I Am A Series Of Ones And Zeros

Last modified on March 26th, 2008

That’s it really. I no longer carry cash for the most part. My paycheck arrives in my bank account electronically. When I pay for things, I use my credit card, debit card, or paypal. My bills are paid via online banking, and except for a birthday card once a year, rarely use snail mail. I probably receive 5 pieces of mail a month, but receive around 100 emails a day, and currently have 13,050 messages in my gmail inbox. The fastest way to get a hold of me (even beating out phone calls) is actually via email these days.

I ripped most of my CDs to my computer last year, and primarily listen to MP3s now. I can’t remember the last time I put a physical disc into my drive. In terms of TV, I use Apple TV primarily now. I spend the majority of my time in close proximity to a computer, and in a regular day, bounce between my iMac, my Mac Pro at work, and my Macbook Pro at home. For the most part, including my cell phone and it’s limited access to the internet, I am always online.

In terms of writing, I only use a pen for writing the odd cheque. The last time I tried to write anything of any length, my hand got tired after no more than a page and the writing was horrid.

It’s weird to think that kids growing up today may not ever touch a CD, or have the need to carry cash. That learning how to write with a pen or pencil may someday not be a requirement.

As we move forward, it’s often easy to forget the things we invariably have to leave behind. I’m sure every generation has to watch this occur, but I can’t help but think how strange it is that so many the things from my youth are becoming dated, and will eventually fade from use and into memory.

5 responses to “I Am A Series Of Ones And Zeros”

  1. Beth says:

    I remember my grade 4 teacher, Mrs. Traynor, telling our class that by the time we were adults, there would be no more paper money or coins. “You’ll just have points that go into your bank account and then you’ll have a plastic card to spend the points in your account.” And we thought she was *crazy*!

  2. Duane Storey says:

    Any chance your old teacher can take a look at my stock portfolio for me?

  3. Dale says:

    I guess the only worry I have of the ‘paperless revolution’ are things like voting, and money. If you’ve ever been through resolving a ‘glitch’ with your banking institution, you’ll know the price to pay regarding electronic trail-less banking.

    The onus was on me to prove they made the mistake.

    As for voting, just look at the Diebold scandals in the U.S. It’s fair to say, once you’ve researched the issues at play with electronic voting in the past Bush elections, that there was indeed rigging, tampering, and of course, a falsely elected president.

    To me, that’s the single most devastating event in the history of the American Democracy. Sure, you could point to military blunders and the loss of countless lives unnecessarily as being more significant- but really- when a democratic election is tampered with to the extent that the elected person should clearly not have been so- you’re talking total hijacking of the entire democratic system.

    Thanks technology. More specifically, Windows. Your insecure, easily jacked file system is the death of America.

  4. Duane Storey says:

    Good point. I think that’s why, moving forward, open source and open collaboration are so important. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having an electric election system if everyone can view exactly how it works and verify that it’s secure. A few checks and balances in the public eye wouldn’t hurt either. What is wrong is having a commercial company make a completely closed (and arguably fairly insecure system) and then entrusting the future of a country to it.

    Think of SSL on the internet. As far as I know, it’s never been breached, or at least, not without a pile of effort not available to most people. Of course, SSL is an open standard, and was scrutinized by the IETF (a body of individuals that meet, openly, to discuss technologies used primarily on the internet) before being adopted. Because people spent years poking holes in it before hand, it’s withstood the test of time.

    Unfortunately, what’s happened in the states over the last 6 years has made it hard to be truly secure and private these days. For example, with the phones we make at work, we technically have to keep your encryption keys in case, you know, the government of the US needs them to hear what you were talking about (read up on CALEA if you don’t know what it is).

  5. Raul says:

    As I was reading your post, it seemed very much like my life. I do enjoy writing by hand, and I have pretty neat handwriting. I take notes at conferences, talks and even draft my papers and journal articles by hand. And yes I do get tired.

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