Why Lennon's vision is becoming a reality in our modern world
IF you had to carry all the things you owned in a giant sack everywhere you went, how much would actually keep?
Snails cart their actual houses about on their backs, albeit moving at what can only be described as snail-pace.
And camels come with two big water bottles wedged in their spine.
But what if you had no home to put your stuff in and instead had to carry all you possessed at all times? What would you keep and what would you ditch?
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I ask the question now because the answer, I feel, is that, with some clever packing, you could take a whole lot more things with you now, in 2013, than you ever could in 1983.
The reason you can is called cloud storage and, whether or not you think this is some kind of celestial cupboard, it will certainly play a big part in all of your lives from this point on.
This is, in my opinion, potentially mankind's saving grace. Bear with me.
Cloud storage is basically...well, I wasn't actually too far off with my earlier facetious description. Picture a giant shelf in the sky. On that shelf are all your books, DVDs, CDs, your bank statements and partially-completed novels, your school homework and coursework, your family tree – everything, more or less, which can be classed as data.
Then imagine that everybody has one of these giant shelves and that, together, they form a whacking big book case in the sky, with everybody's things together in one glorious display.
Only, none of the things on the shelves are real and neither are the shelves themselves. It is all just electronic data passing across the airwaves.
This is cloud storage.
All those albums you bought on iTunes? All those books for your Kindle? All those games you play on your iPad? All those films you watched on Netflix? All the pages you view on the internet? All just data, all invisible.
There has been a decline in the sales of real things, a boom in electronic data. And, on the one hand, the consequences are very much real. Look at what happened to HMV.
But, in my opinion, the upsides are huge. If everyone switched their paper books for electronic ones, how many trees could be saved? If everyone switched their DVD box sets for streaming shows online, the world would be far less cluttered with plastics.
The further away I move from a life tied down with kilos of possessions, the happier I seem to feel.
So let it go. Imagine the freedom of having all those things, those books, CDs, DVDs and so on, stored remotely, invisibly, but there whenever you want.
I am aware that people grow attached to things; that there is nostalgic value in certain beloved pieces of jewellery or clothing, maybe even a signed book.
And I understand people enjoy the physical act of reading, of browsing the spines of films, of going to a library. I understand there are concerns with security of digital data.
But being able to enjoy all the things you once did without exacting such a devastating toll on the earth's resources has to be a good direction to go in.
John Lennon once sang: "Imagine no possessions; I wonder if you can."
Now, his vision is not far from reality.