Saturday, June 18, 2011

Every day I get in the queue

One of the most amazing things to me, child of the library card since the late 1950's, is how the world of convergence and connectivity brings the world to a screen near me 24/7 and 365.

I don't even need to know what I'm looking for and a search bot will find me something, anything (animal, vegetable, mineral) bring it back to the screen and after I've cast it aside, review other sites it has retrieved for me, and via one or another algorithm (actually, he didn't; you can ask Tipper. She on other hand...) start to guess what I might like/want or need and finds that. Eventually, an Ethernet happy ending of sorts.

We live in a state well-known for its perceived wealth, Connecticut, one of the Original Thirteen Colonies with astounding affluence along what we call The Gold Coast (though not all that glitters is gold; in some instances it's bling) and crushing poverty and squalor in places such as our capital, Hartford.

Our infrastructure, from interstates to fiber optic networks, is aging (and near failure) as it is across the Northeast with little investment in any of it since the Korean War. And if you think our bridges are old, you should see our population. Actually, you're reading one of them now. I've lived here with my family since the fall of '91 when I was in my late thirties. I was 59 in April and get the senior discount at the local coffee shop. No one was more surprised than I to wake up this morning to fnd that I'm old. Except, it's been happening for years and not just to me.

But that's why I was mentioning search engines and items of interest at the top. Humor a geezer, willya? It takes us all night to do what we used to do all night and if I need an extra paragraph or participle to get to my point, what's your rush anyway? Whippersnapper. (I guess my old eyes just found the wrong link, eh? The look on your face was priceless.) I will, like many of us, probably end up dying in a place I had never heard of until I lived here. There's worse things of course.

It's nice enough-of course some improvements would be appreciated. A few more pony rides for birthdays wouldn't kill anyone and while there's always room for Jell-O there's not a whole heckuva lot of pie from what I've seen. Tell you what else we don't have a lot of-and not just us, but almost everyone east of the Connecticut River is mass transportation. If you don't have a car (or a truck) you are so screwed in terms of shopping, working, socializing, living in general. And from what I've been reading, it's going to get a lot worse for a lot more of us across this land and the prognosis isn't good in the long run or short term.

Never regarded mass transit as mythical or mystical much less magical. But we're going to have to start to change how we manage it and how willing we are to use it and make it pay for itself, especially before the kids put us in the home otherwise how else are we ever gonna see the grands?
-bill kenny

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