After many years of blogging, and consistent with my desire to move toward retirement, we have ended the Insights blog. Thanks to Doug Bedell for his years of blog support.

Matinee Movies on Our Desktop Screens

Posted on February 20, 2012
Filed Under Communication, Technology | Leave a Comment

Recently, I took our grandson to a special Saturday morning showing of an early John Wayne  western movie featuring Gabby Hayes. The film, as it happened, was 68 years old and the sound had deteriorated, making a complicated plot difficult to follow. (But my grandson loved Gabby Hayes, who played a stage coach driver.)

Duncan and I, it turns out, could have stayed home and watched a vintage movie on my desktop computer screen with possibly greater impact. I say possibly, because my home office isn’t a movie theater. Even so, this full-length Superman movie that I’ve stumbled upon on YouTube is pretty gripping, partly because of its flawless sound. Yes, a Superman movie from 1951 plays better at home than the 1943 John Wayne epic did  in the theater.

That, it seems to me, says a good deal about the Internet and the stand-in world it’s been creating for us. You can be seduced into spending increasing amounts of time on the web, and not only on social media. It’s all out there – movies, lectures, concerts and e-mail besides. Two years ago, Google-owned YouTube passed two billion video views per day. And there are now more than 24 hours of video uploaded every minute to the site.

It’s a little scary to realize that “alternative reality” can be embodied in your computer. Superman quelled the Mole Men from underground in the movie, but can we resist our own fascination when technology delivers past, or present, delights so reliably on desktop, or even laptop, screens? We’d best be alert to how alternative reality has been creeping up on us, and leave time for the real world to keep moving us ahead. – Doug Bedell  


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