Con pewter

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

The digital television is not even a television.
It is a monitor. 
No, not even that.
It is a blank screen.

A simple window with a complex menu
which forces ones and zeroes into dancing photons.
Contrast makes heavy and weightless waves of light and not-light.
Sharpness narrows the width of each photon.
Color pressures the particles to bend across an electronic prism
sending hues and tints and saturation levels into a visual dance.

I look at it and it looks at me without knowing how I exist beyond the electrical cord.
“Ready?” it asks me.
“Ready for what?”
“Your favorites are have been downloaded from the service.”
“My favorite things don’t include ‘down’ or ‘load.’”

“Want to hear some music instead?”
“The human voice is music to my ears.”
“There are several recordings in the family and friends queue.”
“I prefer them live.  I want to hear them live.  I want to see them in person.”
“So Skype is out of the question?”

It is endless this need to please its human host.
It is finite its ability to please when you are feeling moody.
Computers aren’t bad.  Computers are what you make of them.

But just substitute “computer” in any pre-modern context
and we can shockingly fathom a humanless future, if…
(with apologies to President Abraham Lincoln)

“Four score and seven years ago our COMPUTERS brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all COMPUTERS are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that COMPUTER, or any COMPUTER so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that COMPUTER might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that COMPUTERS should do this. “

Heavy, isn’t it? Nothing is not on the Internet.

Computers brush a pewter haze on all things rosy and vital.
Today, any item containing chlorophyll is the new ‘hot’ investment.

The Internet of Everything

Copyright © 1960-2015 Lawrence J. J. Leonard  All rights reserved.

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