainly saw it.

Now, many others have BS-ed around the barn in addition to Romney. Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham and Condoleezza Rice, then former Secretary of State under Bush, have experienced this yin/yang effect to technology.

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Our society should have become sensitive to the reality that video clips affect everyone's legacy...or at least we should have realized it. We need to be careful saying something one time and then saying the opposite the next time. Now, we all make mistakes. However, I would suggest that we merely admit to our mistakes. Nevertheless, we as a society instead of owning up to a mistake, we often pontificate upon the fact that either we are perfect by self-righteously attacking others or we mistakenly assume that no one will notice the contradictions...and that is really stupid.

McCain is 7-years older than I am. While Lindsey Graham is a dozen year younger than McCain and I, Graham would have sat on the floor of his living room watching Howdy Doody also.

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Here are some of my articles of Romney's flip flopping: Binders of BS and Ethics at Two Levels.