I had not touched paper before. C.A.L. even had to identify it for me, “Paper is a tree based product, formerly used as a tool of communication…”
CAL could drone, but as I handled the card I wondered what this meant. It arrived in a box built into my door. A box I had barely noticed before. Of course I noticed little outside of the matrix cords.
It was strange to think there was something beyond my door. Of course there was the matrix, but that rebooted every evening. No matter what happened while inside, we awoke to February 2nd and all was as before. Of course we remembered the prior day, but all the objects were reset. The wreck was fixed, the bank account restored, even death did not stop us from awaking anew. Most never left the system, waking anew every morning.
The only reason I pulled out was because my friend was in a phase where it was fun to shoot people, including me. I would wake up and be gone within the hour only to awake again.
So I was angrily plotting when I heard the creak of the small door (my “mailbox” CAL informed, which lead to another dissertation when I asked how he knew the gender of the box…). But as I fingered the card I could not get away from the thought that someone had been outside (CAL said a “mailman”, but after the last round I did not even ask CAL about this “man”).
In my plain gray room, without the noise and chaos of being actualized (my real body was surprisingly flabby) in the matrix, I could not escape these questions: What did it mean that the mail was no longer going to be delivered? Why was mail coming in the first place? Who was the “Postmaster”?
Had there been a real person outside my door?
For a long time I just stared at the black door. Then finally I stood up and walked over. At first I moved to sit down again, but with the paper in my hand I pushed open the door.
The hall was dark and it ran in both directions as far as I could see. On each side there were doors just like mine…
Where is technology taking us? Are we in control? Or will we be startled when we arrive?
3 thoughts on “The End of Mail…”
Sean I love the story.
And this topic of how there is both an advantage AND a disadvantage to most of our technological advancements has really been striking me in the little Mexican town I live in. As I have discussed little everyday things with my grandparents I have realized that this little Mexican town is in many ways like jumping back to 1930’s in the states. The majority of people don’t have cars (though more and more are getting them). This is an inconvience in some ways, but at the same time it has a lot of advantages I didn’t even know we had given up in the states because by the time I was born they were already gone (advantages like small corner stores all over the place, no matter where I am in Croc I can easily walk for grocerrey items within two minutes or so, polution is down because most people take the bus–and the buses show up every 15 minutes and go to a incredibly larger list of places than bus systems in Kansas City or Springfield Missouri do). Now that everyone has cars in the states the small store has been beaten out by large chains (that often take 15 minutes to drive to and then another half hour in the store just to get out with a couple of things).
Also, a large portion of the population build their own houses. Often nice concrete stuctures. I learned from my Grandpa that he too built his first house. Nowadays in the states that is incredibly rare. Why? Partly because we demand such complex and large houses and also because we have such stringent code laws for construction. Not that these codes are all bad (they increase saftey and effeciency) but I had never realized we lost this way of life where people had the freedom to build their house how and when they wanted to.
Also, by living without air conditioning I have been freed up to enjoy sitting in the shade on a hot afternoon. I savor the nights as truly cool. I am able to work and play in the heat of the afternoon. Did you ever realize air conditioning traps you inside and brings unneccisary pain when you try to enjoy a summer afternoon outside?
But the greatest advantage this little town has is the avalibility of its people. You can stop by someone’s house and expect them to be there. People are home and avalible most of the time. The pace of life is slow enough to be avablible to friends, neighbors, and family. This is a mighty advantage that we in the States have lost little by little as we ‘advanced’.
I read a quote (I have long forgotten where from, sorry) that was something to the effect. “Because of telephones and airplanes you can now stay in touch with your kids who live on the other side of the country’. And the dad responded, ‘True, but before such advancements children lived near their famlies”
It is easy as a young person to reject people whose views are critical of technology (and some of it is built on the often false view that people have of the ‘good ol’ days’), but I have been learning first hand that there is a bright and dark side to each technology and that we don’t have to blindly rush into each new thing. We should ask the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to grab ahold of the good side of every part of life without being enslaved.
The qoute is probably from Dad, with me in GA and you in Mexico… I am glad you enjoyed! Since there was so much confusion I am going to write a brief blog to introduce this blog – since there was confusion amoung students AND parents. In it I am going to put a great poem by RS Thomas, that in part had me thinking about this subject. You might enjoy.
I think it could be like in Wall-E where we all get so lazy that we sit around while technology does everything around us and then we all get really fat. However I think in the future we will not be able to think for ourselves but have to do what advertisers tell us to do as part of a scheme they came up with to help them make more money.