Scanorama column: Homo gadgetus

Is there anybody out there who doesn’t like gadgets? New inventions? Things that do stuff automatically.

When I was about five – and I remember this vividly – I wrote a sign above the door of the playhouse at my grandparents’: “The Lab.” In the lab, I conducted all kinds of experiments, such as spreading four kinds of glue on a piece of paper to see which one of them dried the fastest.

It really did feel a lot more exciting than it sounded right now.

My son is five now, and he’s got a sign on his door as well. Well, he’s got three. One of them says, “traffic police”, another “hot dogs”, and the third one, “The Lab”.

He’s an inventor. He calls himself an inventor. He invents miraculous stuff every day, on his own, and with his friends. My belts get tied together in a long, long rope for his “automatic door shutter,” milk cartons turn into teleporters, and a bicycle seat into a rocket.

Human curiosity is a magnificent force, and together with the child-like belief in our own abilities, our world has changed significantly in the past thirty years. Mostly thanks to gadgets.

Some of them seem less important than others – which of us need a fake cigarette case that shuts down all mobile phones within 60 meters? – but let’s all hold hands and say together: “We love gadgets.”

Not all of them, not the same, but still.

And who knows, maybe there’s a five-year-old somewhere right now, working on a flying car or a teleporter in his room, who will grow up to be the man that finally gives me one because all my own attempts in The Lab failed.

As a matter of fact, I can hear somebody yelling for me now. This could be it.

How does that make you feel?