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Aspirations can be more attainable than before

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This was a piece published in my local area newspaper the Asbury Park Press back in 1999, when I was a Junior in High School and a member of the (very) short-lived Techworld Advisory Panel. We only had one meeting as a group and the panel itself lasted like, a month. Originally intended to guide technology coverage of the Techworld section - that section is also long gone. But an editor at the Press dug me up a copy, since I only have the first page of the original newspaper clipping still.

WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE morning and slam your hand on the hunk of plastic you call an
alarm clock (some of us just like to rip it out of the wall and fling it across the room in
satisfaction), that's technology jarring you from a nice peaceful sleep.

Is that bad? Heck no. Technology is an all-encompassing wonder that spans many different
areas of our lives, and without it, many of us would be lost at sea.

Not many people realize how easy their lives have become thanks to the miracle of high-tech
appliances. And by high tech, I don't just mean your five-speed blender with interchangeable
blades or a stereo.

High tech doesn't just apply to things that have electronics in them. You could argue that
toilet paper is high tech; it's better than a corncob right? Am I shedding new light on the

Well, that's great, but without the light bulb we'd all be in the dark still trying to
figure out whether or not monsters really reside within our closets.

But let's talk computers for a second. You think the term computer applies to that little
gray tower or box sitting under or atop your desk? But just think about what a computer is: a
bunch of transistors that open and close circuits to produce logical solutions and fast

All the processors and RAM in the world couldn't run it without transistors. Now take these
wonderful little doohickeys and plug them into just about any home appliance ... TV, microwave,
radio, clock, blender, etc. ... and viola! You have a computer, in the technical sense.

With that permutation in mind, look around with new eyes and see all the computers that
surround you, bind you, draw you into the flow of the ... Internet?

Oh yes. With new advances in connectivity and networking, living, breathing (and ultimately
whining), homes are not far away. And connected to the World Wide Web, they can do your
shopping, make you a better cook with online recipes, allow you to phone your family free of
charge with a video camera, and so much more.

The future is now, as they always say. But then what happened to the present? In the world
of technological advancement, there is none as it moves ahead faster than the speed of light,
because, according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, when you travel faster than light ... oh,
never mind.

So, how do all these wonderful things affect my life? Well, thankfully they haven't turned
me into a mindless cyborg that sits in front of the computer 24/7 browsing the Internet,
slumming in the chat rooms and downloading 260MB files on a 56K modem for fun ... yet.

Instead, I feel the advent of computers, the Internet and all of the other small things in
life mentioned above have helped me decide what to do in life, and are helping me achieve my
goal easier and far more efficiently than the people of the past; poor buggers didn't even
have a keyboard.

And yet as life goes on and more and more cool stuff hits the shelves, making our lives
easier and easier, we'll all look back on the old days ... writing essays by hand, going to the
library for references, listening to a mono boom box, loading up the 56KB of hard drive space
... and laugh at the poor fools so devolved from our current position that they are forced to do
everything the hard way.

But then as we point and laugh from our high throne, we'll realize ... oh, wait. That was us.
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