An Apps For Your Viagra Moment

At one time love was the many-splendored-thing in life. Now apps are. Like the new apps called "I'm Getting Arrested" which lets you press a single icon to notify friends and lawyers that you're being nabbed by the cops. What's going on here...!

My guess -- it's the many-splendored instant gratifications of our smartphones. Any day now I'm expecting an icon that lets you flash your Viagra Moment to your partner. Or heck maybe just to that hot number across the many splendored party. We've progressed from caves to skylines, from grunting for our food and sex to simply pressing our apps. Convenience is one thing; this growing network of instant gratifications is a whole something else.

If evolution is right, in another couple centuries homo sapiens will have grown smaller legs but larger thumbs as we really let-our-fingers-do-the-walking. To which I have no serious objection, because just like you I won't be here to endure it. However, the question is, do we really want to pursue this evolutionary path? More to the point, is there any way we can really stop it?

The blue-jeaned, twenty-something gang from Silcon Valley has no intention of stopping something so profitable. But then you think of the Biblical passage, "What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul?" You wonder how many of your fellow travelers have in their own way sealed some Faustian pact in order to gain that world. Alexander? Caesar? Elizabeth? Napoleon? Hitler? J. Robert Oppenheimer? Steve Jobs?

There are no written covenants to this effect by any of these world-changing men. Well, except Oppenheimer. He fathered the Manhattan Project that found an apps for the atom, thereby creating the Atomic Bomb. After watching the monstrous blast in its first test at Los Alamos, he put his troubled thoughts into these words: "We knew the world would not be the same again. As the Hindu Scripture Bhagavad-Gita writes: Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds..."

Oppenheimer was haunted the rest of his difficult life for what he had gained in this world. Will any of today's great minds...? Will any of us...? Or will there soon be an apps marked: "Cue applause for instant and deafening approval!"

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