Desk-bound Nostalgia

In humor, Office, Technology on May 2, 2011 at 13:25

Tomorrow is a very re-assuring concept. It is a soft pillow, a foot massage and Valium rolled into one.

Couldn’t finish that file again?

We will catch it tomorrow.

An old colleague has been calling to catch up?

May be tomorrow

Forgot to fix the leaking pipe again?

What is one more day…?

Still haven’t updated your CV?

You get the drift.

Tomorrow is therefore under a lot of pressure to deliver. But it always comes through for you at the end of the day. It has one mortal enemy though, death. Yes, eventual and coldly absolute. Death means no more tomorrows and no more second chances.

Demise is scary, even when it comes to in-animate objects. That is why the recent ‘news’ of the last type-writer factory shutting down has received widespread sympathy. From horse-drawn carriages to gramophones, many of us feel nostalgic about a time we have not even lived.

Still a good choice for a gift; albeit, in a different context

Being born into a world without correction pens and film rolls, it is difficult to appreciate the subtle flavors of an era past. It is great to read about Sherlock Holmes taking on a city full of crime with nothing but his intellect. But the stories don’t get into the nuances of everyday life in the Victorian era. Think uncontrolled polio and uncollected horse dung.

And that is what nostalgia is, a condensation of the best of yesterday. The feeling is at best, a fleeting romance. It conveniently side-steps the petty drawbacks and little frustrations of the time you long for. Think Dot-Matrix printers and highly pixilated TV games.

As soon as I read about typewriters finally kicking the bucket, my first thought was: ‘I should get one!’ But as the news gets traction, more and more Nostalgiophores will line up to get their past-cringing hands on the last few specimens of typewriters left. The pursuit will look increasingly lame.

This is when you need to look around your desk. A lead pencil, a calculator and a dark ages version of MS Office. Nothing of note about them individually, but put them together and you have…technophobia or even a general anxiety towards change.

Can't imagine snoopy with a netbook, or worse, a Black Berry

I know the recorded ‘click’ of cell phone cams just does not feel as warm as your old Kodak but it’s better to collect relics than to become one.

–          J.

  1. […] Nostalgia aside, there is certainly a thing or two to be said about ergonomics. You can’t work for twelve hours and more in a submissive pose on the ‘lappy’ (puke!). You are not going to give in that easy. So you tame the machine. You attach an external keyboard, an external mouse and mount the damn thing on some boxes so you can see it eye to eye. […]

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