Wearable Technology

If wearable technology is the future the Apple is in trouble. I don’t say this because I dislike the company. I have an iPhone. I throw money at iTunes. I didn’t fight it when Apple decided to own my free time.

Now you may argue that the Internet of Things is the future of humanity. Continue reading


The closest star is not always the brightest

A few years ago a movie called Slumdog Millionaire came out and most people could see nothing else. If art movies have dreams then to keep their integrity while being embraced on the scale of a superhero blockbuster must be one of them. And this movie lived that dream to the detriment of better movies.

Now, I saw Slumdog Millionaire and it was not a bad movie. But it was not the best movie that came out that year. That same year The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seven Pounds, Milk, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Doubt, and countless other movies came out. I saw a lot of amazing movies. I was stunned into a depressed shell of emotion by many of them and some of the endings still haunt me in a way only a brilliant moment can.

But these movies were overshadowed by the most public star of the cinema. And it is going to happen again. And while the movies from the previous cycle were dark and heavy the movies that are in danger of being obscured this year are warm and powerfully hopeful, potentially an even greater loss to the person who does not view them.

Interstellar might not be an underdog art movie but it is playing the same role. It will probably win awards, awards that other movies should get. This is just a brief plea to please not overlook some of the other stars. Interstellar will not fade for years. Please don’t let amazing movies like The Theory of Everything, Beyond the Lights, Rosewater, and The Hundred Foot Journey dim and faster. I’m not asking you to change what you like. But give less flashy movies a chance if you have the time.

And remember that just because a star is further away doesn’t mean it isn’t worth gazing upon. There is room for the sun and the stars in your life. Find the celestial balance you need.

Completely Turned Off

For my job I have to tell every single person I work with to “Please turn off any cell phones you have with you.” A simple enough request you would think. But it isn’t.

I often will hear a vibration during the session. “Can you make sure your phone is completely off?” I ask. “It’s on vibrate. Is that okay?” they reply. No. No it isn’t. “We need it completely off,” I reply.

Other times I will see them turn their phones back on or see screens light up. I have to be the bad guy and firmly remind them.

“But this is my work phone,” they will occasionally shoot back. Hey, not my fault you are supposed to be working and put yourself in this situation.

People like this make me grumble but they are individual problems. There is a whole different breed of people I come across that make me truly worried. These are the people who don’t know how to turn off. Two different types of people fit into this category and they both scare me.

First, I come across people who literally do not know how to turn their phone off. They confide that they have never once had to power it off. These people have never been in a situation they felt required no phone access. They look at me sheepishly for help. And this isn’t just older generations. This includes people younger than I am.

Second, there are people who honestly don’t seem to know what off means when it comes to their phones. I will say, “Turn your phone off.” They will respond, “It’s on vibrate. Does it need to be on silent?” Sometimes they will even ask if I mean airplane mode. As if the concept of the power actually turning off will never have crossed their minds.

(Side note: Sometimes I will tell people to turn their phones off and they will dejectedly inform me that it is dead. As if this is the only time a phone could be completely powered down.)

The two groups scare me for one reason. In their recent and current lives these people seem to have never been in situations where they can’t press a button and see notifications. I imagine these people at a funeral quietly checking to see if someone posted to Twitter, looking at a snap during their daughter’s wedding, obsessively checking for a texted reply as they sit in a meeting where their boss explains about the unfortunate need to downsize. At any given point in time these people could be looking for distraction and they know the option is always there.

Impulse becomes controlled only by the individual. The only thing standing between these people and constant disengagement from the real world is their self-control. And I doubt the strength of the self-control of anyone who has never turned their phone off.