There, I said it. Obsolete technology is everywhere. The human race is such a wasteful set of single-minded simpletons, desperately trying to find the newest innovation to make life that little bit easier. You wake up one morning and someone has invented a quicker way for you to put your socks on. By the afternoon they’re wafting around a gizmo that brings eggs to you at work when you scan your debit card on a moist towelette. At sometime after 7pm your phone has a larger memory than you do and is more likely to be offered a loan by your local bank than anyone at your office.
I do feel sorry for obsolete technology. It sits around charity shops feeling very sorry for itself. The amount of times I’ve walked past the British Heart Foundation only to see an array of VHS video tapes pressing themselves against the window, like wonky pets at an animal shelter, lusting to be taken home and played. And I really want to. My generation was brought up on 3.5 inch floppy disks and video rental shops. Sure they invented the compact disc in 1983 but nobody cared about it until the nineties. Pressing a VHS into a video player and having that hearty clunk sound before the screen screamed into whatever nonsense you have chosen to borrow for the evening was a great sensation. Now all you get is a silent hand giving you the finger as your I-pod breathlessly plays one of six hundred billion albums you have downloaded onto it.
There’s nothing wrong with modern technology. Indeed I wouldn’t be able to type this post without the Mac on my lap. What needs addressing though is thoughtful ways of discarding things that aren’t really necessary anymore. For instance, floppy discs. Sturdy little fellows that they are; couldn’t they be used as coasters? I mean the coaster industry, if there is one, could surely allow a little space for recycling. In the place of tiny cardboard circles depicting pictures of hamsters rolling tobacco you would have small, sexy squares. House building companies could erect sheds made of Betamax tapes. They could unreel all the unsold cassettes of Steps singles and use the tape as loft insulation. Who says you can’t buy your wife a bunch of Nokia 3310s instead of a bunch of flowers for her birthday? They’re just as pretty.
The present is often overlooked for the future. I say we must look to the past in order to create the future. The present demands it, and so do I.