Last year, on this date, I flew a drone for the first time with Martin DelVecchio. It’s my first doneversiary.
A few weeks later we were asked to shoot a drone-picture of the new Cape Ann Food Pantry groundbreaking. I remember thinking, “How is it we’ve solved the problem of quadcopter control dynamics but we still have working people who go hungry?” As we were getting “Droning Myrtle” into the air a super-enraged guy who lives next door to the site saw the drone and leapt out of his car. He literally shook his cane at us, shrieking, “I know my constitutional rights!”
He was approaching in a not exactly unthreatening manner when he fell over, obviously painfully. I was going to go help him up, but this would have meant switching over to a landing cycle and he sort of scrabbled off before I could react. I think he was OK.
Somehow I feel like this scene spoke a lot about where we’re at as a culture right now. We have incredible new technology but the same social problems. Some folks are angry and confused, but mad at the wrong things (Dude could rage at a system that won’t pay a living wage to retail and service workers, forcing them onto public support maybe?). Our most passionate arguments seem to be about stupid fake bullshit like Fluoride, not actual pressing issues like changing economies and climate.
Last week we went out to LA on a drone-related project (much more to come on this in upcoming weeks). At the Logan Hudson News there was a drone magazine right out front next to the sudoku puzzles and US Weekly. In LA some dude was flying a lit-up drone down Hollywood Boulevard for no apparent reason (Because LA). There were still people sleeping in the streets and the news was full of Baltimore.
Technology does not change who we are, it just makes it far more efficient for us to be ourselves, for better and worse.
I suppose the takeaway for me was this: alongside our exponentially developing tech we need to keep improving who we are and the ways in which we relate to our fellow beings. Speaking as someone who loves the gizmos and what they can do, it’s all too easy a thing to forget.