Remembering Fahrenheit 451 during CES 2007

I love electornics!  There is something about the way they smell fresh out of the box.  The feeling of seeing the lights for the first time.  The buttons, the gizmos, the form factor in my hands or on the wall or on the table.  It makes me smile just thiinking about it.  With this fondness for gadgets and gizmos of course I am drawn to the Computer Electronics Show.  There is something special each year becuase I Know Bill Gates is going to deliver the keynote.  This year I watched the keynote and i was impressed by the dreamscene animated background for Windows Vista.  I was wowed by the acnnouncement of the partnership with Ford Motor Company, but the moment of sheer amazement came when Bill started demonstrating the virtual decorations on the walls of the bedroom. 

If you have not watched the keynote please go watch it now.


So when I watched this for the first time I was smiling my half hypnotized smile at watching amusing technology innovations.  Bill gates holds the remote control for the bedroom walls and then it hits me. 

The words came flooding into my mind. 

"It was a speciasl pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed."

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451; page 1

If you haven't read the book I wont spoil it for you.

Suffice it to say that the future is a world where the walls of our homes are not made up of wallpaper and paint but rather the images of multimedia comglomerates and major corporations who fill our homes and our minds with messages, images, and even ideas that are not our own.  Status is judged by how many of the walls in your home can display these images and how much of the wall is taken up. (Size Matters)

Now before you think I am some crazed lunatic who is averse to change, you should probably know that i am the one who is smiling at the thought of the coming changes.  Just think of the possibilities that this technology could have in the right hands.  It could literally change the world.  The implications go so far beyond changing the color of your room.  They move into changing the way we think, and learn, and experience life.  

Kudos to Microsoft! 

I am a realist.  There will be those who take this technology and use it for their own diabolical purposes.  Hopefully, like Montag in Fahrenheit 451 we will all learn to think for ourselves and use our technology to enhace our minds and our lives. 

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