Some of you may remember Catweazle. For others he may have passed you by or perhaps you weren’t around then.
Catweazle was the title character in a 1970s children’s TV programme in the UK. He was a wizard that lived in the 11th century and managed to transport himself through time to the 20th century – the 1970s. As you can imagine his new world would have seemed truly magical and amazing when seen through 11th century eyes.
I loved Catweazle: he questioned everything, took everything apart and broke a lot of things to. Needless to say the recent announcement that he is going to experience a movie remake caught my eye.
The original scriptwriter, Richard Carpenter, will provide the screenplay for the new movie. His motivation for creating the original TV series was ‘concern that children seemed to accept technology with barely a thought about how it worked and (I) thought that a character who saw modern scientific advances like electricity and motorcars with a fresh questioning eye would help to interest children in science.’
I started to wonder about the huge technological advances that have been made since the original series in the 1970s: our world now would seem truly magical to someone picked up from that decade and transported here. Yet we take all this technology for granted: being in constant contact with people; having information at our fingertips 24/7; portraying our lives on social media for all to see and living on credit in a virtual money world.
All these things we accept without understanding not only how these systems work but whether they are a good way to live our lives. Slowly, insipidly, we are giving over control of our lives and ‘computer says no’ is no longer a funny catchphrase from Little Britain but a real situation.
If all the world’s computer systems crashed or were hacked it is said that our world would stop functioning. And why? Because we don’t understand the computerised lives that we have built for ourselves and we’ve become so dependent on living through technology that we wouldn’t initially know what to do if it went wrong. Of course, we’d rediscover how to live our lives in a simpler way, but at what cost?
You might think that I’m against technology, harking back to a simpler life and say it’s my age or whatever. I love technology. I love the internet and the potential it offers. But, like everything, technology offers both advantages and disadvantages. Rather than embracing technology completely it might be worth questioning it first. Do a Catweazle: break it down, understand how it works and then just take the best bits for you. That way you stay in control (somewhat!)
Jackie Notman is a copywriter, feng shui consultant and e-commerce retailer. This article is from her blog ‘Life – and everything else’ where you’ll find an eclectic mix of articles and information.
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