Scrolling through Raymond Carver’s poetry collection, I came across a poem titled ‘In the Year 2020.’
As a 21st century man filled with fear and confusion, I got excited at the prospect of having discovered quality perspective on the future from one of the better literary minds of the 20th century.
‘Now I will have a solid and unique perspective on modern technologies and their implications. I can now boast about AI on Medium and shock everyone,’ I said to myself and began reading.
But what I read caught me off guard. The only technology or its implications mentioned in the poem is a faucet — that too as an analogy.
‘How can it be possible? How can someone write about 2020 without any mention of technology?’ I gasped and read again.
No, Nothing about technology!
Instead, his 2020 is about someone from the 20th century getting old by then. Carver talks about old age, friends, friendship, memories, love, legacy — things human! All he talks about is human life and human relationships. That’s all!
HIS POEM IS ABOUT HUMAN LIFE. IT HAS HUMANS AT ITS CENTER!
‘Damn!’ I say to myself.
Carver’s poem reminded me that we (poets or normal people) no longer place ourselves at the center. We have already given control away to technologies. They have become the focal point of our conversations, poems, and stories. All we now do is keep technologies at the center of everything. Phones, apps, maps, followers, shares, chargers, AI, airplanes, roads, buildings, towers, systems — that’s all we talk and think about these days. Everything revolves around them today!
Everything should have revolved around us, our relationships and life. But that’s just a byproduct of technology these days. No wonder we are scared and confused! No wonder we piss our pants about AI!’
‘Now I have a solid and unique perspective on modern technologies and their implications. I can now boast about AI on Medium and shock everyone,’ I say to myself and write this.