Flavour Of Today
Interesting to be of the generation when the transformation from analogue to digital was observed in real time.
The journey following the Sun started in a small rural town called Salmon Arm, which was nestled on the pristine Shuswap lake, with a mere 5000 residents.
The nascent technology at that time, include television and the subliminal programming that came with it.
Originally developed in the late 1920s, the television sets became common in homes, businesses, and institutions during the 1950s, while becoming the primary medium for colouring public opinion.
The first television set at the domain of my humble Father was a 12 inch Black & White unit—1 channel.
Imagine the excitement when good old Dad brought home the first colour TV in 1971—now up to 2 channels.
Remember, the regular scheduled programming started at 06:00 and ended at 23:00—this is where the first memory of white noise imprinted.
Satellites then came on-line, and this is when the Americans invaded the world with their plethora of programming, including tonnes of gaudy B movies, and the air-hair-kitschy-pop-rock of MTV.The more things change the more they stay the same—first television set after arriving in Japan in 1987, certainly had more than 1 channel, nonetheless, unless understanding Japanese, almost all programming was unintelligible.
A serendipitous encounter with a music program left a deep impression as the power of music as universal communication reminded ΩNE—oral speech is merely one elements of successful communication.
One of the most acclaimed songs in the chronicles of Japan is the beloved kawa no nagare no yo ni (As The River Flows), by the formative Misora Hibari.
Listening to this Japanese folk song (enka), touch a deep chord within the soul and the tears started to flowed, just like the river to which Misora was singing—her heartfelt rendition successfully drying this lonely boys tears.
Time marches on, and the dawn of the Internet in the early 1990s brought with it pain-relief from two particular points of isolation.
Once upon a time, in a distant land, the Japanese government owned the means of international communication—Kokusai Denshin Denwa (KDD)—the charge for 3 minutes to Canada circa 1988—¥1,200.
Here is where the beauty of technology and relief on the pocketbook came into clear focus.
The call back system was created after the deregulation of Ma Bell, and the wild U$A march into unfettered crony capitalism, the following lifeline of communication came.
The capability to originate a dial tone from the United States, enabled proxy calls originating from the States, using the much less expensive American telecommunication standard rates.
After signing up, a dedicated Call Back Number was assigned to access the American communication system via a direct dial out of said KDD international calling system—001 +1 + area code + number.
After one ring, hang up, the phone then calls back originating a dial tone from the U$A—where the object of desire, wherever in the world, can be contacted and communicated with at a much more reasonable rate than the 100% government owned International Telecommunication Network.
English reading material in rural Japan was non-existent and access was problematic as the nearest book stores in Tokyo was 3 hours away, and like most thing back in Japan at the tail-end of the massive speculative bubble, quite expensive.
Then came the largest online book retailer in the world, and the autodidact party kicked into full swing.
Indeed, seeing the transformation from analogue to digital, and the world it facilitates today, leaves the breath sucked in, and indeed taken away.
A very long way from 1 channel of programming on a Black & White TV, in a small rural community—currently the choice of available programming can be counted using the abstract notion of a number called Infinity.
Truly the significant social and technological advances over the last three decades has brought more options imaginable in the history of humankind—ΩNE could say a double edge sword.
With an infinite universe of choice now at the finger-tips, it is imperative to keep in mind the notion of lost precious time, and the importance of distinguishing between night and day—the transitory nature of all life—slowly bleeding away.