Zoom Out, Focus

Do you ever wonder if this ecosystem of electronic data makes us want to save too much? We have the collective knowledge of millions of people at our fingertips, plus nearly all of the recorded information for all of times past, and yet we still want to save and preserve…more.

When we see an app that has no sync capabilities we scoff; anything that can’t be backed up is a risk, not to mention the potential unavailability in the case of a power outage or other life-altering catastrophe. We have so much invested in these systems that we begin to think that the rest of life should fall under the same rules.

Sync-ing Ships

  • — Why can’t we have instant access to everything?
  • — How is it that memories can be lost in fire or flood?
  • — Why shouldn’t we be able to pick and choose our way into serenity?

These questions and more tend to haunt me, because there is a purveying sense of dissatisfaction that surrounds life away from the grid. I fully endorse the online world as “real” life, though I feel as though much is lost in the translation.

We’re so bound up in sync this, send that, save everything and search for what’s missing…sometimes I wonder if are okay with the reality away from things we can’t control.

The physical world is hairy, things get sticky, we might have to deal with things we can’t understand. We can always pull the plug and fix any issue online, but we can’t do that with the real world. Shutting ourselves up or shutting our bodies down doesn’t solve anything in the other part of “real” life.

“I got a Nikon camera…”

Kodachrome is a type of 35mm film that can no longer be processed. The method it required was so specialized, that if the chemicals were a just few degrees too warm or too cold, the entire roll could be ruined. I was given two rolls of Kodachrome by my father and decided to shoot one of them on our first family trip to the Grand Canyon. Taking pictures with the knowledge that they will never be developed may seem like madness to you; for me it was almost a kind of simple security. As long as I take care of that roll, the images will be preserved on the film until I figure out how to develop them. (If anyone has any tips, please contact me!)

In our day, it seems pointless to do something that can never be appreciated somewhere else. What does that say about how we decide if something is important?

In our day, it seems pointless to do something that can never be appreciated somewhere else. What does that say about how we decide if something is important? Can you appreciate a simple walk though the park without taking pictures of your journey? Will you post the funny thing you said to someone, even if it was just between the two of you? Can you find a way to deal with all of your fellow humans, even when they have a bad day, and not run to something powered by batteries when you get a spare moment?

You can’t save everything, even with the very best technical aids. Are we so unfocused that we define lasting value based on the number of people who “like” what we do?

What’s the enduring goal? Where is your “real” life?

By CK Hicks

Greetings! I'm a life-long innovator and "heartful technologist" with 13+ years professional experience as a Developer. My primary passion is crafting experiences that enable compelling, human-first storytelling.

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