Politics & Media
Oct 06, 2010, 11:21AM

Technology Will Change Your Life

Or speed it up to the point of utter confusion.

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Nowadays, a line like “When I got an iPhone, my life changed forever” looks either outdated or from an Apple press release—as if we haven’t been inundated already with hyperbole regarding all things Apple, new media, social media, communication platform and Twitter. Even typing out that sentence felt laborious: it’s not that I’m cynical about technological paradigm shifts, it’s just that, well, we’re living through them already and as quickly as “There’s an app for that” or the iPad hits the streets the newest revelation/gadget curdles in the mouth of this person who understands how important all this Internet/Information/Technology Age is and yet feels uncomfortable placing so much emotional stock in hardware.

So maybe that’s a little cynical. My sunny disposition toward most things in life doesn’t favor gadgetry. But I think dew-eyed dweebs and on-the-fence cynics like myself alike are going to be floored by this iPhone review by Austin Seraphin, reposted on The Atlantic:

Last Wednesday, my life changed forever. I got an iPhone. I consider it the greatest thing to happen to the blind for a very long time, possibly ever. It offers unparalleled access to properly made applications, and changed my life in twenty-four hours. The iPhone only has one thing holding it back: iTunes. Nevertheless, I have fallen in love.

Seraphin goes on to describe how his new iPhone is actually changing his life:

The other night, however, a very amazing thing happened. I downloaded an app called Color Identifier. It uses the iPhone’s camera, and speaks names of colors. It must use a table, because each color has an identifier made up of 6 hexadecimal digits. This puts the total at 16777216 colors, and I believe it. Some of them have very surreal names, such as Atomic Orange, Cosmic, Hippie Green, Opium, and Black-White. These names in combination with what feels like a rise in serotonin levels makes for a very psychedelic experience.

I have never experienced this before in my life. I can see some light and color, but just in blurs, and objects don’t really have a color, just light sources.

A cathartic defense—however modest—of the irrepressible march to computerize, digitize and shrink everything in our material lives. (I’d like to see what the gentle Luddites at Front Porch Republic think of all this.) And here I thought I was saving my own small reserve of hyperbole for when I start using Firefox’s Tab Candy—I’m the guy with 15–65 tabs open (across two browsers) at any given time—but Seraphin’s review-cum-revelation has put a different wind in my sail. Something technological is going to depress me sometimes soon, no doubt. I’m a plugged-in guy who has a stubborn penchant for thinking, “Slow the hell down, everyone, lest we miss the good stuff.”


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