The demise, or fall, of the giant retailer Barnes and Nobles has caused me to reflect upon the vast changes in our society. The business of newspapers, magazines and now books are being completely re-understood within our lifetime. It is a change as monumental as the transformations that occurred when the printing press was developed. Entire industries come and go in a generation. Even when I was sailing out in the sea, I was aware when we had internet and cell phone connection. There once was a time when one could go for a sail or drive in a car and not be connected to everyone and everything through the technology we have developed.
During the last five or so years we have seen our world make revolutionary changes. Many of them are only noted for awhile, but then passed over. The print media, as I mentioned, is nothing like it ever was before. Photographs are all digitalized and rarely printed, only passed on the internet and through cds. Music is no longer even on cds. The age of vinyl, then cassettes then cds is long over. Healthcare and Education are both undergoing radical transformations. On top of this we are seeing a shift in religion as great as anything in 2000 years. This is why we see the reaction of fundamentalism and a return to the old ways in all religions, and other various aspects of our society.
There are wonderful advantages to the technology and changes we have witnessed, indoor plumbing and the telephone, being able to call for help from where one breaks down, having access to information, and more people being able to get their voice heard is wonderful. But when the computer goes down at a business, so does business. We are followed and tracked and marketed with our every keystroke. We have the priesthood of the computer technology to intercede between us and our family and loved ones. It is dangerous as well as helpful. I would speculate that the computer is becoming an intermediary between us and our own thoughts and creativity. We need to be careful of those who benefit from our being divided and thus remain conquered. Where is the faith that reunites us with ourselves and our lives?