"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16)
It's just a few weeks ago on a Thursday night that I was privileged to sit in as a guest on Dan Rea's "Nightside" program on WBZ Radio 1030 AM out of Boston. That night, we were discussing whether atheists who remain atheists will get into Heaven. A variety of opinions came forth from various listeners. Last night, also a Thursday, Dan had a fascinating guest on: Nicco Mele who teaches at Harvard. He has written a recently published book entitled, "The End of Big". Mele was very interesting. He's very much a "computer nerd" although he also has an engaging personality. He believes the world of thirty-five years from now will be completely different from the world of today, largely due to advances in technology and the internet. It was a riveting two hours of radio, but at times I thought Mele contradicted himself. Mele strongly desires everything to become extremely local rather than big and impersonal. Yet, he advocates a totally paperless world brought about by big technology. Dan challenged him (I thought very effectively) on a number of his ideas and speculations.
Dan Rea and I may disagree about who gets to go to Heaven, but we very much agree on being slow to just throw out society's traditions. Last Fall, Dan advocated not shopping on Thanksgiving Day or early on the morning of Black Friday, and I wrote a blog piece at the time heartily agreeing with him. I learned last night that Dan Rea and I have something else in common: We each prefer receiving actual hard copy paychecks and taking them to the bank to deposit to a live teller. We also prefer to pay bills using checks and mail just as everybody did back in 1980. When Dan told Nicco that, Nicco was astounded! That flies in the face of the absolutely paperless world Nicco advocates and sees as a good thing. Dan also said he enjoys reading actual hard copy newspapers, and I do, too. Mr. Rea acknowledged there is a "generation gap" between him and Nicco Mele. There is. I am also part of Dan's generation- just about three or four years younger than he is. Like Dan, I have actual paper files of all kinds of "stuff" and am very reluctant to just "go paperless" and have everything in cyberspace.
In addition, Dan pointed out that he has now adopted a practice of buying the "American flag" stamps to use in mailing his letters. Dan feels things in this country are "in distress" and headed in a direction that is, for the most part, not good. I heartily agree. For this reason, he puts the stamps on the letters with the flag upside down to indicate "distress".
I know Nicco's generation (especially) will laugh and us and our ways, but I honestly think it would be the best thing in the world if more people shifted away from all this paperless, high tech stuff and did things the old fashioned way. For one thing, it would honestly save the United States Postal Service! Nicco pointed out that Dan is depending on computers to put out the radio broadcast, and that is true. I'm sure he'd also point out that I'm using technology with this blog that was totally unknown twenty years ago. That's true. The whole computer/cyberspace thing is not all bad. But I do think racing madly into this "brave new world" and throwing a lot of sacred traditions of one kind or another essentially into the toilet it not a good thing. If we continue down this path, I think the world of thirty-five years from now will be a lot worse, and I'm kind of glad that considering my age and the actuarial tables, I will probably be in Heaven at that time rather than here!
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