Thursday, 24 April 2014

Modern Times

Anyone who knows me will be well aware that I am quite indisposed toward all things modern, and, from an aesthetic and political point of view, this is quite true; but, if offered a ticket to the early 18th century, certain considerations there are which would give me pause.
Medicine goes without saying - certain things were forever quite deadly which are now shrugged off as innocuous, and this is a list to which we keep adding; then there is technology.
Technology has made knowledge accessible universally, and it has made communication instantaneous and ubiquitously accessible. This very post is an example of both - I must confess I had to go forth unto Wiktionary to look up "innocuous", a few lines above, just as I wrote it, because something about it seemed off, and I was not completely certain about what it might be; I was justified in giving it two Ns, as it turns out. That's the knowledge part, the keen reader will point out, but what about the ubiquitousness of communication? And I smile delightedly before answering...
I am writing this on a train as it speeds through the Portuguese countryside. The Spring weather alternately showers with rain and bright sunlight the greenery left from wetter times, and the shaking of the carriage makes the mouse tricky to use, but, with my wrists on the rest, typing is quite easy.

Hopefully I shan't suffer a blue screen of death before I am finished (this computer's been a tad naughty of late), but, if I do, I can just wait for the reboot and start over, and that is my point: I have a computer on a train - how amazing is that? Computers haven't been this portable for long, and the internet is quite young also. A mere two hundred years ago none of this was available - including the train.
But this is not all, oh no; my country, despite its rulers, is moving forward. This which I now write was prompted by the littlest of things, less than two weeks ago, before leaving Lisbon for the place whence I now return (Easter at the grandparents'): I saw two young men holding hands, simply, innocently, and in public.
The buildings may be horrid, and the politicians likewise, but this country, despite itself, is enlightened and free, and that makes me happy.