I guess you could say that we are on a mission.
The evolution of digital technology is happening so rapidly it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with all of the changes. Sometimes, I think that’s a good thing because changes don’t always mean “better” or “more desirable”. After all, as the old saw goes: “A tractor is not a better horse.”
Likewise, the digitization of every aspect of our lives, while it has allowed much greater interconnectedness, has also made us more isolated than ever. At once, you can connect with me when you read my words, and at the same time you can go through entire days or even weeks without engaging a living soul, yet still have a very productive life.
Should our objective in life to be to go from activity to activity or place to place unengaged from experiences and relationships? You might consider that there is a digitization of experience: just little bits of pure this and pure that unconnected to anything else. But it’s those connections to what may seem unrelated which adds to the richness and breadth of what is at hand. To my mind, what makes life special is experiencing the “hash” of the unexpected while you go about your day.
In the past it was as much about the experiences we had with those around us that made the activities worth doing. Likewise the experience of traveling from one place to another was an experience, an event perhaps. Sometimes collectively, sometimes individually; but for us it’s not so much about the destination as the process of getting there.
In the experience of many, traveling from one place to another meant jumping into the family or personal car. Often times it was out of necessity, but for many it also represented the freedom to choose one’s path in life. Today there are so many easily accessible options for transportation that in many places, cars are becoming thought of as unnecessary. For the younger among us, it represents even greater freedom to not have a car. I suppose there are good reasons for that. Perhaps car is seen as something that would inhibit the digitized experience of pure this and that. The way I see it, that’s too bad, because a tractor is not a better horse, and an Uber is not a better car.
Something gets lost as we digitize our world and our transportation. To me and my team here at AnalogWheels.com, while we admire all of the technical advances which seem to come each and every day, we wish to savor the experience of all the tasty bits which have slowly been worked out of our lives.
We wish to dive deeply into excitement of connection with one another, with traveling in a machine that allows us to experience the sensation of rubber on asphalt, the smell of oil and leather, and a view of the world with the windows rolled down. It’s a visceral connection that amplifies our sense of freedom and meaningfulness even as it requires our responsibility, attention, care, and expense.
Perhaps when my faculties prove to be more of a danger to myself and society I will just sit back and “check out” behind a dashboard of a car that has no steering wheel, no pedals, and maybe even no windows. But as long as I have the ability to stand up, breathe in and out, and not continuously drool on myself, I’ll be the captain of my ship and the master of my fate in the driver’s seat of my analog car doing the 3-pedal dance which makes life so engaging and interesting.
So here we are together on this mission: The mission to preserve and share not just the machines we love so dearly, but the whole analog life of which they are one part. Because in the analog world, all is connected and commingled. It’s much more messy, to be sure, than the sharp edges and clearly defined outlines of the digital life, but so much more rich as the flavors blend together on the plate.
Together, we can be a mutually respectful and supportive community of those of us who remember the beauty of driving by the seat of our pants, and yet still embrace the digital technology of interconnectedness that can bring us together. The digital world is not one we shun, but we see it in context. We see it as one piece of a well lived analog life.
So let us share, connect, and develop friendships as we find the next analog gem in our neighbor’s yard, at the corner with a for sale sign in the window, and of course in the deep recesses of the interwebs. We encourage you to send us the hidden gems you find that are for sale, and if they are indeed gems, we may post them so that all of us who know their value can enjoy. Because of you and I, one lucky bugger, a friend, or a friend we haven’t met yet, may be able to buy it and be the steward of that jewel. Who knows, one day that lucky bugger may be you, and you’ll have the friends you made here on Analogwheels.com to thank for it.
So traveling down this road: man, machine, and asphalt, it is us who maintain the analogicity of life. Should we ignore this mission, we may find ourselves strangers in a strange land, disconnected, isolated and moved from place to place in some kind of podlike transportation appliance.
And that to me is definitely not a better horse.