Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I read today that the man who invented the remote control device to allow a viewer to change tv channels has passed at 96.

If you have been around the track as many times as I have you recall that if you wanted to change the channel you got up and manually changed it.  If you had a sibling you likely said, "I changed it last time" more than once.

Reading the obit made me think of all those things that were beyond the scope of my imagination when I was a kid that are now considered almost necessities.  A credit card, portable phone, microwave, calculator, computer.   Do you know anyone who does not have all of these and anyone over 55 that had any of them when you were a kid.

The other day a buddy of mine seemed genuinely startled when I mentioned that I do not have a GPS system. I am a map guy--always like to read them, but even if I did not enjoy reading maps I've often been behind the curve with innovations. Likely the last kid on the block to have a cell phone, or fast lane gizmo.

We have progressed.  It is great to have the communications capabilities we currently have.  Credit cards, for those who can control themselves, are the cat's meow.  I can make a baked potato in five minutes and heat up whatever is in the box in the refrigerator in a minute and a half.

Fact is, though, in terms of the real important things not much has changed much.  Emotion still runs the show. Below the inventor's obituary is a story about a woman who murdered her own daughter. Another story is about a man who jumped over Niagara Falls in a suicide attempt. A clergyman in an order that forbids sexual intimacy acknowledges that he fathered a child.

Gizmos are great, but I figure human progress is about exploring the undeveloped chambers of our hearts.

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