It Is Kind of Odd How Technology Both Enslaves Us and Sets Us Free

To me, it seems that the technological revolution enslaves us and provides us with more freedoms at the same time.  I realize that is perhaps an odd thought, but...

Part 1: Technology Sets Us Free

Increases Our Freedom

We have so many more choices now...We can surf the Web (and millions of websites), play video games, watch movies, etc.

Chains - Courtesy of Microsoft Office
We are no longer connected to a certain personality or environment/cutlure.  We can now choose to spend our time in a variety of different, virtual environments.  We can choose to be whoever we want to be in these virtual realms.  In a way, we have the chance to start over each time we enter a new virtual realm; we don't carry any "baggage" or past when we first sign-up to World of Warcraft, or a chatroom, or some other virtual place.

We are not connected to a place.  By that, I mean we don't have to be in a certain physical location to take part in things like watching movies, listening to music, etc.  We can do it anywhere and with almost any device (assuming it is electronic).

Time has lost its meaning...Oh, we still grow old, but we do not live in a linear environment anymore...Granted, that was partially true before the advent of the technology revolution, but it has become much more the case now.

We have much more control over our interactions with other people.  We can use traditional methods to talk, such as via mail, calling, talking in person; however, we can now talk by Internet, text, etc.  And we now have much more control over the time, place, environment, background, etc.

Some of us have, or will have, more freedom at work.  Growing numbers of people telecommute; they no longer have to travel to a physical location each day to work (or go to school).  The percentages will likely grow over the next few decades.


Dreaming of Fantasy Football: I Am Concerned about Bountygate and Brees' Contract Issues

Last year, most of my fantasy teams benefited from the fact that I had someone (and usually several someones) from the New Orleans' Saints on my roster.  Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, and Marques Colston (when healthy) were all fantasy football gold (Brees may have even been considered to be platinum).  Heck, even someone like Lance Moore or Pierre Thomas proved to be valuable on occasion.  Sometimes the only thing that slowed the Saints' offense down was the fact that they were so far ahead of their opponents.  

If everything had remained the same in the off-season, you could be assured that I would have been greedily filling my fantasy roster full of Saints' players like a little kid stuffing his mouth with candy.  However, now I'm not so sure I will even touch this team.  

The Saints have failed to reach a deal on a long-term contract with Drew Brees.  Instead, the team chose to place the franchise tag on him.  That worries me a lot for one of two reasons.  First (and worst), Brees might choose not to sign the franchise contract.  If he doesn't, he will likely hold-out if/until he receives a long-term contract.  That is not good news, as the offense is immediately downgraded by several levels if Brees does not play.  Chase Daniels is probably a great guy, and he might even be a very good quarterback; however, he is very likely not on par with Drew Brees (otherwise, he wouldn't be the back-up).  Second (and almost as scary as #1), Drew Brees signs the franchise tender.  Angry birds is a great game; I am not sure if I will enjoy watching angry Brees.  How will the quarterback play if he is a) still stewing about the club's decision not to sign him to a long-term deal and b) worried about an injury destroying his value as a free agent next year.  Again, if he signs the franchise tender, he may play brilliantly, and my concerns may be moot; however, right now, it is a cause for concern.

Secondly, how will the Saints play without their head coach and some other personnel?  I don't know, and that is bad.  I don't like going into a season not knowing how a team will respond to adversity, especially something like Bountygate which doesn't have any precedents.

I have a few months to think this one over; however, I get the odd feeling that I might be just as undecided about things then as I am now.

Author: Original uploader was Mrbrown at
Date: 2007-07-30 (original upload date)
Permission:  Released into the public domain (by the author).
Caption as provided by owner/author:  Picture of en:Tiger Stadium (LSU) at one of the New Orleans Saints games.


Thoughts for the Week

I am too tired tonight (this morning) to write anything deep and meaningful, so some facile thoughts for tonight. :-)

1) I did it!  I changed the design on my blog.  What do you all think?  I opted for a nice, earthy background and strong, vibrant colors [but sorry Jax, no yellow ;)]....I might change it up again soon.  That was fun.

2) Spring is here!  Finally, spring has was a balmy 75-80 degrees today.

3) My NCAA bracket has not only been busted, it has been demolished, though at least one of my upset picks, VCU did win.

4) What a game!  I watched the Lehigh v. Duke game on my computer, and it was a classic.  Too bad I picked Duke to win.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office.


Hurray for Wikimedia Commons!

I am probably the only blogger on here who didn't know about Wikimedia Commons.  I just recently learned that the site existed and am excited.  For anyone out there who doesn't know.  Per Wikimedia's site, it is "a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content."  It contains millions of files.  In short, I have access to a large database of free-to-use photos and art, so I no longer have to rely on Microsoft clip art or my own pictures (which are few and far between).  The only thing I will have to do in order to use these photos/art is to credit the author, list a copyright, and insert the caption that he/she posited on Wikimedia.  Again, I am sure that all of you already know this information, but I did not (and I am excited).  So, to celebrate, I have posted two of the Wikimedia photos that I really liked below (along with attribute/credits).  

Also, if you would like to visit Wikimedia Commons, click on this link:

 Description: Gewitterfront
Date July 10, 2004
Author  Rolf van Melis (User:RvM)
Permission (Multi-license with GFDL and Creative Commons CC-BY 2.5) 

Description: asilomar
Author: Dan Bennett from Seattle, USA
Date: June 19, 2009, 21:11 
License to use: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License (go here to learn more about Creative Commons' licenses:


My Time Capsule(s)--Part 3

First off, I want to thank you all for the comments you left in the "Blog Notes" post...I tried to respond to each of them.  I will be unveiling my new blog design late next week to surprise, gasps, anger, adulation, joy, laughter?  Who knows... ;-)

Now, as to what I would put in my time capsules, here is a list for each.

Time Capsule (box)

Some of the toys I played with as a child, including a 3-headed dragon toy, some Star Wars figures, maybe one of the portable video games, etc.  Hmm, they could be quite valuable (monetarily) in a hundred years...

Some of the books that I read from 5th Grade through high school.  Most of them are sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks.  I assume, even given that they are printed on cheap paper, they will survive for a hundred years (at least the book covers will) in a box that is sealed and buried.

Some of the clothes that I wore when I was a toddler (yes, we were all toddlers once).

Some of my photos which are not on digital mediums.  I think that photos of me in general might be rare, since I don't take many pictures...I will have to hunt around for them (asking sisters, relatives, etc.).

Some of the papers I wrote that are not stored digitally.  I will probably have to laminate the pages to keep them from decomposing over the next century.

Some other trinkets, ie. the bank that I kept my "rare" coins (a couple of wheat pennies, a few Susan B. Anthony's, a nickel from 1943, and a couple other coins) in...and perhaps some first day covers (philatelic value) that I collected or treasured as a child.

Some of my current clothes.

Maybe a locket of my hair...oh wait, well, don't think I can include that one. :-)

A letter/note with a brief discussion of each entry and explanation of why I am including it in the physical time capsule.

Virtual Time Capsule (website)

I would include any blog posts, essays, musings, etc. that I have written, except for anything that is proprietary and belongs to someone else (for instance things I did for other companies won't be included) which are stored in a digital environment.

I would include my diary and add some catchy title to it, maybe: 'Anthony's Journey into...'

I would include any on-line avatars that I used, ie. the Yahoo Avatar I used to use before I added my photo.

I would include descriptions and screen images of all my favorite websites.  I would also include the links; however, I doubt they will be in use.

I would include screenshots of some of the video games I have played.

I would include some of my current e-mails that do not deal with proprietary information.  I would blank out any names of friends/etc., though after a 100 years, I am not sure this part matters.

Well, that's all for now.

Clip Art courtesy of Microsoft Office


Blog Notes

Just some random thoughts/comments...

I'm almost at 50 followers!  I currently have 49 followers--wait,well, one of those followers is me.  I somehow managed to sign myself up via Facebook. Argh!  Oh well, 48 is a good number as well. :-)  I would wait until I hit 50 to celebrate (that's 50 followers and not 50 years of age--I would have to wait a lot longer to celebrate that one); however, given how slowly I have accumulated followers, I might not hit that target for a, why not celebrate 48! :-)

Also, I was thinking of changing the color scheme for my blog?  Do you think the current color scheme is good or should I make the change?  If you vote for change, what colors should I use?

Finally, I listed the articles and poems I've written for Yahoo's Contributor Network in a widget to the side of my blog articles.  Feel free to check it out from time to time...I currently have 6 entries to my credit. :-)

That's all for now, I will try to sit down and write Part 3 to my time capsule posts tonight.


My Time Capsule(s)--Part 2

Ok, so in my last post on this subject, I laid out my capsule(s)' mission (goals).  In this blog post, I will discuss what type of capsule(s) I would use and why...

Until recently, I would not have ruminated on what type of vessel(s) I would use for a time capsule(s).  Oh, I might have debated the size and shape of the thing; however, in the end, I would have definitely chosen a box or some other, material container.  I would not have given any thought to using a virtual storage method.  All of that changed a few years ago when I became swept up in the Internet Revolution.

Until the Internet Revolution (or perhaps more broadly speaking, the Technology Revolution), people lived almost exclusively in the material realm--the world that they could feel, touch, and see.  Some men and women might have looked to the supernatural world for guidance or they may have spent a significant amount of their focus on the mental realm; however, if men and women wanted to interact with each other, they had to rely exclusively on the material world.  They could write each other, call each other, touch each other, speak to each other; however, they could not interact through telepathy and transmission by prayer (if possible) was quite sporadic.  All of their possessions, at least the ones that they could exhibit to others, were made of some substance--a physical material.  The same thing held true for their memories and records, which were compiled with paint, pen, camera, or phonograph recorder.

Beginning in the mid-90s (or maybe before that time), people started using a new medium--a virtual one.  They communicated via the Internet, which was nowhere and everywhere at once.  They would e-mail each other, or communicate with each other on message boards, or talk to each other in chat rooms.  This virtual world occupied another sphere; while people could make material copies (via disk or on drives), they did not have to do so.  As the Internet Age advanced and on-line gaming and social media came of age, humankind (at least some portion of it) became more and more intertwined with the virtual--they created virtual personalities, had virtual relationships, etc.  I think this virtual world is here to stay and will be a much greater part of our lives (for whoever is around) in 100 years.

So, I will use two time capsules.  The first capsule will consist of a 3' X 3' foot metal box, which will be buried in a specific location and opened up in 100 years time.  I will also create a website that will hold some of my most precious, virtual "items."  It will remain dark until a certain day/time in 2112.  I will endow a trust fund with enough money to ensure that the someone opens the box and activates the website in 100 years.  Of course, technology will change; perhaps the Internet will change as well.  With that in mind, I will empower the trust to do whatever is necessary to keep the website's format/structure up-to-date; the trustees have the power to move the website to a new, virtual medium if necessary. 

The trustees will also be responsible for creating marketing campaigns and other strategies designed to get the public interested in the grand opening in 2112.  They might achieve this result through any number of means (perhaps even through a game/treasure hunt).  I will leave that particular detail up to them....To be continued.

Clip art courtesy of Microsoft Office.


My Time Capsule(s)--Part 1

In a blog post titled, "The Genealogist's Time Capsule Challenge," Bill West challenged bloggers to describe what they would put in their personal time capsules.  The post is on West's 'West in New England Blog and the link is:

In responding to Bill's challenge, I have to answer two questions posited on his blog; the queries are listed below.

1 Make a list of what you would put in a time capsule and why you'd choose
each item.

2. What would you use for the time capsule? Where would you have it kept?

In Part 1 of my response, I will begin to answer question #2 because I think it is vital to decide what type of capsule I will use before I determine what I will put in this vessel.  I will finish this discussion in Part 2 and answer the Bill's 1st question in Part 3.  True to my blog's mission statement, I will compose each Part of this narrative on its publication day (in as ad hoc a manner as possible).  That way, readers will get a chance to think this one through with me; they can also point out areas in my thesis that need improvement.

Anyway, before I decide what type of capsule(s) I will use, I need to pin down what I hope to accomplish via this endeavor.  I want my time capsule to achieve several goals.  First and foremost, I would like for someone to retrieve my capsule at the appropriate time and disseminate the "findings" to a larger community.  I have heard of numerous situations in which a group buries a capsule and the community forgets about it.  Years later, someone accidentally finds it as they are digging a foundation, tearing down an old building, etc.  I do not want my capsule to become lost in the mists of time.  I will therefore need to take steps to ensure that someone finds this capsule (or capsules) and disseminates the "findings" to a large number of people--in the likely event that I am not around to retrieve the items/data in 100 years (I say likely because one never is improbable but certainly not impossible that biomedical advances will allow me to hang in there for another 100 years).  I think it might be best for me to create a trust fund whose sole goal is to ensure that someone digs up (literally or figuratively) my capsule in 2112.

Since this is my personal time capsule, I want to ensure that any item I place in it captures something about me.  Perhaps the entries might bespeak to my personality, a period in my life, my cultural tendencies, etc.  Regardless, everything in my time box(es) should be autobiographical to some extent.  I am after all trying to pass on a piece of "me."  I also want my time capsule to convey to a future generation something about the society that I lived in when I "buried" the vessel (and perhaps in previous periods of my life up to 2012).  My items should provide information about the political, economic, and cultural aspects of my immediate community as well as the meta-society, as it existed in 2012.

In a nutshell, I want to convey something about myself via my time capsule while also teaching a future generation about life in 2012 (and perhaps in the other periods I have lived through).  I feel that in order to achieve this result, the items in my capsule(s) should connect with people both emotionally and intellectually.  As an example, a person who pulls one of my toys out of the capsule might feel they are able to connect with my story both intellectually (via understanding what toys I played with as a child) and emotionally (by putting themselves in my shoes and trying to reenact what life was like for me when I was a child).  I feel I also need to choose items that will transmit my story as I see it.  In other words, if I want to convey a specific thought, belief, etc., I have to find a way to ensure that my entries do just that.  That is extremely difficult considering how much things change over time.  Finally, I want something in the capsule (or connected with the capsule) to have an air of mystery about it to force people to do some research to figure out what I'm talking about (that will help further my capsule's pedagogical aims).

So in conclusion, I want to ensure that someone opens my time capsule(s) at the appropriate time (100 years hence) and to disseminate the items (along with an essay or other piece of commentary on the find) to a wider audience.  I would like for my time box(es) to serve as both a vessel for preserving some bit of myself as well as a pedagogical tool.  In order to achieve this goal, my items will need to mystify while at the same time conveying a clear message to people living in 2112. 

I have my work cut out for me.  To be continued....