Woodstock Area Job Bank

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We live in an amazing time in history. Our phones can do more today than the roomful of computers NASA used when they sent men to the moon.

My daughter had her first tech “really” moment last week when she learned that Facebook wasn’t around when she was born. Facebook is my platform, so it must have been around since the beginning of time—like me.

I tried to explain to her that cell phones are still new to me.

“How new?”

“New enough that when I talk to my friends I still prefer the house phone for long conversations— the house phone without a cord attached to it—I have made some progress.”

“You are so weird.”

Today we do things differently. Our dishwashers are quiet, Roomba vacuums the floor, the car can park itself and Siri is the new encyclopedia and pseudo-BFF.

“You mean Wikipedia.”

“No, I mean encyclopedia: real books, on paper.”

“That’s stupid, stuff changes way to fast to print a book.”

She’s right, of course. My parents have a pristine set of 1969 white, leather, World Book Encyclopedias with gold lettering. They bought them from a door-to-door salesman the summer before my brother entered third grade and they were presented to us as the “world at our fingertips”.

I have a long-standing worry that we are becoming like the humans in the movie Wall-E— blobs of flesh being moved from place to place on hovercrafts with tiny little legs too weak to support their rotund bodies. The humans in Wall-E are shown to be mindless consumers. They exist almost entirely in the digital world. They may be biological humans, but their bodies are atrophied and they don’t use their minds for anything highly individual.

Then I remember, the garden has not yet learned to weed itself. The windows can’t clean themselves. And over in the big solar forest the panels may turn themselves to face the sun (a trick they took from the flowers) but they can’t keep their panels clean or mow the grass beneath their aluminum legs.

If I want clean windows I will have to get some newspaper and a bottle of vinegar and spend the day spaying and wiping to clean the winter grunge off. Or… I could call the Job Bank and find another totally human to do it with me. I like the idea of helping so I don’t become too Wall-E-esque..

Until next week,
Beth Crowe

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