Just so you know, I don’t have pictures which naturally fit with this post so I have used some cute ones that I have. ok?

I find it intriguing when the opposite happens to what we think will happen. Let me give you some examples of what I mean. Ages ago when lots of automation and robotics started to be used to make and do things instead of people, the prediction was that we would all be working a lot less and have heaps more leisure time. Didn’t happen did it? We actually started working more because we WANTED more.

Poppy dog

Poppy dog

Relatively speaking things are a lot cheaper than ever before so you would think that we could work less and have the same, but it turns out the cheaper stuff is, the more STUFF we want so we have to work more. Also there is simply more stuff to buy, more choice, so we want all the new stuff and more of that too. More, more, more, now, now, NOW!

Stuart Lamb

Stuart Lamb

When video, then DVD blossomed it seemed that going to the cinema to see first run movies would go the way of the Drive In experience. But it didn’t. And video didn’t kill the radio star either.

Girlie showing her 'good' side

Girlie showing her ‘good’ side

It’s like we (and I include ‘experts’ such as Futurists in that collective) see a situation and sum it up by a simple 2 + 3 = 5 and it all makes total sense, case closed. Funny thing is, it is never that simple when it come to foretelling the future or predicting how human beings will react and therefore what the outcome will be. It isn’t a simple equation because there is a mischievous little unknown value which we will call ‘X’ we don’t always see and most people forget to account for. This crazy, unpredictable, contrary, little tap dancing wild card X element is US! We don’t always make sense and act in predictable ways. I love it. I picture the little free radical poking its tongue out when it fools us all.

In the kitchen

In the kitchen

What about when computers started to be widely used in homes and offices and it seemed we would never have to use paper or actually hand write anything ever again? The person who declared we would be paper free remained vertical for about 5 seconds before he was hit by an avalanche of A4 and never seen again.

If we put aside for the moment the reams of general purpose paper we use for printing at home and work, the specialty stationery business has never been healthier. As a stationery lover I can understand the upsurge and interest in handmade papers, book binding, calligraphy, letterpress, and the like. Some I think is attributable to the general resurgence of all things vintage, which in itself is the little radical X revolting against a world filled with mass produced disposable everything. I don’t think there has ever been a time in history where people have access to so much mostly plastic goods and the economic ability to have it all in huge quantities. But in this immense consumerism and immediate gratification era we crave the hand made, hand written, and second hand. We value the time worn things that have lasted for generations and give us a link with a time when things where repaired not thrown away. When things didn’t have plastic built-in obsolescent souls.

Mr Darcy our rooster

Mr Darcy our rooster

I had a think about how I spent my money in the last couple of weeks and this is my list: wool and crochet hook, had my boots repaired, a second hand cane chair, an old Royal typewriter, a sketch book and some pens, some second hand novels from Cracked & Spineless in Hobart (best name ever for a second hand book store!). Do you love second hand book stores as much as me? I find there is something so calming, comforting and happiness making about walking into a lovely second hand book store. Do you get it too? There is no other type of store that makes me feel like that.

Typewriter in the sun room

Typewriter in the sun room

The sunroom

The sunroom

DeathtoStock_NotStock

Boots

And another prediction was that the rise of communication technology would have us all disconnect from each other and our communities in favour of the anonymous cyber world where we could avoid real human interaction. No doubt there are some people who do favour that type of existence but honestly I see that this technology is enabling people to connect with each other like never before, strengthening our relationships and bringing us closer together. We can share our ideas, thoughts and the daily minutiae of our lives with our loved ones and those we don’t know yet. I reckon that this is relationship cement. We’re Liking and Sharing and Following and Commenting and Hashtagging our way to friendships, collaborations and better relationships. Not just cyber relationships, but real old fashioned person to person ones.

The slipper club

The slipper club

So here I am praising all things old and used and hand made as I’m writing this on my PC and will post it on Facebook and on my website blog and email it out to my subscribers. It’s not quite what you’d expect is it? But if it brings us closer it’s ok right? It’s when technology keeps us apart we should worry. And technology CAN get in the way of real person to person talking and relationship building if we sit looking at screens instead of talking to our family and friends and even strangers who are sitting beside us. We all know people who do it. Do you find that annoying too?

But have you seen how many people are rejecting screens and technology to provide all the information they need? How groups are gathering to learn things together, to do things, to hang out, to share public spaces? People are learning how to bake and paint and make pottery and garden and crochet and knit and sew in small groups, in person ALL OVER THE PLACE. They are everywhere. I wonder if it is a temporary short lived rejection against technology or if it will continue to grow and become a huge WWP (world wide phenomenon) or if there will always just be a small little niche of people who value the old fashioned, do it yourself skills? What I’m noticing though it is that it is being done differently. It’s really short sharp gatherings. I don’t think we are committing to many 12 week long courses anymore AND they have to be FUN and SOCIAL. I reckon we want to eat, drink, talk, and learn small things all at the same time. More like ‘get togethers’ with a bonus.

we did a family class on how to make cute paper boxes

we did a family class on how to make cute paper boxes

Here are some I’ve noticed:
http://www.lanewaylearning.com/
http://www.theschool.com.au/

urbanists

urbanists

What do you think will happen over time? Can you make a prediction about how we will be communicating or not in years to come? Will we continue to value the old school, old fashion, home grown, made in small quantities type things or is that just a bit of a fad that will pass? It is interesting and challenging to think about. As you are pondering and predicting, just remember to tip your hat to the delightfully radical X element which may shake it all up just when you least expect it. 🙂

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