As technology changes and evolves there are fewer things on earth that have yet to be touched by the far-reaching tentacles of the Digital Age. In fact, the Digital Age has grown to be so dominant with its infinite number of tentacles that it now wails on octopi and other creatures limited to a finite number of tentacles as relics of a bygone era.
The latest thing to be revolutionised by the Digital Age is one of the planet’s most pure, free and uncomplicated beauties – the common brook. We’ve all, at one time or another, happened upon a small brook somewhere: a walk in the woods that comes to a small stream of water; an exploration underneath an inner-city bypass that reveals a hidden creek; a late night walk through a forest with your cousins to prove there’s no Blair Witch that ends when the littlest cousin falls into an unexpected water hole. With the exception of this last example we almost always associate brooks with nature and natural beauty.
The only problem with brooks is that for the most part they’re far away. Whether you live in the city, the desert or the Antarctic the closest brook to you is probably one you conjure up in your mind as part some anti-stress/happy place brain exercise. Well, this is no longer the case.
Scientists – otherwise known as employees of hardware and software companies – have come up with a device that brings the common brook to you no matter where you are. The device is called an ebrook. It’s a small tablet-like, touchscreen appliance that beams live video feeds of brooks back to the ebrook user in real-time.
Just imagine the possibilities of the ebrook. Never again will you need to take your printed photos of brooks with you on the train to look during your journey. Never again will you need to haul sealed plastic bags of pebbles and fresh water to and from school. Never again will you have to go into a dusty of old bookshop and search through the piles of thick, boring books just to find one that has pictures of brooks in it.
Suddenly the world (of brooks) is at our fingertips. But the owners of the land on which the brooks are found – be they government or private – are cautious. Will people still come to see brooks in person? Will people steal brooks when they are digitised? If the pirating of music and movies can explode on the internet, then what’s stopping the same happening for brooks too? People don’t steal brooks from real life so they shouldn’t be allowed to steal ebrooks either.
Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, has been offering their own ebrooks for a while already and say that in recent months sales of hard covered ebrooks – that is brooks that are hard to cover and are therefore mostly ignored by tourists – have brought in more money than tourists themselves.
Even though the technology is only just taking off now, ebrooks are the only thing the people of these communities can talk about. Park rangers talk about what ebrooks will mean for forest preservation (although this link is still fairly unclear). Wildlife conservations don’t know much about ebrooks but they’re excited about them. And just about everyone talks about how, with this new technology, surely the quality of the brooks themselves will improve dramatically.
We may still not have settled on adequate and reasonable prices for ebrooks – it turns out that putting a price on life’s free and simple pleasures is harder than it sounds – but this doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to talk about. And if you’re not already talking about ebrooks then attend an ebrook seminar or workshop or conference before it’s too late. The future of the common brook will only happen once and you don’t want to miss out on that!