Just lately, I received an electronic mail from an aged mate in England. Tony wrote that his wife’s 70th birthday was coming up, and he is asking their lots of pals to mail cards to her in treatment of their son, so she would get them all at as soon as at a surprise celebration. I despatched a card — across the Atlantic — with many good wishes. And a number of weeks ago, I viewed on YouTube a friend’s household celebration in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Even though COVID has saved us aside bodily, engineering has brought us together.
And so, devoid of sounding like Pollyanna, with war raging in Ukraine, gasoline charges expanding and COVID not nonetheless concluded, there are joyful points happening, because of to growing know-how.
For example, on Monday evenings I have been instructing my Hopkins Odyssey courses on Zoom — 19th century English Intimate poets appropriate now. In the earlier two years, my course contributors have come from Chicago, San Francisco, New York Town, Florida and Connecticut. Quite a few of my close friends and I have been getting Smithsonian courses on Zoom.
On Wednesdays at noon, also on Zoom, my Bible Examine satisfies with members from 3 Baltimore City church buildings collaborating. And 1000’s of men and women have been and continue to are doing work remotely, as a result steering clear of lengthy commutes and, in some conditions, formal costume.
Although, as an English trainer, I even now prefer to read through regular paper publications, I admire the Kindle description that author and former Baltimore Sun reporter Laura Lippman writes in “The Book Thing”: Says she, “books could are living inside units, glowing like captured genies, determined to get back out in the earth and grant peoples’ needs.”
Talking of granting wishes, I a short while ago observed on the PBS NewsHour, a segment on 3D printed households. By technological innovation, a residence — 1,500 square toes with a few bedrooms, two loos and a garage — can be built in 24 hrs, and the value is a lot fewer than a conventional property.
This new challenge is projected to develop far more than $1.5 billion in 2024. As a consequence, quite a few small-money people who in no way thought they could own a home, will be capable to.
The use of technologies inside a home is huge. When I requested Marshall, my tech-savvy cousin in North Carolina, to record the complex gadgets he and his wife use in their two residences, he 1st explained that in advance of they travel to their next property on the h2o, 3 hours absent, they can, as a result of their phones, have the electrical energy turned on as well as the heat, while in the earlier, they experienced to question a neighbor to do that.
To quotation Marshall, “between Jan and me, we have two iPhones, two Kindles, a desktop Computer, Windows laptops, iPads, MacBook pro, printers, scanners, intelligent Television set, Amazon Echos, etcetera.”
With their telephones, in addition to contacting, texting, emailing and photographing, they do all their banking, all their purchasing, as nicely as begin their vehicles, read publications and maps, do exploration, and their record goes on.
Of course, every new invention is not a panacea, and peoples’ regular resistance to transform is usually a issue.
The one case in point that comes to head is the invention of frozen foods. In “The Magnificent Life of Marjorie Write-up,” author Allison Pataki describes how resistant Marjorie Merriweather Post’s 2nd husband was as CEO of Article Cereals (girls could neither keep these types of positions nor sit on boards in the early 1900s) when Marjorie wanted to buy Clarence Birdseye’s smaller frozen-fish business enterprise. Thankfully for the world, Marjorie prevailed, and frozen food items, generating life much easier and much healthier, are offered and consumed nearly just about everywhere in the planet.
In fact, lots of people today still want to interact in particular person however, utilizing technologies makes lifetime less complicated and connects us in means that never ever appeared feasible, a definite beneficial among our troubles today.
Lynne Agress, who teaches in the Odyssey Program of Johns Hopkins, is president of BWB-Organization Producing At Its Most effective Inc. and author of “The Feminine Irony” and “Working With Phrases in Business enterprise and Legal Writing.” Her e mail is [email protected].