Jun 18, 2011

How to Meet a Friend in the Stone Age

Do you remember Palm OS PDAs? I had used WorkPad made by IBM not Apple, although its name included "Pad", (now that ThinkPad is made by Lenovo, who?) But I already had forgotten how to write Graphiti of Palm OS. WorkPad, with a small white and black display and stylus (I'm not talking about Nintendo DS), was so cool, wasn't it? But now I've returned to a notebook and a pen and enjoyed the feeling of the pen running on the paper, because I'm a Stone Age man.

My wife took a photograph album of her trip to Nepal in her university days. She and I saw full of photographs of beautiful views of Himalayan Mountains, Buddhist statues, Nepalese people and young my wife, of course. In the photograph album there are not only photographs but also lots of the other things, such as tickets, broachers, post cards, pieces of newspapers and so on. The memories of her trip were packed into this photograph album. But it was too heavy to hold it in my hands for long periods of time. At least it was heavier than the iPad.

Well, anyway, I'd like to talk about how to meet friends in the Stone Age. If you are interested in the Stone Age, take a look at this journal. I promise that you must be fascinated by the ancient wisdom and technology in the Stone Age.

So let's go to the Stone Age!

You know Clint Eastwood, don't you? He's been making the great films vigorously in the 21st century, (it's one of the biggest miracles in the Iron age, isn't it?) but he is basically a Stone Age man.

In his film "Dirty Harry" public phone system, the representative Stone Age technology, was used effectively. A kidnapper called up Harry, who was a detective in the San Francisco Police Department, by a public phone. In the middle of the night a public phone settled in the park was ringing, and Harry ran to get the phone. The kidnapper ordered him to run to the next public phone. And Harry ran to the next public phone and he'd been getting more exhausted.

In the Stone Age public the phone was actually only a way to contact someone far away out of their home or office, but the public phone system had a fatal defect. When I used public phones, I could only contact someone in their home or office, whose telephone number I knew. I had to know where they were in order to contact them. The kidnapper watched Harry, so he knew where he was, but usually when I want to contact someone, I wouldn't know where they were! Otherwise we should use a signal fire or a drum.

When I had an appointment to meet a friend outside, I went to the appointed place and at the appointed time, just waiting for their arrival. That's all. There was nothing else to do. Sometimes I couldn't meet them, and then I left a message on a message board. This message board was not software in the Internet but hardware in the real world, which was made of wood painted with green or black.

In the Stone Age in Japan most railway stations had message boards, on which were usually full of graffiti. I don't know if there is an example of a message board excavated in the ruin of railway stations abroad. (In my childhood I didn't believe that railways would exist in the 21st century.)

I found space to write a message on it with a piece of white chalk, such as "I've been waiting for you for an hour, FXXX XXX! I'll be back home now." Of course I knew that it was no use leaving such a message. That's it. That's the way of living in the Stone Age.

I had made an appointment to meet my friend in front of Cologne Cathedral just by mail (of course it was "real mail" but not "e-mail".) I was really glad to see him! It's the miracle of the Stone Age, isn't it? You, Iron Age people, never know such a delight.

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