One angry old man against the world
“Time marches on”, but for most of us ‘old uns’, it’s broken into a run. Many of the terms and sayings that we were familiar with have fallen into disuse, but even those that are still used have a very different meaning to people like me who remember the hardship of war. “Washing day” for example, was called that because it took all day to do the washing. Clothes and bedding were first boiled in a “boiler” or “copper”, then they were hand scrubbed on a “scrubbing board”, then rinsed in a large “butler sink” or tin bath, then “wrung out” by hand, unless you were lucky enough to have a “wringer”, which was two large spring-loaded wooden rollers that were hand cranked and ‘squeezed’ the water out of the clothes, and finally it was all hung out to dry. Today the only thing done by hand is the “hanging out”, and that only if you don’t have a “tumble dryer”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no “Luddite” raving against “Technology”. It has removed much of the “drudgery” from everyday life, and a good thing too. Unfortunately, it has created other problems that no one talks about, or chooses to ignore. I’ll take the “Camera” as a single example of what I mean. In the ‘Analogue’ days (pre-digital), a decent camera usually meant an SLR or Single Lens Reflex, the lenses were interchangeable and you had one for each job, a ‘telephoto’ or two, a ‘close-up’, or ‘macro’, a ‘standard’, or 32mm, and a set of filters and other ‘special effects’ lenses, plus other ‘extras’ like flash equipment, tripods, etc., none of which were cheap. If you took your photography seriously, you could spend hundreds, if not thousands, if you wanted the best.
These cameras took ‘roll film’ which had to be ‘developed’ and ‘printed’ (processed). If you did your own, it required a ‘darkroom’ and lots specialised equipment and smelly chemicals, and many serious photographers did just that. Whether you ‘did your own’ or sent the film to be ‘processed’, many industries were involved. Film, printing paper, developing and fixing chemicals, transportation, the processing itself, and of course the manufacture of of all the photographic equipment and extras, these were large industries, employing many thousands of people.
Many of the these industries have disappeared along with the jobs they created with the invention of the ‘digital camera’. The modern digital camera is a technological miracle, a true ‘point and shoot’ device. With auto-focus, auto-speed, auto-aperture, auto-white balance, auto-flash and red eye correction, auto-light sensing, auto-shake correction, face detection, blink detection, built-in zoom and macro lens, filters, special effects, date stamping, Wi-Fi and GPS, it puts that large heavy bag of equipment and extras all into one tiny hand held device, and at the same time, puts hundreds of thousands out of a job. What puzzles me the most, is where they are going to keep finding people to buy all this new technology, if they keep throwing people on the scrap heap?
The old ‘business model’ of employing as many people as you could and paying them a reasonable wage, so they could afford to buy your products, made some sort of ‘logical’ sense! But reducing your staff to a bare minimum and paying ‘starvation’ wages, while using any profits to buy your own ‘stock’ to keep it’s ‘market price’ up, seems completely illogical to me. I love new technology, but the methods used to produce it seem to be ‘cock-eyed’ and totally unsustainable.
If someone were to invent a camera that diagnosed and cured illness, you can bet that he and his invention would be victimised, threatened, and discredited into dropping the whole idea by the medical and pharmaceutical industries. They don’t want cures, only long term incurable illness that they can make a great deal of money from. If he chose to ignore the threats and persevered with the idea, he would quickly suffer an unexplained accident and his idea would disappear (it’s happened many time in the past.)
If on the other hand, a camera that created illness was invented, the inventor would have no trouble obtaining funding to develop it. If it could maim and/or kill quickly, the military would throw millions at it. Which about sums up the mind-set of the brain-washed, greedy cretins that run this world today. Whatever happened to ‘common sense?’