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Journal: Tek-na-luh-jee

Note: This Journal entry was written on September 27, 2001, as I walked on the Old Tokaido. Take a look at that day's Logbook for more.


Since my struggle with uploading my September 27 Logbook, I've been thinking about the blessings and curses of technology.

I'm a guy who has spent four-and-a-half years in Japan without a cell phone. Unprecedented. Why did I do it? Because people easily become enslaved to such things.

Just as I am enslaved to my computer. (I recently bought a cell phone too, but I mainly use it as a clock!)

In the past 48 hours, I have lost sleep, changed plans, prayed and cursed--all because of a failure of technology.

At times like this, I need to remember what my friend Eric always said. The computer, he said, is a tool. It's supposed to work for you, not vice-versa. So if I'm losing sleep to answer e-mails, or not walking because "I have to work on my homepage," I need to examine my priorities. (Ironically, I'm writing this on a non-walking day, but that decision was made for lots of reasons--not just to do this!)

One of the themes of my life has been, in Thoreau's words, "Simplify, simplify." (If he really meant it, why did he say it twice?) So I try to examine the roles of technology in my life. Where does it simplify? Where does it complicate? I think this is an important question for our society in general.

Posted September 30, 2019

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