Video Backpacker: To me, my

Video Backpacker: To me, my thing is, a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy, that came barreling out of a bar, fell right in front of me, and he had a knife right in his back, landed right on the ground and... Well, I have no reference to it now. I can't put it on pause. I can't put it on slow mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn't look like blood. The hue was off. I couldn't adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn't right. And I didn't even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part.
This line from Richard Linklater's 1991 film Slacker sounded rather benignly absurd at the time, but I find myself coming closer and closer to not just understanding this perspective but assuming it. If you haven't yet got a TiVo, be warned -- it heralds a deep revolution in perception.

After a few days with the service, it felt completely natural to pause and rewind live TV. Fine, good -- that's what it's for. But I soon found myself expecting to have that kind of control over more than just TV. On the commute home when I'd realize I missed the beginning of a good story on All Things Considered, I found myself reaching for a rewind knob on my radio (and why not?) The weirdest moment came a couple weeks ago when I was on the phone with my dad. I noticed I'd tuned him out in favor of the latest slashdot headlines, and for just an instant, I fully intended to back up a few moments and listen again to what he had been saying. I was absolutely certain this was possible. My mind reflexively told my body to make it so, but my body couldn't find a rewind button. Now, come to think of it, a telephone handset sure could have one -- but I wasn't looking for it on the telephone. I was looking for it in my brain. I want a TiVo in my head.

I should emphasize that it's not the technology that's remarkable to me. The technology is merely cool, and ultimately sort of obvious in the way all great inventions are. What's remarkable is how quickly and deeply I've integrated the notion that something which for my whole life moved in one direction past me, like a river or the wind, suddenly has form -- I can reverse it, repeat, duplicate, expand or compress it. I pull it it stretches; I snap it it breaks. About the only thing unique about Silly Putty now is that it bounces.

Clearly a wearable TiVo is not too far off -- it will probably look like a pair of sunglasses and a walkman. As best I can tell, it's only a matter of time before I do have control over pretty much everything I see or hear.
randomWalks @randomWalks