Winter Solstice 2014

by bxrtley


The shortest day of the year. It’s today. And It’s amazing how ancient calendars factored in the beginning of winter, earth’s wobble and its orbital acceleration and deceleration without a computer.

As technology advances, there’s always a tradeoff. I wonder how much we’ve traded for speed, convenience and tech that seems to be coming around full-circle, back to the ancient times—minus the dirt, but plus wires…lots of them. We’re using our fingers once again. But instead of dragging them in the ground, it’s on a piece of smudge-free glass.

So we’ve become more efficient at being complicated and attached to our A-chips, bandwidths and batteries. All to achieve the same purpose with the stroke of a hand gesture. We’re so anti-dirt.

We’ve “progressed” from the oral tradition, to writing, then printing, then creating a machine that monopolized the printing and in turn the writing, then developing software that decentralized it all (Social Media), as we embrace the oral tradition once again. But now it’s digital. Digitoral. And it’s cluttered with wires, white noise and silent frequencies.

What would happen if we decided to have a winter solstice for all digital technology? A day or perhaps an entire season where the screens dimmed quicker, the chargers were neglected and inboxes collected dust-bytes. I wonder what the tradeoff would be.

  • Community. I’d be forced to leave my room and search for a Meetup without the help of Google.
  • Creativity. And I’d be using acrylics and Crayolas again, on a real art board, as my Adobe Design Suite takes a rest.
  • Community. Global news wouldn’t trump my neighborhood’s town hall meeting.
  • Productivity. With the sun replacing my 60-watt bulbs, I’d be more inclined to get more work done as quickly as possible—especially on the shortest day of the year.
  • Community. Barbershops and salons would once again be the “WordPress” for the latest word on the literal street.

Hm. It seems like for every new category, community seems to reemerge. Perhaps the biggest tradeoff for a winter tech solstice is ourselves. Our direct connectivity with each other. No internet. Not even books. But just us. Where will your solstice take you this season?