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Slaves to technology …

Councillor Harmann: Down here, sometimes I think about all those people still plugged into the Matrix and when I look at these machines I… I can’t help thinking that in a way… we are plugged into them.

Neo: But we control these machines; they don’t control us.

Councillor Harmann: Of course not. How could they? The idea is pure nonsense. But… it does make one wonder… just… what is control?

Neo: If we wanted, we could shut these machines down.

Councillor Harmann: [Of] course. That’s it. You hit it. That’s control, isn’t it? If we wanted we could smash them to bits. Although, if we did, we’d have to consider what would happen to our lights, our heat, our air…

Neo: So we need machines and they need us, is that your point, Councilor?

Councillor Harmann: No. No point. Old men like me don’t bother with making points. There’s no point.

Neo: Is that why there are no young men on the council?

Councillor Harmann: Good point.

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Remember this conversation ?
If you have seen Matrix Reloaded, you probably have … one of the very key points the movie makes …

Just a few days ago ( 3 and a half to be precise ), my phone line .. from which I get my broadband, got dinked …
And, this, as you must have guesses it, starved me out of my internet connection.

Now, I am NOT one of your classic nerds or geeks who cannot do without the internet … I can …
But somehow, not being able to access it, check email and stuff, made me restless …

I could no longer … just connect and google for something that I didnt understand …
Didn’t know how to do something ? Then was just stuck up there …
Probably had to pick one of the reference books I had bought years ago and flip through the pages …
In other words, I was plain paralysed …

Life was not always like this …
During my dial up days ( may they rest in peace ), when the prices would pinch the pocket, I could do without checking my mail 3 times a day …
Whenever got stuck, would pull out some book and actually go through it …

Just the other day was talking to one of my friends and we were discussing, how we no longer consider accessing the internet as a privelege … or it being something cool …
Its a way of life …

And it confuses me and makes me wonder, how some students doing Engineering have no email account .. or most of them check emails like once in a year, which causes their accounts to expire.

Ignorance is bliss I guess …
Once you get sucked into all this, it gets difficult to pull out …

Technology makes life simpler for you … but then once you have used it, addiction is imperative.
Also, depending on technology, so much, in a country like India, where the basic infrastructure is not strong enough to support technology … is very dangerous …

Like, I had to send a parcel to US the other day … and went to the post office at 8 in the morning hoping to wrap it all up by 8:30
Of course, they didn’t have lights …

I had to wait for an hour while they got their UPS or generators, or whatever they had – started … because without computers, they could not process my parcel …
How did they do it BEFORE they started using computers ???

Another place where all hell breaks loose is banks and bill paying counters which use computers exclusively … and the lights go …

Had to pick up a draft from ICICI to pay my Engg fees .. and they could not process my request because their central servers were down …
And they, for the love of God, could not give me a hand written draft like in the good old days …

Had to wait for four hours for a draft, which I could easily get in 10 minutes from a co operative bank still doing work the old way …
( I am saying this coz I think almost all Nationalised Banks and Private Banks in Pune are now computerised … Actually most of the co operative banks are too … yay !!! )

My point in this entire discussion being … using technology for simplifying your life, is like tasting blood ( please … I’m speaking figuratively ) … it becomes extremely difficult to go back to old ways …
And if you’re in a country like India, and still get roped in, don’t forget how to do things the old way …
Not yet … anyways …

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