Ever study your hand...? We tend to take our body parts for granted. Oh sure, it has anthropologically distinguished us from our monkey ancestors, but that's not news anymore.
However here in the 21st
C, here's what is. Our hand has become both the symbol and the
instrument of the limitless powers of the human mind. Think about it. In
your small everyday hand fits your entire everyday world. Whether it's
holding a television remote with its 101 power-buttons, or holding a
smartphone with its 1001 features, 21st C man's hand can now instantly
access data, photos, movies, newscast's, satellite feeds, and virtually
any book ever written or virtually any TV series ever syndicated.
Now you no longer need go to the world, now you can bring the world to
you. Want last year's Oscar Awards ceremony...last month's Oval Office
interview... last week's NFL game...last night's presidential convention
speech...tomorrow's itinerary for the Madonna global tour? It's yours,
baby, with just a click of that transcendent hand. You remember the old,
"The hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world"? Now it's, "The hand
that rocks the right widget rocks the world!"
At first blush what
could be wrong with this picture...? I mean, now our hand is in effect
holding the divine scepter of power once held only by emperors. Better
yet, having access to anyone, anything, anywhere, anytime makes us
virtually God-like. Is "Wow" too mild a word!
The one chink in
the armor of this transcendence may be this. Now much of what we
experience is no longer actual. It's virtual. The events of our life are
being filed into a gigantic events-box to be accessed and experienced
not in the moment or in the flesh; rather, in some convenient but
dispassionate virtual reality. Instead of hands injecting needles for a
high, today's hands can select whatever highs it wants between, say,
afternoon appointments or just before bed tonight.
To paraphrase John Lennon: "Life is what happens while you're tuning into other events..."