Monday, October 24, 2011

Sliced Bread: The Greatest Thing Since Itself

In the late 1920s, when sliced bread was introduced to the world, I am told my grandmother's response was, "What has the world come to when a person doesn't slice her own bread?" Maybe things haven't changed much.

We have become very comfortable with manipulations of Mother Nature's work - up to a point. We seem to be OK with changing our appearance; the color, length, curl or removal of hair; we gain and lose weight, change the color of our eyes with contacts, and add or subtract accordingly, wherever Mother Nature delivered too much or too little on our behalf.

We seem to be OK with altering the performance potential of our bodies with performance enhancing drugs, laser surgery for vision, hearing adaptations, and joint replacements. We are OK with prosthetics for a variety of missing features, or even organ replacements.

We do these things in order to thrive. Yet we seem uncomfortable when it comes to cognition; help remembering, reminding, reading, writing, and a variety of tasks that require us to think.

Really? Hmmmmm ... Let's see ...

We are OK with an alarm clock, lights that turn on as we enter a room, faucets that automatically turn on and off, toilets that flush, doors that automatically open and close, phones that Bluetooth to cars, cars that alert us about other drivers, brake for themselves, and know when it is raining.

I have spelling auto-correction as I write this. I can even have it typed as I speak, and read back to me when I am finished. We are seeing people let others know where they are by checking in on Facebook.

Even my phone knows where it is and can let me know where to find it, and don't get me started about what credit card use discloses about my life. Many of my bills never reach my attention. They are simply paid each month and I get a notice that I am in good standing.

Yet I still sense we have some level of discomfort and trust when the same or similar tools are considered for use for the benefit of those with cognitive disabilities.

Why? I am not exactly sure. Kinda "big brotherish"? Too risky? Somebody might get hurt, or taken advantage of? Loss of personal contact?

Frankly, I don't consider the loss of a person whom I did not choose, who is paid to be with me, too tough to take. This, of course exempts my professional agent and masseuse.

I know - what is the world coming to?

Then again, what do I know?

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