Wonderful World

My morning started early today around five. It was dark outside and when I left the bedroom for the living room I felt that I wasn't probably fully awake when I saw on the street, just in front of my window, a man in full work gear standing on a platform lifted by a truck working at the level of telephone wires. It didn't take me long to realise that I wasn't dreaming. After few minutes, a small box was added to the pack of wires that make the street ugly in the winter and really upset me everytime I look at ever since we moved into this neighbourhood.

I used to live in Paris where all electrical and telephone wires are undeground but I had to adapt to this reality in Canada where even in the most exclusive neighbourhoods you can see wires above the ground hanging between houses. I was told that the reason for this is that during the winter the soil is covered by few dozen centimeters of snow which hinder any reparation work on electrical and telephone wires. However, there are some areas where wires are buried under the ground and in the winter 1998 the hanging wires proved to be a liability because the few centimeters of freezing rain didn't make it to the ground and hung on the trees and on electrical and telephone lines making the city a total chaotic mess during two weeks. Outside the city some had to stay without electricity for a month. The government dispatched the army at the time to help but it was mostly out of fear of social unrest.

I was just remembering all this when the man disappeared inside his truck. On the truck I read the name of a local TV and internet company. Hearing my husband awake in the back of the house I felt emboldened to go outside to ask the man what he was doing to the wires in the street. As soon as I opened the door, the dog was instantly outside and we both went near the truck inquiring. I was told that a satellite signal amplifier for TV and internet was added to the network just near our house. I asked what kind of signals the amplifier used and was told that the signals were not harmful if this was my concern. Still, I was bothered and a little worried. I remember having a fight with my husband's insurance company because they imposed a security system on his car that used the controversial Non Ionising ElectroMagnetic Radiations (NIEMR), the same that make cellphones work, except that in the car the emission was permanent on the basis of a ten minutes intervalle. We broke the contract with the company after one year. While waiting for the coffee and the toasts I did some rapid internet search and realised that radio, TV and wireless internet technologies also use some of these Electro Magnetic Radiations. My husband who does not worry as much as I do was reassuring when I discussed this matter over breakfast.

After the breakfast I drove my husband to the train station. He will be traveling six hours in the train today and as trains in Canada are now equipped with wireless internet, he will be able to work as if it was a normal day from his train 'desk'. I did it last year when I was traveling 4 hours twice a week by train. It gives a strange feeling the first time.

With a cable internet connection our mind can be virtually everywhere at the condition we don't significantly move far from the physical connection. With a wireless connection in the office or in the house we can move few meters and even read the morning news in our bed. Although my husband does not allow laptops anywhere near the bedroom, I allow myself this 'breach of intimacy' when he is away.

But none of these experiences comes near working on a laptop with a wireless internet connection in a train. There is a sense of infinite freedom to it. We are physically and intellectually moving and the world is following. The universe is a perpetual movement. Movement appeared during the evolution of livings along with nervous systems- creatures who don't move don't possess nervous systems - and became more obvious with nervous systems endowed with Minds like ours. And within the creatures possessing nervous systems, minds appeared to shift the movement from space to Time. From earlier technologies focused on moving into space our present day technologies are moving us into time. Body technologies move us into space and mind technologies move us in time. While I was writing this post, My husband was traveling far away from me and yet at the same time he was able to send me three emails. While I was sleeping, somebody in another time zone was awake and reading my blog.

I know that all these technologies may be harmful in some way to our health. We don't know yet but there we are already immersed in them, integrating them in our bodies and minds in an irreversible way, making them into habits. And no matter what their effects will be on our health, there is no going back. Suddenly I found my worry of this morning completely futile. As the universe, life is a perpetual movement. But what is a life, one life, in this huge perpetual movement ?

1 comment:

naj said...

Hi Sophia,

Just a little note to say goodbye for a little while. I will let you know if I can maintain my blog from Iran. I hope to do daily posts.

It seems there it is snowing just as hear. I didn't get ice-storm pictures, since I have been busy with last-minute chores.

All the best

Since March 29th 2006