The clash of generations : new technologies & camping

Kelowna, BC

Just before leaving Vancouver, I talked with my aunt about the fact that the copyright war is, above all, a confrontation in between two generations. I was referring to Lawrence Lessig’s writings as well as to my own experience in the matter. The fact that most of the people of our generation are considered by the older one as criminals (because almost each of us has downloaded, at least once, a movie, a song or a computer program « illegally », but mostly because we all remix culture all the time) really is a clash of generations. It seems that even if the older generation is theoretically aware of how the technologies transformed our culture (we could call it, according to Lessig, a remix culture), very few of them are really involved in that new culture…

I’ve been camping on the West coast for many days now and I keep thinking about those issues. I found it funny to see a similarity in the « camping » culture. Here are some tips for the older generation that wishes to adapt to technologies while camping :

1-Ok, first of all, let’s say you own a camping and you plan to offer a Wi-Fi : give it away for FREE! Don’t tell me it’s my lucky day when you charge me two bucks (over the 45 bucks to set up my tent) to take my emails in a rainy day at 13-degree Celsius. A couple of years ago, we were still paying for Wi-Fi in cafes and other public places: Those days are over.

2-Second, this one is for the camper : GET A THERMAREST! Have you heard of that great little technology on which most of us sleep now? I got my first one ten years ago, actually. I know that using an electric pump for thirty minutes at midnight to blow up your old airbed makes you feel really high tech. You don’t have to activate the pump with your feet anymore. But Thermarest will keep you just as warm and comfy and half of it blows up by itself. You do the rest with your mouth in a minute. The great thing about it is that you don’t make us feel as if you were building a house next to our tent in the middle of the night.

3-Third : Just don’t bring a chair made out of Canadian flags, don’t, don’t, don’t! Especially if you plan to drink a Budweiser on it! We live in the WWW now, the World Wide Web, heard of it? Open your horizons, especially when you are in the wood. A chair made out of Quebecker flags is just as much repulsive.

4-Fourth! You, yes YOU, owners of very sophisticated RV that make us feel as if we were camping in a parking lot : THERE IS A TIME FOR TECHNOLOGIES. Why do you think these kinds of technologies don’t interest our “very tech” generation? No, it’s not about the money…We’re in the WWW here, the Wild Wild West (just stole this line from Amerika’s Meta/Data). GET A TENT!

A Westfalia could be fine too…

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