Whoops, missed the column from the June issue of Scanorama. Here it comes.
Buy a rhythm
“Whatever happened to biorhythms, anyway?” I asked my mother. She was crouching behind her new MacBook, and we were reminiscing my first computer, the ZX Spectrum which I used to, among other things, calculate biorhythms for the entire family.
We would watch Spectrum draw the nice curves that represented our intellectual, emotional, and physical well-being cycles, and made notes of our peek days, and the critical days, when we’re out of balance.
Not just mental notes, mind you. We didn’t have a printer. We ran a paperless office already back then.
Thinking back, I’m puzzled by the biorhythms. Not that we read those, that was just harmless fun, I suppose, but that biorhythms were an early application to help sell the first generation personal computers. Naturally, it was good to know that my low score and short span of attention playing “the wall breaker” probably didn’t mean that I had lost it, but simply that I had a critical day, or was in the valley of my physical cycle, but still.
That said, I am not sure I fully understand the supposed drivers of technology today, either. Remember WAP? The first applications for WAP were weather and stock information. And now, my iPod Touch has some neat applications, like email, but it also has, well, weather and stock information.
Really? Geeks are paranoid about the weather? Gadget lovers invest in shares, and they are day traders? “Yes, that phone looks nice, but can I check the weather with it?” “Let me call rich uncle Frank, but first, let’s see how my portfolio’s doing so I know how nice I have to be to him”?
Seems to me that those two alone, or even together, aren’t a killer app for anything. And yet, whenever a new technology or device is introduced, among the first services we’re offered are weather and stock information.
Of course, I may just be way off here, and simply stupid to not care about the weather or financial information. It may be so.
In that case, my only defense is that I think it’s my critical day. Or year.