1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?
At the moment, I am in love with my fiber optic cable TV. How different would my life have been if I had been able to watch opera and foreign films on TV? (Or Queer as Folk!)
2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?
Um, my husband's smartphone - not smartphone's generally, just HIS, which chirps every time he gets a damn Facebook notification. For example, in the middle of his romantic restaurant birthday dinner. (Hey people! Quit sending Eric emails after 5! He can't NOT check it! It makes his wife exasperated!)
3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?
I am the last broadcast radio listener. I was crushed that my walkman brand radio got terrible reception at my gym, and I had to fall back on my iPod.
4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?
Encouraging, especially as barriers to artistic creation and distribution get knocked down. There's a democratization at work that's wildly exciting. I wish it were more thorough-going (which is to say, it's cheaper to make a movie or a record than ever, but you still need to buy the computer, and the leisure to work on your project. So most people are still excluded.)
5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.
I don't know - maybe more connection to our food? Generally, I think this is a great time to be alive, and the technology (and the democratization I mentioned above) is part of that. Maybe I'd want to recapture a cultural aesthetic of creating rather than consuming - singing around the piano instead of listening to records, cooking rather than drive-through - because I think people would have much fuller, more joyful lives. So maybe the way to begin the process is to help people come to grips with what's missing in conventionally successful lives.