Friday, August 27, 2010
Progress can't be stopped
The Kindle, is this the future of books?
I received an email the other day that mentioned some items that we took for granted in the past but are now disappearing before our eyes as “progress” keeps rearing its head. For example, personal checks: I have done my banking online since 2003 which has saved a lot of time and money. I pay all my bills online or through credit card. So far in 2010, I have written only 17 checks. I see a day when banks will drop paper personal checks as a cost saving measure.
Books may also be in trouble with new devices like Kindle available. Although I was happy to stop writing checks and stamping and mailing envelopes, I think I would miss holding books and turning real pages. Kindle sounds good and the pricing is attractive at half the price of a regular book. But, when do we decide that keeping something we love may outweigh the monetary savings of something more innovative? At the moment, I have access to an excellent library at no charge and can buy other books really cheap at the Cave Creek library. Kindle will have to wait for now.
Do you still have a land line telephone? I do, but I don’t know why other than I dislike cell phones (although I own one) and refuse to give up the tradition of having a real phone. Getting a new phone used to be a fun experience. The phone company guy would come by with a nice shiny new phone and install it. He would climb the telephone pole in our backyard in Kansas and call me from there to check if the phone was working properly.
It was REALLY a thrill when call waiting became available. Imagine having two calls on the same line simultaneously! It all sounds pretty ancient now. As far as texting, no way! I have to draw the line somewhere.
These items are just scratching the surface of the changes we can expect. We’ve already discussed the changes in the newspaper business as fewer and fewer young people read print papers anymore. Television is slipping as cable costs escalate and the number of irritating commercials keeps increasing and forcing more people to go to their computers for viewing.
By 1950 TV had made radio a second class citizen. Now, it is getting the same treatment. What about the post office? If people quit mailing bill payments, what will the P. O. do? They’re broke now! Will it disappear? FEDEX and UPS are a lot more efficient.
I will remain a dinosaur for a while I guess. When driving I still listen to news, sports, and financial stations, much of which is on AM radio. I can’t remember the last time I played a CD. Do they still make those?
To leave a comment or to read other comments, click "Jim's azcentral blogs" in the right column under links. You will not receive a virus. Jim McAllister writes for the Arizona Republic.