Just for the record, I'm thankful for my family, my work, my country, and those fighting to keep me safe. I deeply appreciate the gift of a beautiful sunrise, a long walk on the beach, and a swim in the ocean, and every day I get to be on the planet with my three oversized, goofy dogs, Polly, Dorothy, and Hank.
But I want to offer a special thanks to the technologists of the world -- all those who work anonymously in the world's labs and engineering departments to come up with the circuits, code, and contraptions that have combined to change life as I know it.
I know that technology sometimes cheapens our lives, diverts us from deeper meanings, pollutes our world, and, in the wrong hands, even threatens our lives. (It can also break our hearts, as I learned when my hard drive crashed, taking with it months of work that even computer geniuses working in a "cleanroom" in California could not bring back to me. Back up your files, people.)
I like it anyway.
I know that science is making people healthier, the world cleaner, societies safer, transportation faster, humanity more hopeful. And I appreciate all of that. I really do. But this "thank you" is all about me, a member of a generation that knows that "cc" on your email actually stands for "carbon copy." (Those sheets of paper with ink on them that you put between two pages of blank paper in a typewriter are thankfully all gone.)
In ways my children never can, because they were swaddled in technology's benevolence, I have points of reference. I remember the heady liberation of my first three-minutes-per-page fax machine, and my first cellphone, which was the size of a brick. I've been in line at the post office.
To all the technologists who have made my life easier, faster, and better, thank you for (in no particular order):
- The fact that I don't have to get out of the chair every time I want to change a channel.
Most of all, dear technologists, thank you for putting me in charge. You have moved power from the center to the edge. You have broken down the barriers. You have removed the filters. You have created an electronic democracy that Thomas Jefferson would have loved.
I look forward to hydrogen cars, household robots, and Moon colonies.
Until then, thanks again for my iPad.