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Grainy and Remote

Watching the historical news footage today, it feels like September 11, 2001 was a long time ago.

It is strange to think it has only been a decade. So much has changed.

Looking at the various clips, back then, some people had cell phones, but virtually no one had Blackberries or IPhones, let alone communication devices with cameras or video capability. There was no high definition television, and digital photography was stuck at the one or two megapixel level. There doesn’t appear to have been too many people carrying around digital video cameras.

The images of that day are grainy and remote. I feel a sense of frustration as I squint to try and improve the picture quality.

Not that I really ever wanted to see the face of someone jumping out of one of the twin towers, but if it were to have happened today, chances are that type of image would be available.

I have to wonder how much of changes in technology and workplace practices can be directly attributed to September 11, 2001. Today, it is often less attractive to establish your workplace in the centre of a hub. Working remotely, virtually has become the new normal. Huge investments have been made in enhancing security and improving the storage of materials. Policies about privacy, confidentiality, security, emergency procedures and violence prevention have become more robust.

By definition, grainy and granular are synonyms, but in the context of September 11th, they mean something very different. Before September 11th, we seemed to have lived in a world where many things were grainy and fuzzy. We liked the freedoms associated with the yet undefined. After September 11th, our world became detailed and granular. Some freedoms have been lost.

I’ve written a lot about September 11, 2001 over the years. It was a defining day in my life. I find it interesting though that I have to reread my passages in order to remember some of the details of that day now. With time, my memory has become as fuzzy as the pictures of that horrible day.

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