Archive for October 19, 2021

Technology Frustrations

Posted: October 19, 2021 in Uncategorized

Let me start off by saying how grateful I am for technology. The things it can do are truly amazing. When I consider all the advances I have seen in my lifetime, it boggles the mind. I can navigate just about anywhere in this hemisphere because a little box in. my car communicates with a satellite in space with a remarkable degree of accuracy. I can make graphics in minutes that used to take hours or days and do them in ways that would have boggled the mind. I have been able to communicate with people all over the World, created communications channels and stores accessible to anyone in the world who has an internet enabled device, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yessir technology is great…

when it works…

Today I an trying to finish the upload on a project I have been working on for months, and it is giving me fits. It simply will not do what I want it to do, and the thing is, what I am doing is nothing new. It’s something I have done thousands of times without a bit of exaggeration. The only difference I can see, is it used to work and now it doesn’t. Here are a few things to remember.

  1. There are a lot of things that can happen between the machine sending the image and the one receiving it. For starters, consider what is happening here. This little machine before me takes a complex set of instructions and turns them into a work of art. It then translates it into a code which it then broadcasts as an invisible signal through the air into our router which then forwards that signal to another machine somewhere else in the world. Now I’m not a technical wizard, and my understanding may be off, but the point is, it’s not, “Beam Me Up Scotty” complicated, but it’s pretty darn complex, to the point when I really consider it, I realize it’s all but miraculous. But most of the time I don’t think about it. I just want it to do all that stuff perfectly, every single time without a glitch, ever. Maybe we need to realize that that is highly unlikely and just learn to appreciate that this miraculous thing works most of the time.
  2. We have much for which to be grateful. We live in an era where we can spread messages like never before. Again the process is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good. Maybe we need to accept that it won’t work exactly the way we want it to every time, but look past that to what we can do, and be grateful for that.
  3. What if we took the time to consider that maybe if something works nearly flawlessly most of the time, and “decides” to fail you in this moment, that maybe there are bigger forces at work? What if the frustrating glitch is not really a glitch at all? What if it is the Lord trying to redirect you? Maybe what you are trying to do in a moment will create problems for a lifetime? What if the Lord wants you on something different at the moment? Think about it. It was a technology glitch that inspired this post. No glitch, no post, and I can’t help but feel this post was at least therapeutic to me. I’m really not sure I’m the only one who needs this today.
  4. Are we too dependent on technology? I remember when I was a kid, the first calculators became available. They did four things: add, subtract, multiply and divide, and they were expensive (yes I’m that old.) They called the pocket calculators, but to hold it in your pocket would have required some pretty hefty pockets. I remember teachers forbidding us to use them, because they said, “You won’t always have a calculator in your pocket.” Prophets they weren’t but their reasoning was solid. They wanted us to have the skills, to do the work on our own before they gave us the tools. I’ll be the first to admit technology has cost me some things. My penmanship, which has always been bad, is much worse since I type nearly all my correspondence. Even some of my art skills have faded a little since I can do everything so much cleaner, clearer and easier on my MacBook Pro, to the point where I force myself to do traditional art, just to stay sharp.

I’m of the believe that technology is value neutral, it is neither good nor bad. It is a tool, and as with any other tool it can be used for good or evil. I think we would be much happier as a species if we realized computers and other technology, while intuitive are machines, and they are dependent on a whole lot of factors to do all that we want them to do. They are not always going to do exactly what we want them to do when we want them to do it. Instead we should be grateful for what they can do and keep moving forward doing the best we can.