07 November 1996
So much under the dam.
As I write, the cache emptying: saving for speed,
but using up space. The tradeoff: time and space. Now I've got
a free connection: so the premium shifts to space: I'll be browsing
(dumping into the cache) and downloading like crazy now.
It's funny, as soon as I heard the buzz of the
modem on the other line (that I've been waiting six months to
have hooked up) I wasn't prepared. I'd almost given up. And then,
along with the giddy little rush of excitement (Santa come at
last) was a hollow pang of disappointment mixed with relief. Strange,
because I've been looking forward to it for so long. But then,
having it in hand, it loses some of its magical allure. I do not
want what I've already got, I guess is the slogan in this case.
Wanting has to do with greener pastures, the other side of the
hill. Or maybe it's more a question of power. It's the power to
have the world at my fingertips virtually for free: that's what
I really wanted. Now that I have it, exercising it becomes simply
that: an exercise. The main thing is to have it, the potential,
the power. I'm like Stan in Monty Python's Life of Brian, who
wants the right to have babies--no matter that he doesn't have
a womb. It's the right that counts.
So, out goes the garbage, all ten megabytes of it, 1,009 objects from browsing past. That's all right: more to come. I've only begun, after all, biding my time. In the meantime, there are other questions to consider: when should I get this new hard drive that's going to be required now??? That is, since I can't quite bring myself to decide among my three browsers and four e-mail programs...several graphics and internet utilities...ah, well. Life is made of choice. Part of my ethic of simplicity gets exercised, now, when I have to constantly zip and archive and remove programs and files, just to keep space open for more: it's the concept of throughput so necessary on the planet today. The human propensity, so far, is the reverse: to keep growing, accumulating, more and more, in numbers and works and programs and material objects, depleting system resources and earth-disk space...but with no new hard drives or storage backup media in the offing.
© Nowick Gray