10,000 Feet Up

So, I’m sitting in a really old hotel, working on channel stuff, and just trying to get over the weird creaks this building makes when you move ever so slightly. Yeah, my family takes weird vacations. Despite all that, I’m still on the internet, uploading content, and enjoying my downtime from the ridiculous hikes my dad wants to take at 10,600 something feet above sea level. And I’m sitting here in a weird reflection period practicing my presentation for Monday the ump-teenth time.

This town has history everywhere. My parents have already been stalking Doc Holiday’s room at least twice (I’m so glad no one is staying there). We’ve hiked around old mines and been shopping in buildings older than my grandparents. And it’s weird bringing my brand new computers into something like that. Not that I’m complaining about having them, but it’s such an odd contrast.

All that is leaving me thinking about what a lot of my parents’ generation is worried about with the growth of DH, and that’s experiencing history firsthand. Obviously, that’s not the easiest thing, and I’ve been extremely lucky to have traveled all the places I have been. But I can understand that there is some resistance, and it’s a tricky question to answer. If everything does become accessible digitally, where do we create the incentive to actually visit it?

I think to some people, that question is like comparing apples to oranges. Seeing something in person isn’t the same as seeing it online. How can you replace the experience of seeing Monet’s Water Lilies in person compared to a replicate? That is, for some people, a tear jerking experience. But for others, that’s not as true. And as things like VR are becoming more believable, visceral, and convincing, I can understand where that feeling that technology is going to “take over” is coming from. Whether I think it’s completely right or wrong I’m still working my way through, but I can grasp that idea.

So, where do we make that cut? Do we limit how real virtual images are allowed to be to encourage travel? Do we just upload everything and allow ourselves a sort of Matrix or Oasis type of experience? And sitting in my hotel room, with not nearly as much oxygen as I need, on some spotty wifi and crossed fingers this post will actually go through, I don’t know if I know that answer. I don’t want people to stop experiencing the real world, but I get why that is really hard right now. And so I’m struggling with my love for the experience with the understanding of a realistic budget. So, what has to give?

One thought on “10,000 Feet Up”

  1. Amelia,
    I love this post quite a bit. From purely a standpoint of writing, you incorporated narrative with impactful observations and arguments. And I think you bring forward a question we find ourselves asking frequently: how much is enough?
    I’m currently writing lesson plans for a dystopian fiction unit for tenth graders, and the more I read about the different dystopian books/movies/TV shows and how they’re envisioned, the easier it is becoming for me to see a dystopian future for us.
    BUT! That is upsetting. I would like to think that this technology we’re engaging in will not destroy the world, but preserve it in one way or another. Your post actually reminded me of an article I saw this weekend on Twitter: http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/terrorism-destroyed-this-museum-but-vr-has-brought-it-back-to-life-1317046?
    The other thing we should consider, though, is that the technologies we are using in our lives (to substitute for experiences, as your point out with the Monte painting) could just as easily destroy our world as they could preserve it. Becoming responsible digital citizens and DHers is most likely our first step to making sure the former does not happen.
    Enjoy your vacation. It sounds surprisingly exciting.


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