19 April, 2009

What a magical world we live in!

On Friday, I received an email from David Frum.

It seems that Google Alerts had pulled up my recent entry, and Mr. Frum understood from what I wrote that I seemed "distressed" at having my name associated with my words. He offered to remove it from his website if need be.

I was impressed!

(1) Mr. Frum's email was considerate and cordial, expressing regret for my distress. He offered to remove the posting if I liked. English words fail me here, but in Italian I'd say that era molto gentile, il gesto l'ho apprezzato tanto.

In a reply, I explained to him that I was not so much distressed as embarassed, and that I was trying to write somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I thanked him for having posted my ideas with credit, and gave him permission to leave it there.

(2) In the world I grew up in, this nearly immediate discovery of the reference to his publication was impossible. I remember the first time that I saw a mobile phone in action, and I was in awe. I was in college at the time, less than twenty years ago. The internet was around, but it was still the plaything of scientists and the military. Before I entered seminary, cell phones were still rare, and the internet was just taking off; I'd had a NetCom account, which was eventually bought out by EarthLink. AOL still dominated the world with their fake-internet stuff and their promiscuous mailings of CDs. (Does AOL even exist anymore? I seem to recall that they bought Time-Warner, then became a huge casualty of the dot-com bust.)

No one seems to mention how the world we live in is magical, magical! I never dreamed of this stuff as a child, even when my parents bought us a first computer. The world today is completely different from the world back then. About my only complaint is that this increase in convenience has perhaps led to a loss of innocence.

But I guess people were saying that when I was a child about technologies back then, too.

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