Sunday, 22 April 2012


Looking at USA Today, the pace of miniaturization is so intense ipods, or whatever is next, will soon be literally under our skin. This is a common enough concern for the conceptually minded young architect, has been since the sixties, when Archigram's 'Cushicle' and 'Manzak the Electronic Tomato' first drew architecture to rank alongside perfume.
Where will they stitch your new ipod? Probably in your arse, but when it goes wrong and phones your mother everytime you sit down, where are you going to go? I imagine little rooms at the back of Carphone Warehouse, crosses between barbers, dentists and opium dens, where the same people who used to serve you behind the counter, now with Btec's in phone surgery, will sort you out on the cheap. Clearly our technological future reeks of over optimism.
Even if I specified a new electric front door, I'd be an idiot. It would break.
The problem is surgery is not cheap, and the medical profession is still relatively primitive. It still, for instance, doesn't understand why I want a drink, it just tells me rather dumbly I shouldn't. That is hardly sophisticated with regard to bodies and minds, certainly not as sophisticated as the technology or advertising for ipods.
Meanwhile, my brother has just had a hip replacement, he's 60. he's had to have a hip replacement because for the last forty years he's had to get up at 3.30 in the freezing morning to milk cows. Because he's only 60, he will have to have another one when he's eighty or so. Nobody factored in the need for such surgery when they mechanized the milk production industry, nobody built the money in to his pension either. His boss still lives in the village manor house, my brother still courteously doffs his cap.

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