Six Sentence Story- Progress Shouldn’t Hurt

Prompt word: labyrinth

She’d always thought her grandparents- born at the beginning of the 20th century- were the generation who witnessed the most dynamic human change in a lifetime, but the cultural changes of her sixty-six years eclipsed those industrial, medical, and technological advances they had beheld.

Her stomach twisted every time she reminisced about her childhood of jumping rope on the playground and feeling completely safe only to return to her present, a place and time of declared progress yet tragically foreign and ominous.

She’d like to blame it all on the 1960s but on closer examination there really was a labyrinth of cultural rot that went unnoticed while the rapid “advancement” of the human experience was cheered along.

The hippies, militaristic feminism, and the drug culture, were just the first glaringly emboldened movements to take center stage; all made possible by the everyday comforts and prosperity that the enormous leap of the sciences had secured.

Earlier, when she walked by the schoolyard, small children stood separated wearing surgical masks just twirling in circles with one child erupting in a rant filled with vulgar language getting no notice from the teacher nearby.

One child’s eyes widened with shock and met hers, but to steal her hoping to guard her precious innocence was not possible, so she wept for her instead as she walked home praying for all those children’s future.

Broader Horizons: Brain Development in Kids

Early virtual world: Ultima Online
Early virtual world: Ultima Online (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It occurred to me, as I watched my day care friend (age 10) navigating through Minecraft this morning, that our kids are guinea pigs. For those of you who aren’t aware of Minecraft, it is an interactive, online world of adventure which is very popular with kids. My granddaughter (age 7) also plays this game.

As I watched, the 3-D images twisted and turned in a fascinating array of viewpoints in a virtual world. The 10-year-old was able to follow the images with amazing speed. I felt slightly dizzy. This made me wonder how this generation may bring new tools to viewing the real world from this early 3-D training. I am neither qualified, nor interested, in making a pro or con judgement.

I’m willing to bet, though, that the visual art world will definitely have some amazingly fresh, new expressions in the near future that will come from this early exposure.

My generation was the first group of kids who spent Saturday mornings watching TV. We experienced a new kind of visual stimulation and I believe it gave us a new way of processing our world. For better or worse, we learned a new perspective.

I frequently hear grandparents, and great-grandparents, exclaiming, “Kids are so much smarter today.” I don’t, for a second, accept that statement as true. What kids DO have is an earlier exposure to more information in unique formats. This does ultimately offer real “mind altering” potential.

Anyone who studies brain functions has this current generation of guinea pigs to study. There will be discoveries, both positive, and some negative, specifically pertaining to modern ways that children’s brains are wired from technological exposures during brain development.

Gosh, I find this a very interesting scientific field of study. I believe our newest generation will definitely, “Go where no man has gone before.”

Less used to be More

Studless tire (スタッドレス・タイヤ)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, I’ve been advancing in the modern world but it doesn’t fit well. We just purchased a newer truck with features we wanted and features that we were unaware of needing. There’s a tire pressure light warning on the dashboard. Really? Of course, the tires are more expensive since they have to have implanted sensors to read. Well, we’ll be by-passing THAT in the future, now won’t we?

Perfect tire pressure is hard to maintain in the Northeastern US. Here, temperatures can rise and fall 40-50 degrees in an afternoon and everyone knows what temps do to tires. I know, optimum tire wear, gas mileage and safety can be diminished with imperfect pressure. Seems that some study must say...while traveling at 55mph on wet or icy roads there can be a loss of traction if tire inflation is off.

Dumb ole consumer! Here’s a tip, when the roads aren’t optimal, slow down!!!! I can’t wait for the first “my tire pressure sensor failed” lawsuit. “That’s right, I would have been able to steer out of the 55mph skid if my car had warned me about the improper inflation.” Recall!

Now, we have an annoying light flashing on our dashboard as a distraction AND the tires cost more. Way to go fellas! I just love a new feature that can go haywire too! Mechanics smile as they charge $80.00 to reset stuff. At least someone is happy. Did I mention that the spare tire is also on the sensor grid? Yup, you need to check 5 tires before the light goes out. Half the cars on the road still have those 50 mile donuts though.

I remember when less was more…The innovators of progress have yet to convince me otherwise.