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It’s been an interesting week.

From Central Vermont, you can be anywhere in New England if you’re willing to drive a few hours. Montreal and Boston are both day trips.

After following the Yes tour through 2 states, we settled in at home for only a day before heading to Connecticut. I was invited to the 85th birthday party of a fun mom from a family of friends I had not seen in roughly 40 years.

It felt like being in a movie.

In one scene we are 16 years old, smoking pot after school in Cathi’s bedroom. You are not “going out”, just friends. I had no girlfriends in High School, but lots of female friends.

Younger sister Rosie is eleven or twelve years old, has a knowing smile and is wise; Nancy (Mom) isn’t fooled either by the “incense” we’ve lit to cover up the weed.

Now flash forward 45 years. It’s Mom”s 85th Birthday, and all of us have lived entire lifetimes; with husbands, wives, children and even grandchildren of our own.

At first, it’s strange.

But after a few minutes you get over the shock of not being young anymore. We’ve got wrinkles! Who cares? It’s the natural aging process. Suddenly faces and personalities all fall into place and you realize that we are the same people, further along the path of life. We share stories and laugh.

Life is short.

Ever think about this? You are starring in a story, and you are the writer and director of the your own movie. It’s fun to look forward and flash back, but it’s all happening right now. In this moment, which will be gone in the blink of an eye.

I know I rag on Facebook quite a bit, but you have to give credit to social media for empowering us to see the bigger picture. Used to be your childhood friends were lost forever. Imagine future generations, where you don’t just reconnect, you can scroll through entire lifetimes of postings. That’s the upside, and it’s pretty cool.

What could go wrong?

Someday we’ll have to pay a premium to access those ever expanding extra features. I guess this means that unless a law is passed reversing the agreements you’ve clicked on, all known data about you will be owned by huge corporate interests and exploited to the max.

Stockholders will always want to grow revenue.

You know those little movies that Apple and Facebook make out of your friends and experiences? They are just the primitive beginnings of media to be created, produced and scored by Artificial Intelligence. In the very near future, you might order an Amazon wedding package where drones are dispatched to film and photograph from every moment. Then you buy the movie about your big day.

You didn’t expect these productions to stay free did you?

Which raises a question. Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, Microsoft has Cortana, Google has itself, sometimes called “Assistant”, or just “Hey Google.”

Facebook can’t be far behind.

I vote they call it “Ask Zuck”.

“Hey Zuck, show me a 9 year old kid who can play the Blues like Buddy Guy! Hey Zuck, make a movie about my dog. Hey Zuck, show me political propaganda that fits my echo chamber.”

Maybe Facebook won’t need a personal assistant. Perhaps they know you so well they can decide what will cause you to stare at the screen for the longest possible time.

Spotify made me a playlist today. It had lots of Yes music. Which was weird, because I’ve been thinking about getting around to reminiscing after the concerts, but I didn’t do it. I did nothing about it.

How did they know?

Nahhh, can’t be. Even though I’ve left lots of digital breadcrumbs. GPS. Credit cards, parking at the venue, searched for the show info.

If you’ve known me awhile, you know I’m wary of these tech media Goliath’s. They are amassing huge amounts data which can be used for highly targeted advertising. That’s the upside.

What could go wrong? All of this information is for sale. That’s the business model, and why Russia could plant propaganda. Human behavior can be manipulated. At some point entire segments of humanity could be in effect, “mass hypnotized.”

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself if today’s current events would have read like improbable fiction a decade ago.

Doesn’t it feel like you’re in a movie?

Bob

Bob Rivers

Bob Rivers

Radio Host from age 14 to Present. Currently blogging, planning to launch a new radio show later this year.

Listen to 30 years worth of Twisted Tunes at bobrivers.com

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