Minutae: Techno Synchro with my mp3s
When I got to my apartment this afternoon, I subconsciously loaded up The Beatle’s White Album and played the song “I’m so tired.” The funny thing is I AM really tired today. How did my body know, not only how to manipulate my computer without thinking, but also how to sift through my mp3 collection and play the exact song that captures my state? I must be way too synchronized with my gadgets.
Click below to see a previous draft of this post: I was going to hype this moment a little too much.
So after fifteen minutes of biking in the rain, I come to my apartment, tired like a dead battery. I shed my gear: backpack, helmet, bike, necklace, watch, and long-sleeve shirt (note: this long-sleeve shirt is under the T-shirt I want to wear, so I have to take off two shirts for the price of one--great). Then my fingers punch the standard combination to animate my desktop electronics: 1) light up the LCD 2) ignite the speakers 3) wiggle the mouse to break my screensaver 4) slouch into my computer chair and all systems are go.
Now, I'm doing this all subconsciously. It's the same routine I've followed every day for the past six months. My automatic motions also continue from hardware into software: I open up my browser, open my e-mail, open my favorite sites, and open up AOL Instant Messenger. Somehow, though, my subconscious actions continued in an unexpected way.
In this software cycle, I also opened up The Beatle's White Album, and played "I'm So Tired" ... I've been tired all day! How did I involuntary know to play the song?? I swear I didn't actively choose it. I was purely in auto-pilot, and it was only a minute into the song that I thought, "That's strange, I AM tired, and I rarely listen to this song. How did I, err, how did it, know??"
See, usually when we're tired, our body will automatically seek relief. We will sigh, put our hand on our forehead, or slouch. Sometimes we'll involuntarily manipulate things around us, like twirl a pencil or tap out a song. In my case, my body automatically manifested its relief through manipulating my mp3 collection. In other words, my computer interface is so intimately tooled into to my body that I didn’t have to think to use my computer as a relief-mechanism. It’s as if the skills for operating my computer and the skills for involuntary coordination, like breathing and keeping balance, are stored in the same parts of my brain. In other words, my computer is like a pseudo-body attachment, which means I’m one step closer to being a cyborg.
We already manipulate machines like cyborgs though. When we’re angry and driving a car, we may involuntarily use our vehicle as a pseudo-fist, and swerve around to taunt enemy-drivers. However, my event went a little further than a single physical lunge, but rather an actual sub-conscious decision-making for my own benefit.
Okay fine, I’m making this out to be a bigger deal than it should be.
When I got to my apartment this afternoon, I subconsciously loaded up The Beatle’s White Album and played the song “I’m so tired.” The funny thing is I AM really tired today. How did my body know, not only how to manipulate my computer without thinking, but also how to sift through my mp3 collection and play the exact song that captures my state? I must be way too synchronized with my gadgets and need a break from the machine.