First light didn’t bring the weather I had been hoping for – it was overcast and wet. I had prayed for glorious sunshine for the day of his funeral, but perhaps overcast and wet were better suited to the misery I felt.
At the local fruit & vegetable market last week, a woman reached forward and gently squeezed an avocado to assess its ripeness. Moments earlier I had done the exact same thing and decided it was too soft. I didn’t see the expression on her face, but possibly sensing her disapproval the market stall owner said “what the hell is it with you ****ing people? Last week everyone said they were too hard, so we got softer ones; this week everyone says they’re too soft. You’re never bleedin ‘appy, are you? Customers, honestly…” It was an unexpected barrage, and whilst not overtly aggressive, it appeared full of anger. Nothing further was said, and we all continued our shopping. Silently.
It’s easy to judge people. It’s easy to put people into pigeonholes. I could easily label the market seller as angry, unprofessional and probably in the wrong job. But what’s the point of judging if it’s based on guesswork? The easy route of making assumptions and not asking questions is guesswork. Sometimes you might be lucky and guess correctly. But the rest of the time you’ll be wrong.
The Apple Watch will start shipping in the next few weeks and as is becoming customary, we’ll probably see people queuing around the block determined to be among the first owners. Apple won’t be the first to enter this market, but they will surely further raise the profile of wearables and encourage technology development in areas which we can’t yet imagine.
At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference in February, Sir Tim Cook recently said “a lot of doctors believe sitting is the new cancer“, explaining that if you’ve been sitting for almost an hour the Apple Watch reminds you to get up.
Is this a brilliant use of technology or an indication of how lazy we’ve become? Is it just the latest step towards a world in which we don’t need to think for ourselves?
[Photo credit: www.NationalGeographic.com]
Whether it’s a funny video clip of a man chasing a dog in a park, or an inspired Christmas ad campaign which leaves us in tears, we are all now comfortable with the concept of “liking” something, Tweeting about it or blogging about it. But it hasn’t always been like that, and until only recently, sharing our opinions of such things wasn’t at all easy.
The stone in the picture sits in a wall adjacent to the war memorial at one end of our village. I really like it – I find it thought-provoking. Hundreds of children pass it every day on their way to and from school. I wonder how many have noticed it, or taken a few short seconds to read it. Even today, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I wonder how many will slow down to read it as they pass. Apart from the annual occasions when we congregate to remember those who died, it tends not to get much attention – we’re all too busy going somewhere. And that’s the problem – it can only be seen at one precise location; it needs to be visited. It doesn’t come to us. Continue reading