The other day I was thinking about grocery checkout lines. I happened to be in a checkout line at the time. For many people, I do believe that they believe personal boundaries get a temporary pass or a waiver…in other words, it is okay to discuss any and all things personal. Perhaps since one is in line to release funds, a release of personal information also is permitted. Maybe the thinking is that once one leaves the checkout stand, a proper exchange of emotional baggage has been made for grocery baggage…I just don’t know, but the reality is that throughout my adult life, I have heard more personal stories from strangers in the grocery line than anywhere else other than the counseling office. I clearly remember a conversation with an elderly gentleman in which he was giving me a chronological history of his inflamed hemorrhoid. I left the store with my two grocery bags and an itch I didn’t have before I queued up…TOO MUCH INFORMATION!
It’s also becoming more evident to me that I’m behind the curve when it comes to using 21st century technology to be more aware of what is current so I can make better decisions. I’m trying to find that balance between living fully in the present…and using technology to be better prepared for the present and the future. This takes us from a personal to a larger, more global issue of TOO MUCH INFORMATION. I was reading a snippet in Industry Tap News about the knowledge doubling curve. It was stated that around 1900 it took a century for new knowledge to double and after WWII the doubling period was down to 25 years. The article reported that IBM suggests that once the “internet of things” is fully operational (unlike the death star I hope), new knowledge will double every 12 hours. OMG…everything is moving too fast as it is. What is a guy like me suppose to do? Half the time I have no knowledge of where my keys are…let alone the next doubling of knowledge that will hit by morning. TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
Why am I going on and on about too much information…well, this past week I talked to several people about weekend plans. When first I was asked what I was doing this weekend, my natural reflex was, “laundry and maybe a haircut.” But, then I began to realize that all of these people were locked into technology. Most knew everything that was going on within a 200 kilometer radius…and in great detail. A colleague of mine suggested that I consider the “Rhein in Flammen (Rhein on fire).” The name sidetracked me for a moment with the old man in the grocery store and his hemorrhoid story, but once I refocused, I decided that this would be a good option due to the photographic possibilities. So, the decision was made and off we went. Rhein in Flammen is a series of five dramatic fireworks displays that take place on the Rhein River in five different locations. Held since around 1930, the events are very popular. The Oberwesel show takes place over 50 cruise ships anchored below.
After a short drive, a little over an hour, the town of Oberwesel came into view. What a beautiful city with an architectural mixture of medieval and modern throughout the town. The city was alive with activity as tourists began pouring in to enjoy a wine festival and the fireworks over the river that evening. The historic Rhein river was bustling with activity as barges and cruise ships passed to and fro. A one mile hike up a steep mountain led to Schonburg Castle. It was a challenging climb, but the payoff was spectacular views of the city and the river. Following a nice lunch of rabbit and pheasant, we made the fast climb down to city streets filled with visitors … bands playing music, people eating traditional German food and enthusiastic adults tasting wine.
The fireworks were stunning as people were situated everywhere along the river to view the colorful display. As I reflect on the events of the day, I am grateful for the technology that provided the information and the people who research this internet of things to come up new actionable information. The challenge for me will be to find the balance I need so that I remain active in new endeavors and avoid sitting around all day on my behind, that would only lead to a new event, “Jeff in Flammen” and I don’t need to be telling that story at the grocery store. TOO MUCH INFORMATION!
Until next time…