Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another feeling digitized...

The recurring theme of my life has been the increasing reduction of sensations to digital electronic form. That a string of ones and zeroes could capture a Beethoven sonata or a photograph of a sunset was remarkable enough.

But we're seeing this translation move into the field. Already we can locate with digital signals (GPS). Now we can begin to quantify experiences that used to require muscle-memory and repetition to judge accurately.

For example, I have been pondering this spring how to explain the myriad judgment calls that setting the planter properly entails. Guaging the condition of the soil, observing the nature of the trench formed by the openers, adjusting for different fields and soils, etc. Viewed from a distance, it must sound like a mystic skill involving runes and ancient magic.

But at the advice of a friend we just added this new monitor for my JD 1790 planter.

[More info]

[Look - I realize Precision Planting advertises with FJ and has a infomercial on Channel 225 right after our shows, but I had ordered this thing long before I knew about that.]

The point is how much this will help Aaron. Trust me - he can do digital. And instead of learning the hard way and having listen to me struggle to put into words how to adjust down-pressure for example, he will have a much shorter learning curve.

This is the new paradigm for farm equipment operation, I think. Senses replaced with sensors; "feel" with readouts.

We'll let you know our experiences as soon as possible. And after Aaron gets it installed. (The silly beginner - he's reading the instructional manual!)


Ol James said...

George Jetson wasn't to far from reality,with all the electronic gadgets and technology being created. Before to long farmers will only have to put fuel in machinery and press a button...or will they?? I still remember George complaining to his wife about having to work 2 hours a week, that Mr. Spacely was a slave driver!!
I have to wonder about the report on immigration..I bet the economist would be singing a different tune if immigrants were affecting his lively hood. I just don't see a lot of economist crossing the border.
Futures, Realty, Hedging, Wall Street,etc..If you keep robbing Peter to pay Paul...sooner or later you are gonna be Petered-out...or get bailed out by the government.

Anonymous said...

just got the 20/20 too! I was hoping for long dry spring to "play" and get used to it. I have a feeling the mute buttons are going to be pushed a lot!! look forward to reading about your experiences.