YK’s 365 Release: Day 11

I love gadgets. As a designer I am drawn to their form, as an innovator I am drawn to their function. I keep up with new industrial and product design not only for inspiration, but some things are simply awe inspiring. The other day I was reading about a new type of printer, a 3D printer. Basically this means when you print something out, it will come out as an actual 3D object, not as an object printed on a piece of paper. So one day soon, if you live in the Bay and I want to instantaneously send you a chair that I designed (not just an image, but an actual 3D chair), I can input information in my computer from Brooklyn, and it will “print” it out from your 3D printer in the Bay and you will be sitting on said chair. Wrap your mind around that.

I don’t tend to purchase technology fresh on the consumer market because it is fickle, still needs testing, and expensive. However, back in the day, it made more sense because development of newer models took much longer between distribution. I have one of the first cell phones made available to the masses. It’s huge, unsightly (this was before someone realized you can make electronics in colors other than tan and grey), and you had to have a car to actually use it because back then that was the primary reason cell phones became popular. So it didn’t even come with a wall charger, only a car charger.

Since everyone had a landline at home, the justification for an extra cell phone at home didn’t make sense to most folks. In your car, however, it made a little more sense, though it was still considered superfluous. It used to cost $3 a minute. My how the world has changed.

I am enthralled by science fiction, for this same reason. I believe it pushes the boundaries of our imagination (SciFi worlds were using iPads decades ago), sets the stage for possibility, and expands our ideas of conventionalism. It also offers a platform to address often taboo political thought (e.g. the first interracial kiss on television was on Star Trek in the sixties and many television stations refused to air the episode), in a creative medium that the general public may deem less controversial.

At this point, this phone is so archaic, it almost slides back into the science fiction realm. In this case, the phone symbolizes my willingness to explore ideas of change, even against conventional thought. I was willing to have a cell phone even though it made everyone think I was a drug dealer. Remember back in the day when cell phones and pagers were only for drug dealers? I have also been holding onto a pager from an even earlier time, for the same reason. Because I am reminded how I challenged everyone’s opinion of what was appropriate, practical and permissible. It was my own gadget revolution.

Since these particular items are now antiques, no one can actually use them as they are. So I will be letting them go to an organization that specializes in taking old electronics, disassembling them for usable parts, and recycling non-operational portions.

On this day 11, of my 365 Release practice, I will be letting go of objects that hold memories of pioneering, breaking propriety and tradition. I do that very well on my own without the need to hold onto trophies from my past. Be free little gadgets and find your next lifetime.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

One response to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 11”

  1. […] Day 11 (9/18/10): old car cell phone and pager […]

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