thinkiesandthoughtiesWelcome to THINKIES & THOUGHTIES! Here is Question 1. Read it. think about it carefully. Investigate yourself. Share yourself.

Question 1: Modern technology has become a big part of us. Would you rather lose the use of all motorized vehicles, all telecommunication devices and computers, or one of your hands?

Due Date: Friday, January 10.

I have decided to cut off my hand. Although I agree with Dianne Hartsock (chopping off body parts is a form of self-mutilation), I think a physical part of me isn’t as special or essential as what truly makes me Jennie – my consciousness – and the expression of that consciousness.

When I think about telecommunication, especially in our modern age, the Internet is a huge boost for human communication and expression (although it can discourage in-person socialization — as pointed out by Bonnie). People all over the world are instantly connected to one another, dissolving the old-fashioned idea that we live in a large world. If I lost telecommunication, I would give up the reach of my being. I would limit the boundless ways I interact with people radically different from myself.

Although a great trek by foot is exciting for Justin Bolger, I believe that without cars, planes, or even rescue vehicles, I would be confined to my home and the near area. There aren’t enough hours in the day to travel at great lengths while adequately maintaining responsibilities. Unless I prefer to be alone, I have to work. I have to provide. And, to be fair, I have to do this for myself because I’m diabetic. It limits my worldly experience. It limits integration. It limits the reach of my being.

Bonnie Lee finds joy in working with her hands, which I would surely miss. But, I must confess I have always been more attracted to a person’s words than physical attributes. This is not to say I don’t enjoy touch, but touch is an experience shared by many body parts – not just hands.

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13 thoughts on “THINKIES & THOUGHTIES: Question 1

  1. The loss of telecommunication devices? Forget it. I wouldn’t be able to function in modern society without all that. A higher education isn’t even possible without these things anymore, and most employers would never choose to cater to someone who can’t even receive a phone call or email.

    If I can have an incredible story to go with losing my hand, I want that one, but short of a dazzling display of badass heroics, I wouldn’t willing lose any part of myself.

    I basically walk everywhere I go anyway, so the loss of motorized transport would only be occasionally relevant. Home would be kept close to friends and family. Travel would become a real journey, which has some appeal of its own. Generally speaking, I believe this is the best option for me.

  2. For me it would have to be telecommunications. Considering my age, all this computer, cell phone, instant notification stuff is fairly new. I never even saw a computer until I was in my 30’s and a cell phone till in my 50’s. I sincerely mourn the passing of letter writing. I still write letters to my Aunt Betty and all my thank you notes are hand written, but everything else seems to be instant messaging, face time and email.
    The art of conversation seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur as well. It breaks my heart to see two people sitting in a coffee shop, or restaurant checking their phones instead of talking to each other. Why would you walk down the street checking your phone, texting, looking up the latest inane message on facebook instead of looking up at your surroundings. For me, I would much rather go to the library to look up a fact instead of googling, I would much rather talk to someone over a cup of coffee or over dinner instead of wondering what I was missing on twitter, and don’t even get me started on how rude it is to answer your phone when you’re having a conversation with the person rith in front of you.

    I want both my hands so I can hold a new baby, puppy, kitten, so I can shake hands with a friend, so I can hold hands with a lover, so I can knit or play the piano. I want motorized transportation so I can travel to see the rest of the world, get to the hospital in an emergency, visit family and friends, and go to the ocean and the mountains.

    Yep, for me it would have to be telecommunications.

  3. At first glance, this seems like an easy question for me to answer. Lose the hand, keep the technology. After all, I have another hand. And being right handed, if I lost the left one I’d still be doing pretty well.

    But the more I thought about it, a discovered I have a creeping horror of losing a body part. I know it happens to people all the time and they learn to adjust. But to purposefully choose to give up a hand? This needed more consideration.

    It makes me think of that horrible term: self-mutilation. Dear Lord, would I really go there? Is technology worth such a price?
    It’s with a tiny bit of shame that I admit that it is. I’m a writer, with most of my work published through E-Pubs. Without access to computers and internet and electronic submissions, I’d be up a creak without a paddle.

    Sure, I used to go the traditional route-type up the story, mail it off, wait months for an answer. OMG! I don’t think I’d ever willingly go back to that.
    So yes, despite the horror of losing a hand, I’d do it, and hope the prosthetic is manageable.

  4. Dianne, I understand EXACTLY what you mean! If you chose to lose the hand, you are choosing to physically harm yourself instead of eliminating unconscious items from existence. However, these unconscious items bring so many ways of self-expression, better communication, and efficient production. Since you choose to commit self-harm and lose your hand, I imagine a body part is less important to you than the means in which we express and share ourselves. What do you think? And thank you for posting!

  5. Bonnie Lee, it really is a shame how dependent most people are on telecommunication devices. Many are more concerned with their online status than they are with face-to-face interactions. Some are obsessed with our “other” self — our online self. At the same time, people are able to befriend others from all kinds of places. We might be more social than we ever have been. I have always felt more connected to people through conversation than I have touch, so I’m assuming it would be harder for me to give up telecommunications than you. Nonetheless, I’m afraid for our younger generations, and will keep your comment in mind when I make my final decision. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Justin, I agree: the loss of motorized transportation fits you best. I’m drawn to this decision, as well. I don’t mind traveling less. I don’t mind longer commuters. At least, right now I don’t. But, then I think of the many lives saved by a Life Flight helicopter. It is hard for me to think of a world without emergency vehicles making haste to save my life. I think of dying from a simple injury that became infected. I think of a doctor rushing out in bad weather and dying. Now, I’m obviously bringing other people into this hypothetical situation — but that’s what I think about.

  7. Hand me that Samurai sword and a Band-Aid. It’s time for a good old hand-chopping-off-ing.

    Losing all telecommunication devices and computers would limit my exposure to limitless forms of information, expression, and experience. Although it is not the “real world” that you would be losing, you would be losing a major way to interact with the world and learn about it. Plus, I could never do without my Joseph Gordon-Levitt Giraffes website (

    Losing all forms of motorized transport would highly limit my ability to experience most of the world around me (in person). If you wanted to visit the other side of the country, you would have to spend a whole year walking there, or maybe 6 months if you found a donkey willing to give you a ride. Although this would be great experience, it is something that you could only practically do a couple times in your life. With airplanes and cars, you can visit far-away lands over a long weekend and be back for work on Monday – and you could do this quite frequently.

    Losing my left hand would just make it slightly awkward when I have to pick a booger in my right nostril. Have you ever tried to pick a right-nostril booger with your left hand? Go ahead and try, I’ll wait.

    See? Bad, but not I-would-rather-never-use-the-internet-ever-again-to-avoid-doing-that-one-more-time bad.

  8. I am much more attached to my hands than any modern telecommunications. Mortorized transport would be tough, but whatever, I’d deal. Computers are awesome but I could live without.

    But as an artist, the hands are essential. I do more ‘real work’ with my hands. More: painting, sewing, cooking, loving, and protecting than any modern technology could possibly compete with. :)

    1. Amelia, I think our great love for ____ is what makes this question possibly easier to answer than others. If we love working with our hands, we would NEVER give them up. Or, if we highly value travel or mass communication, we couldn’t imagine life without them. I often wonder if I had spent more time drawing (an old, old hobby of mine) instead of focusing most of my efforts on becoming a stronger writer, would I have chosen to lose my hand? Thank you for sharing!

  9. I have to go with losing modern technology. I long for simplicity more than the outreach of tech media, and any excuse to ride a horse to work is good for me. ;) Yes, there would be many losses and the world would grow much larger. We would see less and experience far less of it simply because of the loss of motorized transportation.


    I think we would also gain so much as well. Time… we would have more of it. People would work less and embrace relationships far more. We would actually learn skills to live and survive independently instead of being so dependent upon technology, businesses and foreign relations to keep us going on a daily basis.

    But then again this is the same girl that would love to buy a farm and hide in the valleys of the Blue Ridge mountains if she could. ;)

  10. Liz, I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while now: our society is much too fast-paced. We are constantly busy, and if we do have a few hours to spare, we feel like we’re wasting time. If we had less options, we may have more happiness. Ugh, I can’t remember who said it, but whoever it was said that if we, as a society, have few options (less freedom), we are unhappy. If we have too many options, we are unhappy because we feel we can always choose something better. But if we land somewhere in the middle, we’re happy. Thank you for participating!

  11. This post is nearing five years old but the question is still relevant and new to me.

    I may have the years of two or three of the writers here. My perspective is based on life without tele…

    My life experience involved lots of motorized transport from that 16 horsepower three speed motor bike I built when I was 14 to the jumbo jets that delivered me around the world. I have had 30 cars and trucks, 4 motorcycles including an Italian Lambretta scooter, 6 tractors and 3 riding mowers. I have also used buses, trains, streetcars, subways, elevators, escalators and floor tracks that move you without walking.

    My hands have moved millions of pounds of materials, repaired all my vehicles, built my home, carried my baggage, caried my children, carried my groceries, cooked my food, washed me and my clothes, and saved my and other peoples lives many times. And all the while I built my castle (house) when people would look with wonder and amazement (or envy and greed) I would tell them, “This whole place isn’t worth the tip of my left pinky finger.”

    Telecommunication devices and computers start with the phone. Can you imagine how it was when people got there first phone back then? They were shy and inhibited, this strange way to communicate, at first a novelty, then a convenience, then an expensive necessity, then cheaper and cheaper then the first cell phones appeared, Motorolla, 1000 minutes talk/month for a days pay. And personal computers, word processing, banking and medical records, education; the smart phone and here we have it, an all in one package for a couple (or few) hours pay per month. Television, the greatest potential for education used as a social conditioning tool from day one, the smart phone that looks back at you tracking your every move. Business prosperity indoctrinating the human product. Political manipulation occupying our mental space. The Good, Bad and Ugly predicted by Gorge Orwell in 1947. Like Joni said in 1971, “Back to the garden.” Wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise, with blue sky, clear water, fruits and vegetables and all the colors,73 degree and sunshine in the day and 55 degree night, just enough rain in the morning with a breeze that blows just the right way.

    Off with a hand? No way and your question was “handS” which morphed into a just one hand. My advice,”Keep all you body parts as long as you can”

    So for me it narrows down to “motorized” vehicles or telecommunications devices. Huh, let’s think this out. Motorized vehicles have been esential in development of the current status of everything! And telecomunication has the potential to enlighten the entire human species! But…

    Motor vehicles are primarily powered by fossil fuel which is destroying the biosphere,,, telecommunications have been used to dumb us down and exploit us.

    My choice would be to give up motorized transport not just personally but worldwide. You said motorized. That does not include: sailing, hot air balloon, gliding, biking, horses, and all other potential human genius methods.

    As for tele… I have faith that human consciousness and intelligence will ultimately prevail.

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