Tuesday, February 15, 2011
How do you listen to music? Watch TV? Dip your toe into the world of information that swarms around us? Odds-on, it's digital.
If you want music, off you go to ITunes, or wherever, and you can dump it onto your hard drive, MP3 player or phone, to caress your ears at your pleasure.
We have to find the music we want, say a particular track, on a CD. If no one has it, we can order a particular CD through the Library service for 25p a pop. A week, a month, and it arrives.
But without computers, MP3's are merely an interesting ornament, leaving us to try to nick music by copying it onto cassette tape. Remember them? And how long it takes to wind through to find the track you want to hear?
This is just an illustration of what it is like to live Unplugged, deliberately denied access to the digital world that society now lives in.
Your TV will have dozens of channels, both TV and radio. Ours is restricted to 9 mainstream TV channels. No hope of me watching a live Parliamentary debate. And no hope of finding out what's on, without buying a TV Guide, printed on paper no less. Remember them? Or are you addicted to your EPG?
Without access to the digital world, life is slow, cumbersome and frustrating. All the more so when I know just how much information lies just out of reach. Strangely, many of my peers have never even seen the Web, let alone been let lose to explore it.
Labels: prison life