Small photographers, and living in an immaterial world

Ted mentioned today that he’ll be participating in DaddyCon while his wife is off presenting at a conference. Then he linked to a gallery of photos by his kids. Wow, Ted, what a great idea, and what a great perspective kids have. *Definitely* going to let my little person take more pictures.

Also, on the subject of small people, my Sarah made an interesting remark last night, which was a bit enlightening. I often sit with her while she’s falling asleep, and usually I’m working on my laptop, and often talking with folks on IRC. Last night, I was playing solitaire on my Palm. Sarah asked if I was playing alone, or with someone else. And, of course, by the time she has a computer, or a Palm, or whatever we’re using in 5 or 6 years, *everything* will probably be online all the time, wirelessly, so that makes sense for the world that she will live in. Presumably many of you already live there, with your PDA/Phone/Pager/Thingies. I’ve resisted that thus far, and not purely for financial reasons, although that’s part of it.

Being online all the time changes how we think about things, how we interact with people, and a lot of other things. Of course we don’t really know much about these changes, it being a very new phenomenon. One example, however, was brought to mind again this morning. Because I spend a lot of time on IRC, I’ve come to rely on the IRC bots. They store little tidbits of information so that I don’t have to. I rely on rosie for phone numbers and email addresses. I rely on fajita for Apache documentation, and the answers to frequently asked questions. I rely on Monty to … um … well, to be Monty. (If you don’t know Monty, no description is adequate, and if you do, none is necessary.)

So the strange consequence of this is that when I’m *not* online, I really want rosie’s help. She knows things that I don’t know, and would rather not have to look up. Of course, there are already folks who talk to their IRC bots by cell phone, or on their wireless PDAs, and I suppose I’m not far away from that. What I’d really like to do (and I hear it’s been done) is to hook up Sphinx and Festival, along with strategically placed microphones and speakers, so that I can speak to Rosie and Fajita as I move around my home.

Or, maybe that’s just a little too weird.