Dreams of a Place Never Found

In a book last night, I read of a family in “Paradise,” a small South Pacific island. They had sailed there to escape their lives in the Pacific Northwest. As they stayed in a small cove, and became more accepted the local community, they found themselves invited to more celebrations and events in the village. They made friends with families.

At one point, the author was invited into the room (a part of a hut) of a teenage boy. The view out of his room was of the beautiful cove and the ocean. This view was blocked, however, by travel posters covered with pictures of the French Alps and skiers and snow. He hoped that his mandatory military service would have him stationed in Europe, where he could visit the mountains, play in the snow, mountain climb… It was his paradise.

Technology has sometimes been used to promise a new and better world– remember the advertisement of the man in a fabulous European square who was day trading via his wireless phone and a compuer screen integrated with his glasses? I still don’t understand that commercial…

Anyway, what I’m more interested in is a synergy of technology and lifestyle– a way that the tools enhance what we enjoy, either by creating time or by enhancing those experiences (like sharing with others). This may be more attainable than the “paradise” of the ads, or the false assumptions that technology is a key to unlocking all treasures (note the recent riot to get the $100 four year-old iBooks).

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