Friday, January 25, 2019
I Don’t Believe It!
I Don’t Believe It!
Years ago, I was recording my 85 YO mom playing soccer with my children. She was showing signs of dementia, but still able to get around on her own. She had seen camcorders, but with the onset of dementia she thought I was “filming.”
I had her look into the camcorder viewer.
“Look ma, this is you playing soccer with your grandchildren.”
She took a quick look and then pulled away.
“I don’t believe it, we were just playing a few minutes ago.”
“It’s on tape, it doesn’t need developing.”
She waved her hand at me and said,
“Oh, I don’t believe it, it’s a trick.”
She didn’t even want to see any more of the ‘trick.’
New technologies are amazing. Some are so amazing that like my mom, when I first heard of them, I didn’t believe it.
Radio and TV were around when I was growing up, so those amazing things just seemed like old hat, but they must have elicited an “I don’t believe it” from just about everyone when they first came on the scene.
Color TV was great, but it seemed like an obvious next step in TV and was not ‘unbelievable.’
I thought someone was pulling my leg the first time I heard of a FAX machine. The idea did not seem real.
Computers, as amazing as they are kind of slipped in with gradual improvements so nothing about them really surprised me. Well, the internet was a bit hard to accept, but it was so slow and crappy in the beginning that it also snuck up in phases.
My first experience with GPS was a real “I don’t believe it” moment.
My brother had a sailboat and we were sailing in the Chesapeake Bay. Jim was a navigator in the Navy Air, so he was pretty good at plotting a course. I tended to steer following contours of the shore, which from a distance could be confusing.
Jim was showing off his GPS navigation system which utilized signals from satellites.
“See this, if you look off to the port, we are coming up to the number 6 green buoy.”
“Damn, that is cool! It has the marker accurate within only a few yards.”
“Yes…actually they could be accurate within less than an inch, but the government won’t allow it, they are afraid of precision guided bombs and such.”
“Inches? I don’t believe you.”
Not many year later the government removed those accuracy restrictions and my car GPS tells me when to “Turn left at the next street, Smith Street.”
The GPS is so accurate that I’ve heard someday a car will drive itself to where ever you program it to go.
Personally, ‘I don’t believe it! It must be some kind of trick.’