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A Blue Perspective: On the road

On the road
12 February 2004

This is my fourth day of travelling interstate. 4 days, 4 flights; one more.

I'm not what you'd call an experienced traveller – last time I flew was ten years ago – and combined with my recent acquisition of a G4 PowerBook (on loan) it's made for a rather adventurous few days; it's also allowed me to experience firsthand the inefficiencies of real life.

After having become accustomed to communicating digitally with people all over the world – e-mailing, messaging, writing weblogs, reading weblogs – the analog version seems ... well, a waste of time. But people demand the immediacy of physical presence, especially in business. Waiting in flight terminals, cramped leg space, $4.00 water, the mobius strips that Brisbane calls city streets; all endured so that you can shake someone's hand and monitor their facial tics. Granted, talking to a real person often helps to grab (or force) people's attention, but this trip has shown me that the Internet truly brings people together in a way that cannot be achieved traditionally.

Even though my head is 38,000 feet above where it would normally be, I can communicate – via my web site – exactly as I would if I were at home in my pyjamas. Something trivial, I know, for people used to mobile computing, but having been anchored to my clunky desktop for the past however many years, it is a personal revelation.

Not only can I communicate from anywhere, but I can communicate to anyone. With a real-world presentation, you can only communicate as loud as you can shout. By writing this here I can communicate across continents, tirelessly, and while I'm asleep.

And yet, looking around on the plane, you see hundreds of people slaves to the same fact: there is an indefinable something about being there, something which digital hasn't yet – and may never – replace. Video conferencing, VoIP, e-mail; they're options but not replacements, and as tiring as the real thing may be, Boeing isn't going out of business anytime soon.

Comments

1/2. 18 February 2004 @ 18:16, Bob wrote:

get a life .. the internet sucks ... it's NOTHING compared to meeting real people and doing real things

2/2. 25 February 2004 @ 17:07, Henrique wrote:

The first comment's ironic nature I find hilarious...

but the jet setting lifestyle seems to not be what its cracked up to be eh?

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