Postcard from London

 

Next postcard comes from my friend James in London
Me and James have known eachother through the internet since about 1997, but we met the first time in Germany in 2004.

We all have something we care for, for me it is cameras and computers, for James it is motorbikes and cars. Especially Jaguars.
Things that appear to be very different. In function as well as in size. But if you look beyond these details, there is actually very little difference. A camera or a motorbike actually have something fundamentally the same.

It is easy to forget these days, when everyone we know is running around with dslr’s, smart phones and own cars, how many centuries of technological innovation lies behind every single thing we own. How many millions of hours that is needed to build the things we use.
How many people throughout history have worked all their lives, studied, tested, failed and started all over to produce these things. What a piece of art they really are.

Yesterday, a new iPhone was announced. The iPhone 4S. And several newspapers exclaim their disappointment that they didn’t get an iPhone 5 instead. A disappointment that it hadn’t evolved more from last years release.

But we really do forget.

We forget all the work that is behind the development of a phone like this, millions of years of human evolution. Thousands of years of technological evolution.
How much effort contained in that small little thing that fits in your pocket and that does everything except frying your eggs for breakfast.
That small thing that in a few years only, has changed the way we behave. How we live our lives.
Changed the world we live in and how we look at it.

The car changed our place in the world. The camera has changed the way we look on ourselves. The smart phone has changed our social world.

Ins’t it strange then, to be disappointed?

In the end, it’s not about how many more megapixels our camera has, a better battery or how big the screen is. It is about what we can do with this tool. How it changes things for us.

This photo from James, and what it represents for him, really captures this:

 

I dont have many black and white photos – but this one I always liked – it provokes a strong feeling in me - about freedom and the unknown.
I still like to drive the car alone at night.  Going nowhere.  Just drive.  :-)  It reminds me of that.

When I first passed my test – this is in 1977 – I took my Mums car out any night she would let me and would drive around the streets long into the night – I loved to just drive around the West end – going nowhere - with an old radio on the passenger seat (the car had no radio of its own) – playing whatever music – just driving around and around.