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Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.
The viral power of online media has proven how fast creative ideas can be spread and adopted, using tools like cellphones, digital cameras, micro-credit, mobile banking, Facebook, and Twitter. A perfect example? The way the Green Movement in Iran caught fire thanks to social media.
Most of the planet's terrestrial surfaces are visually accessible through video cameras and satellite imagery, if not physically within reach. Even the approaches to Mount Everest are now littered with human debris. One can drive to Timbuktu, which for centuries was synonymous with inaccessibility.
With portable cameras and affordable data and non-linear digital editing, I think this is a golden age of documentary filmmaking. These new technologies mean we can make complicated, beautifully crafted and cinematic films about real-life stories.
Cars and cameras are the two things I let myself be materialistic about. I don't care about other stuff.