From Technology to Dust

You know things have really changed for ever when you take them for granted.

Three weeks ago, my team of super geeks realised that we were going to miss the afternoon matches in Germany unless ‘we did something about it’. We work in one of those buildings designed to serve a designer’s ego (doors that don’t look like doors, wash hand basins that look like concrete slabs, a kitchen not wide enough to swing a cat around…. you know what I mean). And signficantly, no TV in the space-age boardroom.

I called my friend at the Cable TV company and persuaded him to give me a Sports Channel feed and send an installer with a set top box. The installer was slightly surprised to find he was setting up his kit in a server room.

Giselle then remembered that she had an old TV at home. The geeks founds some space for it among the servers. But definitely not enough space for six men to pay homage to Totti, Beckham & Co.

Two days later, the head of geeks turned up with some software.

So fast forward to yesterday.

I was on the tail end of my ‘404’ – a daily conference over VoIP with a bunch of people in Malta and the UK. Brasil are starting to get to grips with Ghana

My friend in Rio is on Skype, watching the game in Germany via Satellite, chattering to me about Ronaldo’s 90kgs.

Ronaldo does his bit of magic.

CALL ME NOW!!! shouts the message on Google Talk.

I click a mouse without thinking, as Ronaldo’s gap tooth smile fills my laptop screen.

“Can you hear them?” screams my friend through my headset, above the rattle of firecrackers in a street somewhere in Rio de Janeiro.

“We certainly wouldn’t have been doing this a year ago!” I shouted back, muting the sound on my VoIP call, as someone in the UK rumbled on about statistics and return on investment, blissfully unaware of what was going on in Malta, Germany, Rio……

I didn’t even know you, a year ago, I thought, driving back home later. Until we bumped into each other on Flickr and ended up in online conversations on life, the universe, and Ronaldinho Gaucho.

Nobody is spared, from the onslaught of the new over the old. Not even my three year-old. We are currently working on a project together… a story that has taken a life of its own, as I drive him to kindergarten in the morning. We had got to a stage in the narrative where he needed to buy a present for someone on another planet, fast. “Where are you going to get a suitable present, Jacob?” I asked, taking my foot off the accelerator as the next speed camera appeared, thinking of the toy shop that has just closed down to make space for another wine bar. “Don’t be silly, Daddy,” he chuckled, “On the Internet, of course! Mummy even got me these shorts on the Internet. Look!”

I laughed, thought of how his world is nothing like mine was, how he is already accelerating past me while I struggle with my daily dose of You Tube , Lifehacker , Boing Boing and TechCrunch .

Then, just as my brain was spiralling to morbid thoughts of leaving him behind and dust to dust, I came across this.

Which kind of puts things into perspective.

We live in wonderful times.

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