Monday, June 3, 2013

God in your pocket?

First a couple of things important to me.

I'd like to say to my son, Happy Birthday! I know exactly where I was and what I was doing on this day twenty-five years ago. Happy Birthday Son! Cheers! We'll talk....

Also, "Expedition of the Arcturus", my latest short science fiction story (first released on the Sci Fi magazine web site is just today also released as an audiobook on and iTunes. It is about Earth's first deep space generational / colonization ship. Don't believe everything you are told....

Okay now....

Memories... recording your day. All day, everyday?

God in your pocket? Parents on your shoulder?

Now, this is another one where I wasn't sure if this was an Entertainment piece or Commentary. Because its both. It's about entertainment type devices and one in particular, and there are even newer ones than this. But that device (or the ones similar), are going to change how the world works. We can certainly include in this the Google Glass.

Allow me to me explain....

I have had a few discussions with my son over previous conversations we have had. Some, we had only just had a few minutes before. And we disagreed on what was said. This is also a situation that has plagued married couples, friends, coworkers even, most likely forever. There are a variety of situations where you know you were right in a conversation (or the other person believes they were) yet, there is simply no way to accurately prove it. This even goes into toxic relationships and spousal abuse situations where one spouse lies to cover up some misdeed on their part and leads the other person to thinking they are crazy, basically. Doing that to someone in my book  is truly evil. But it happens. All the time in some relationships until inevitably in the end, someone is found out.

My ex has a condition where she can't remember certain things that have happened, whether it is from "switching" personalities which I suspect, or simply put, some of her experiences slip into what we used to call her "Black Hole" in her mind. Either way, I got in trouble sometimes for things I had said but she didn't remember, or that she had not said and remembered saying because what she remembers would put her in a better light, which is typical of individuals who "switch".

Due to either emotional or physical mental issues or both, she could not always remember things that had happened; or she would do or say things she would later simply not remember; or misspeak and later believe she had said something she hadn't. I can't tell you how many times I got in trouble for having "forgotten" that I had been told something, only to find out later that she had never said what she claimed she had said. And there were other formats of that same situation where I was in the wrong but hadn't done anything wrong. It's always challenging living with someone who has a condition like this, but it's far more difficult when you don't know what's going on as it hadn't yet been diagnosed. To this day it hasn't been, but it's quite obvious to myself and other family members, what is going on there for reasons I won't go into here. It was a lucky day when a friend was there who also heard what originally had transpired and spoke up to say those words never were spoken as claimed.

The point is, it's not a conscious thing and it is interesting, but it's not we are here about today. The point here is, how could you rectify these situations? Well, we're technologically at a point in time where there is an answer and more are becoming available on a frequent basis.

Last year, had a device up for sale ( has different on sale items daily until they run out), called a sylvania SMPK2312. Cost was $9.95 plus shipping. I've seen it elsewhere for $19.95 plus shipping. It is labeled as an MP3 player, something you can listen to music on. It has 2 Gigabytes, rechargeable battery, and works as a memory storage device (USB flash drive). Using your PC, you can even edit lyrics associated with a song on it, so your lyrics will be shown when you play a song you have set this up for. So, its slightly versatile.

Now, why do I mention this device? Actually, I had pretty much the same device a few years ago, but that one only played music, pretty basic. However this newer device has one other feature, a built in microphone allowing (allegedly) up to thirty hours of audio recording to the device. THIRTY hours! Now I can't find if it will actually do thirty straight hours of recording, or will simply hold thirty hours of recording, needing a recharge in there somewhere, I should think. But the write up, from what I understand, indicates you can turn it on in the morning, and turn it off when you go to bed (be careful, you might want a second one for night time recording); thus, having recorded your entire day.

Just think of the legal ramifications. Say your boss fires you illegally and tells you that, but how could you prove it? "Well, your honor, Judge dude, I've got an audio recording of it." Please check legality of this kind of recording for your state and consider that many times this may only be good for you personally to have a copy of transpired conversations (see below). But, will this change laws at some point if everyone is recording everything everyday?

Or perhaps you could argue that you didn't know it was recording and it is evidence found by accident and neither you or the defendant knew it was running and so maybe it would be allowable (I don't know, I'm not an Attorney, and I don't even play one on TV, besides, maybe that's just TV talking).

Still it's something to think about and maybe to look up.

So, interesting little device, right? But that's not why I'm mentioning this. My point in all this, is that we have now gotten to the point, especially if this device allows thirty straight hours of recording at a time, wherein we can record our entire day; then if need be, immediately play it back to use as either a proof of previous recording that day (or conceivably a little from the previous day), for any conversations, or audio occurrences that may have transpired within the reach of its mic.

So what, you say?  Well, I'll tell you what.

Have you ever tried to remember where you put something and couldn't remember, but you know you just told someone where you were putting it? Then, when you ask them (typically my kids in this situation), they don't remember where either, if they even remember the conversation at all. Probably because they weren't really listening to Dad in the first place. Well if you had this device running, you could simply play it back and voila! There you are, talking about to your kids and sure enough its where you said it was going to be! Or more likely you remember it incorrectly and really hadn't mentioned it at all and now what?

In the past I have had innumerable conversations with ex-wives and more recently with my kids, where it would have been worth paying good money for a recording of what had just been said, not infrequently only a few moments ago.

"I didn't say that Dad." Or spewed at you somewhat in a fit of passion (and not the good kind), "That's not what I said, that's not how I said it, that's not what I meant; I mean in the context of what I had said, IF ONLY YOU REMEMBERED IT CORRECTLY!" Yeah, whatever....

And, so on. Now if I'd had one of these devices on me and running, had I merely fired it up in the morning and kept it on and on me all day, I could have at any time then, stopped it, played it back, and prove what WAS actually said, rather than there and then having had a separate argument over what was actually said rather than what the point of the entire discussion actually was about. If you see what I'm saying. Trouble with that situation is you really need another backup piece to record while you are playing back your recording.

But basically, Marvelous! Right? Maybe.

Yes, I'm sure there is a downside. Like, if you are dating and pull this out over a topic, or conceivably use it with your spouse, it really could end with an icy time in bed that night when if you had just sucked it up and let yourself be deemed wrong, bed time might have proved to be a somewhat more salacious endeavor.

You'd really have to learn to pick and choose carefully how and when you use it. If nothing else, you could always play it back to yourself so at least YOU know you aren't going crazy. Now that is something I would have paid for in my last marriage because I KNOW I wasn't wrong that often. My memory isn't all that great, but it's not all that bad, either. Logic even dictates sometimes that you had to be correct, but in the face of continual disagreement, you start to question your mind and at some point, even your sanity.

On the other hand you could find yourself in a situation where your wife or girlfriend says, "Hey, pull out that device and play it back, THAT will prove me right." And if it doesn't, well, you may end up in the dog house anyway, having not done anything wrong at all. Being right, frankly, isn't ALWAYS what it's cracked up to be.

Still how handy would this device be in an abuse situation, say for battered wives who begin to think themselves insane because their spouse is fooling with their reality, lying to them, giving them the "I never said that" thing." A truly evil bastard. This kind of device could lead to these situations resolving much more quickly. You don't have to play it back for your significant other, but you can play it back for yourself, or the police.

So, God in your pocket? Parents on your shoulder?

It's been said for years that you are raised by your parents and if you are raised in a religious family, you will forever until the day you die, have either your parents, or God sitting on your shoulder watching everything you do. In other words, you will always have a tiny voice inside your head questioning your actions, God, or parents. If we think someone is always recording our actions, wouldn't we tend to temper our actions more? Wouldn't we eventually internalize that? Surely, a police state like that is a terrible thing to consider. But if we know that those watching us, Big Brother, really is just, us? How will that be? We had better get used to it, because we're just around the corner from it becoming a reality.

We are in interesting times, Ladies and Gentlemen. And at some point these kinds of devices will change interpersonal relationships forever. Trust me.

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