The Wilderness Downtown

I’d like to bring your attention to TheWildernessDowntown.com, which James linked me to earlier today. The band Arcade Fire recently released a new album and for one of their songs, We Used To Wait, and the website features an interactive video for the song. It was designed in conjunction with Google Chrome, which makes use of Google Maps and Google Street View – not to mention, HTML5 technology.

It is really amazing. For those who aren’t up to looking at the website, I’ll give you a brief recount of how the website works. You put in a street address (it specifically asks for where you grew up, but you can be as vague as you like, or even put a school in) and a video plays, using multiple windows for effect. In the background, We Used To Wait plays, and the video zooms into the area of your house (or the address you put in), as if you are the person featured in the video. It is really quite an amazing experience (if you’re a tab-whore like me, shut the rest of your tabs 😛).

Anyway, that said, I must get my hands on Arcade Fire’s new album The Suburbs. 🙂

It makes me wonder, with all these emerging technologies, where things will be in the future. In one of my classes, Social Informatics, we are continually discovering emerging technologies. Things like cars being controlled by the movements of your eyes, your body being a remote control, interactive screens you can project onto your hand… really wild, painfully ridiculous (maybe not) things that are much more than the “OMG awesome touch screen computer!” we think of today.

It also makes me wonder how and why we have become so dependent on technology. Sure, it’s instilled awful habits in us, and made us rather terrible couch potatoes. Do we really need technology as much as we care to use it? Perhaps not. It’s absolutely possible to live without certain pieces of technology — Internet, I’m talking to you. 🙄 But I don’t think we like making that choice, and I think we only want to stay away from the internet if we absolutely have to.

I used to think the iPhone was just an amazing piece of work. Until I got one. I got over it pretty quickly. Maybe it’s because technology moves all too fast, and technology is becoming so integrated with simple things we do in life – it gets boring quick. The general movements of fingers seemed amazing and revolutionary on an iPhone screen when it did something, but no longer does moving my fingers on a screen amuse me. Perhaps it is the things we do in daily life being so routine. Perhaps the fact that such natural things can be integrated with technology to make things easier for us is, indeed, an amazing thing – but because of the rapid advancements of technology, it grows old fast.

Technology is a funny thing.

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