The Silicon Age

I was born into a world that barely knew what computers were. Computers were magic, science far beyond the common man, but wielded by people writing fancy math to make complicated equations solved in secondsĀ minutes.

At the time, no one realized the true potential of computing. No one realized that we would model entire planets, that we would rewire the world to sing the song of silicone.

I am a writer, a poet. And I speak code, and I see the song. I do not speak of the power of the Silicon age because I am a Silicon Child, a speaker of code and languages. I speak of it, because it is pervasive. Not understanding basic computer skills now is anathema. It has almost reached the point where it is pointless to list basic Windows and Office skills on your resume, because you should understand it.

The only reason it is still listed is because the generation ahead of me doesn’t quite get it. They either do not think it is important enough to learn, or think they can’t. Both are wrong.

I wield the power of software. If you’ve ever searched the internet, especially in the near past, you will know software is power. Software is knowledge.

Hardware wires it all together, but software makes it all talk. Hardware is getting everyone in the same room. Software is giving them a language.

Software is what makes all the pieces come together.

Silicon makes it possible.

Use the knowledge. Learn. Dream.

Because otherwise, people like me wasted our lives. We worked to make software give you more power. More knowledge. More than we ever had even dreamed of.

You have it now. Take it. And don’t just dream. Take it by the horns, and surpass us.

Minecraft: Diary of a Miner Part 2

Work at Pigeon continues. I constructed the Stargate.

Also, the stairs go all the way from the Stargate and Nether Portal in the sky, down to the bedrock now. I’m working on making the stairs entirely encased so you don’t have to worry about creepers (or getting your pet dogs wet).

I miss my base at Aerie. The world known as Floaty has been my home and favorite place, but since the Nether Portals all come back out at Bunnies (the main world), I don’t really have a choice but to rebuild here.

I still go to Aerie. I can get to the Nether from there via the Nether Portal I built, it’s just a one-way ticket. It will spit me back out at Pigeon. So, to get back to Aerie I’d have to go back through the Stargate. Since the 1.6 update that also logs me off and accuses me of hacking, so I have to log back in too.

Hopefully Minecraft will one day natively have multiworld support. For right now I’m slowly rebuilding in the main world known as Bunnies.

Communication Technology

So, people have a hard enough time with regular socialization skills. Now with all the tiers of communicating, it’s a wonder anyone can keep up. It’s not just technology to master, otherwise geeks would be super-pro at socialization.

First there were people communicating at social gatherings and work.

Then there was phone.

Now there is *deep breath* AIMPhoneMSNICQCellPhoneMySpaceEmailFacebookBlogRTSTextMessageForumMMORPG *another breath* -you get the idea. You figure this would ease communication. We’d be super in touch with everyone all the time. No. Because there is no way someone is going to call you to tell you something important if they can text you even if you disabled text messaging because you’re either dirt poor or got sick of getting texts of “hi :)” (or both). Even though you told them in person that you blocked texting, they forgot and they don’t like talking on the phone. They’d rather enjoy Olympic button pressing and staring at a post-it sized screen for 5x the time it would take to say what they needed to. They scoff and think that if you really cared to keep in touch with them, you would enable texting so that you’d get that one important text out of 500. And don’t dare ask them to email you, because that’s *totally* not the same thing.

I once had a boyfriend who argued with me on the phone until I downloaded an instant messaging service to talk to him. It doesn’t matter that we had cell phones, texting, and SKYPE (back when you could dial out for free). This was his most comfortable way of communicating, so I better adapt. On some level, I can understand. You can minimize the other person, don’t need to listen to their tone of voice, can play your RTS or MMORPG, have both hands to type unlike a cell phone, and they don’t know if you got up to get a bagel or pee. On the other hand, we were kind of trying to be emotionally intimate. One other advantage of online messaging is that I still have logs from these chats. That’s what I need… a record of how much I don’t stand up for myself. Hindsight is supposed to at least be softened by memory, and here I have a .txt file showing how pathetic I can be.

Sure, check your email, but make sure you have your FacebookMySpaceLinkedInRandomNetworkingThingies configured to let you know when someone sends you a message on one of these websites. But usually, you can’t read it in your email. I go into my email, see I have something on facebook, and in facebook go to my wall or my inbox… TWO separate methods of communication in ONE networking tool that tells you through email.

Woe onto you who have more than one email. I have two… one that I have had since… before it was cool. The other I got in college and has forums for jobs and places to live and alumni and dialogs on campus and stuff for sale and calls for art. It also has instant messaging built in too… so instant messaging services open and go into your email with yet another instant messaging service and texting on the cell phone in your pocket that can also ring… I’m sorry if I haven’t got around to checking my other email in awhile.

We’re not at the sad part yet. Want to know what the sad part is..? I’m part of a generation who is used to it. Sure, I set my boundaries. I’m on facebook. I’m not getting MySpace too. I’m not enabling texting for the pope- if you’re at your cell, call me!

But I’m used to it to the point where it is ingrained in me as a socializing solution to my communication shortcomings. That’s right, I sometimes look for even more alternate forms of indirect communication… Sure, I could turn around and say something to the funny and good looking guy in my IT class who I’ve thought was pretty cool since the first class (even if he does have a girlfriend but who cares it’d just be nice to communicate). Or, instead risking getting giddy and giggling like an idiot, I’d could go run, cmd, net send…

But the instructor set his boundaries. Thou shall not abuse net send or I shall disable it. Don’t make me do it.

And then people started writing batch files that sent net sends by the hundreds… and logged into other computers with remote desktop to say ‘it wasn’t me’… and flirted using poetic computer based metaphor (Oh, wait, that was just me… and him… as far as I know).

It’s ridiculous, and I realize it. I looked myself in the eye reflecting in the monitor and made a decision.

I asked for his cell number in the parking lot. *cheers* Score one for the communication revolution! At some point in the future, we will hang out and communicate outside of class- in person!

…now I just need to call it …and stop giggling at everything he says to me in person. Yes, even I- currently rated number three most confident on the compare people face book application of all my facebook friends who also have said application- can get shy. (see documentation above)

With all the additional ways to communicate and keep in touch with people, it’s true, we still don’t know how to communicate with other human beings. The opposite sex… oh, forget about that. This isn’t Star Trek you know. We don’t have the technology.

Follow up posts:
Communication Revolution: Quashed!
Wednesday Night