I have an ambivalent attitude to technology. It has played a pivotal role in my life but I hate the disposable nature of it. Throwing out mobile phones and “old” computers is distressing to me. I like old things that last and have been built with passion: saddles, old couches, knitted jumpers, wind-up watches, old tools. I am comforted by these simple and enduring things.
The ambivalence has been turning in my head for years, getting increasingly tense in the last few months as RedBubble has shown how technology can also serve such a wonderful positive purpose.
Today I had a long chat with Jack Heath who is the founder of Inspire (also a very old friend and backer of RedBubble). We covered many subjects, mostly of a spiritual nature. And then, like in so many good conversations, I found an answer to my own technology distress when I heard myself saying “the technology wave will go on whether I stand aside from it or not, my hope is in some small way, to bend it in to a positive purpose”.
The pornographers, the spammers, the scammers and hate mongers will ride the unstoppable technology wave. I hope we (ie you) at RedBubble – joining with thousands of other similar sites – can provide an important, life affirming and enlightening counterbalance.
(I still wish that the hardware manufactures could make things last longer and that they would take full life-cycle responsibility for their products.)