Posts tagged ‘new technology’

WHILE GETTING IT FAST AND GETTING IT FIRST PLEASE GET IT RIGHT

I’m sure I’m not the only news junkie that has become aware of a growing trend, especially in the local news broadcasts.  The rush to report breaking news well before all the relevant facts are known.  The source does not matter nor are the facts checked.  This may be a major assumption on my part, but I have seen a story reported and 12 to24 hours later, when the story is reported again, the first set of facts are at odds with the well-developed story.  The news is becoming a victim of the growing rapidity of technology.

In the past, and I mean maybe thirty years ago, news events were reported in the most recent edition of newspapers or the latest scheduled broadcast.  If there was a break in programming, what was reported was what was verifiable.

Today, with the vast majority of us plugged into the electronic grid of information, hardly anything goes by without someone recording it.  Images are captured by the ever-present cell phone.  But pictures do not necessarily reveal facts.  The need to get it fast has replaced the need to get it right.

March 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

GROWING OLD WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY

I’m getting older.  Okay, we’re all getting older.  But I’m already old getting older, and I’m a writer.

In the future I plan to write a piece looking at science fiction writers and the gadgets they envisioned long before they came into existence.  That led me to consider my present situation, an older science fiction writer trying to keep up with the current bounty of new devices.

Recently I attended a talk given by an author describing her work and during the presentation she mentioned how she made sure her characters used a cell phone.  For that is what we all do now, except for me.  I considered all my stories.  None of my characters ever use a cell phone.  Perhaps it’s because I do not own a cell phone, never have.

I’m kind of a private person, substitute introverted for private, so if I had a cell phone and it rang, I probably wouldn’t answer it.  That’s normal, right?

I look at the world around me and am amazed at the devices in daily use that we take for granted, especially the younger ‘we’.  Look at the increasing power of the personal computer, to say nothing of the various tablets and such.  To give a feel for the changes I’ve witnessed, when I was in college I used a slide rule to calculate.  I’ll give the younger of my readers a chance to reach for their dictionary.

Technology is changing at a tremendous rate, knowledge gained faster than ever before.  For example, and this is ancient history, man stepped on the moon just 66 years after he first flew.  You had people alive who knew a sky containing only birds.  Those same people got to see and hear rockets setting off into space.  That is truly remarkable.

The point is, it is difficult for an ‘older’ writer to keep up with the current technology and weave that technology into their stories.  At least it is for this ‘older’ writer.

As a side note, Jim Butcher creator of the Dresden Files, a writer I admire and whose work I devour, uses an interesting device to overcome this problem in his urban fantasy series.  His character, Harry Dresden, is a wizard, and any time he comes near a modern electrical device that device self-destructs.  What a great backdoor!

As for my work, I guess I’ll just have to invent my own technology.  After all, that’s what we science fiction writers do.

February 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment


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