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Internet of Things and the Analog Generation by @PSilvas | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

I am that generation, the analog generation

From Baby Boomers to Gen X, Y, & Z, there are certain characteristics that define, at least according to demographers and historians, each generation. Generation X, specifically, might also remember a Rush song called The Analog Kid. While not as frequently played as Tom Sawyer or Subdivisions, it has always been my favorite Rush song. Driving bass, awesome guitar solo, amazing imagery and Peart.

I am that Generation. The Analog Generation.

With all of our digital things getting connected, including things on and in our body, I started thinking that I'm part of the generation that transitioned from analog to digital. Not that analog or analog signals are disappearing anytime soon, but as a kid, there were way more analog things than digital, that's for sure. Audiophiles will also argue that analog recordings are better at capturing the true representation of sound due to it being continuous, rather than specific values to represent sound, as in the discrete digital.

I wondered if I was the only one who figured this out - highly doubtful - so I searched. And actually, there are a few people who have made the connection. One who argues that today's kids, at least his kids, are very analog. They love playing outside, playing board games and other non-digital activities. He talks about the importance of parents giving their children attention in the real world. And the other one specifically talks about the analog things we remember as a kid - records, 8mm, rotary phones, black & white TV, VHS and others versus the CDs, DVDs, iPhones and HD TVs today's kids live with.

Some feel that Rush's The Analog Kid is about a more innocent time with less technology in the world, longing for the simpler days. A cautionary tale. One person notes, 'Perhaps Peart's social comment with the two songs is how technology and science creates incredible wonders, but there's a cruel price to pay if there's no heart to guide it.' The other song he references is Digital Man, also on the Signals album. When I hear The Analog Kid it immediately takes me back to 1982 and whatever I was doing in high school. It is interesting that I took my first computer class in high school around that time...while still learning how to type...on a real typewriter. If you remember those, with the little IBM ball to change fonts, you're analog.

The last lines of the song are:

Too many hands on my time
Too many feelings
Too many things on my mind

When I leave I don't know
What I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know
What I'm leaving behind...

We are certainly entering a new realm with IoT with a lot of hopes, dreams and ideas of things to come. And while they all might help us automatically adjust home temperatures, become a little healthier, auto drive our car, keep an eye on our home, and cook better dinners, we can't forget that humans are social creatures, not necessarily social media darlings, and our real family, friends and loves are what really matter.

We're already forging a new frontier but we must tread carefully.

ps

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

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