Posted: 07.09.13

Death. There’s death all around us. Everywhere you look. Corpses litterer the sidewalks. We worry that they may become blood-sucking zombies; some surely will.

TV killed the radio. There was no funeral. No flowers or playing of bag pipes, just cold death, and no apologies. TV also killed the movies; it was horrible to watch, but we had to, we had no choice.

HD killed analog SD TV and black and white TV with three channels and mono sound, it wasn’t difficult, it was already dead, just too stupid to fall over. And then UHD killed HD. Still a teenager in tech years, HD withered up, died, and its dust was blown away by the winds of change. And now, finally, retribution—the Internet killed TV, that life-sucking, mind-numbing, creature that it was; who will miss it? 

The fax killed the teletype. Who today would even recognize a teletype, and yet it used to be the only way one could transmit a purchase order or money, or communicate with a minicomputer and early microcomputers.

Email killed the fax. Once the life blood of communications, the corpses can still be found in offices, under piles of papers and half empty boxes.

Occasionally one of them stirs, a zombie, squeaking for attention, for a little food. But it is quickly ignored, if given any attention at all. 

Die quietly you paper eating monster. People have forgotten how wonderful the paper jams, and 300 baud modems were.

Email and FedEx killed snail mail and the hundreds of thousands of postal workers and their cute wrong-sided trucks. They were missed, but still no funeral, no public sadness, maybe a solemn drink raised at a bar late at night when the maudlin time begins. It doesn’t really matter because computers and email killed letter writing and penmanship. Today the younger generation doesn’t know what cursive is, and when they see it can’t read it. Really? Read an ancient script language? How retro would the kids have be to do that? Do you also want them to learn the multiplication table, or Latin?

The bloggers, those nasty unwashed bastards with their web sites and HTML knives killed print, killed the newspapers and magazines. Magazines with ads for cigarettes and pointy women’s bras. There was great sadness over that, but nothing could be done, when your time comes, your time has come. Farewell printed word and illustrations, we knew you well and loved you more.

Before most you reading this were born, minicomputers killed mainframe computers, those giant, inaccessible monsters in glass houses with raised floors. Then a while ago PCs killed minicomputers, most people today don’t know what a minicomputer was. But it’s a dog eat dog world, or maybe a computer eat computer world. The PCs got killed by mobile devices. Evolution, survival of the fittest, or maybe the smallest.

Today people only wear watches for jewelry. That’s so yesterday. Smart watches will kill smartphones; they had it coming those distracting texting machines that destroyed so many teenagers lives.

Consoles killed themselves. They tried to metomorphasize into a movie delivery system, but when movies were killed that didn’t help them. They tried to become a TV, but when the TV was killed they were left with no place to go so they just kept doing what they always did and died as a result of it. Only a few people in Japan were sad.

But there are zombies, and not only are they multiplying they are getting stronger. Feeding on big data the mainframes have been lurking in the clouds, in compounds near rivers and ice flows, quietly digesting everything we do, see, or hear, in our dying world. They are kept alive by secret government agencies that use them to troll through the debris of our emails. They work in concert with the small things that have been killing PCs, TVs, and other ancient and useless devices like pocket watches and fountain pens.

Only the swift survive. But there are kinder and gentler zombies in the world too. They bring comfort and hope to the generations who can’t or won’t run with the pack, who won’t search for the start button, who can still not only read cursive, but write it with eye pleasing curves and swirls. Those people can be found with the zombies, co-existing in camps around the country and world called Maker Fairs. They dress strangely, most of their machines are made with brass rivets, and all the men have pocket watches. The fairs are the last refuge for the people to go and remember how great it was. You can find people at Maker’s Fairs living Fahrenheit 451, quoting books to each other.

That may be where we all end up, at the fair, or in the junk yard. May we rest in peace.