My brother is an artist and we share a studio. In it, there is a cupboard we refer to as the ‘Technology Drawer’. Everything complicated goes in there. Our policy is that if we can’t fix it with glue, it’s technological.
In my more paranoid moments I’m convinced the drawer is a sort of embryo from which a stapler-headed, radio-bodied, ipod cable-haired robot monster will emerge, fix its cold eyes (two pen light batteries) on me and vaporise my naïve, trusting self. When I look in there I sometimes feel scared. I suppose that makes me a technophobe. It also makes me frightened of staplers, which is just weird.
Even the most reluctant among us acknowledge that the technological age is well and truly upon us. My own mother, who held her first cell phone always at arm’s length and stared at it as though it was a spitting cobra is now a two-thumbed texting machine. Two years ago every text she sent seemed to suggest she had typed it while river rafting, but now she’s as fluent as a teenager. I’m half expecting her to sign her next text off with “Spk l8r, Luv Mom :P’.
The internet is driving the technological revolution. It’s as if humans have evolved a fifth limb over the past fifteen years which now contains all of our vital organs. We simply can’t live without it. And as the internet has become faster and more widely accessible in South Africa, blogging has taken off. Not that long ago, blogs used to be badly designed pages on which single men would argue about whether Jessica Simpson or Jessica Alba had the better ‘booty’.
Now, however, enough of them are credible and useful resources of just about everything there is to talk about; sport, hairdryers, blow-up dolls, politics, even one or two about crabs of the Galapagos islands, should you ever need them. We spoke to the editor of SARocks.com, a finalist at the 2008 SA Blog Awards, about where the phenomenon is headed.
Elsewhere, we get excited about the debut album from emerging local electro/rock outfit Unit-r, we wonder whether about decline in our currency’s value is set to continue (Our economics expert has good and bad news) and our environment correspondent addresses the thorny topic of environmental refugees to discover what it means for South Africa.
In the travel feature, we investigate the phenomenon of teleportation, which leaders in quantum physics claim could be available to humans in the not-too-distant future. It makes my mind melt to think of it, and doesn’t make me the least bit less scared of the technology drawer.