Thursday, December 23, 2010

I can't fix that

Technology in the modern day is wonderful to some, a bane to others. We live in a constantly changing world where everything is getting smaller and smaller due to advances in microprocessors, circuitry and electronics in general. Years ago it was science fiction to have the Dick Tracy arm band. Now, that is reality.

But what has it cost us? What are the benefits? In the everyday world, what have we used this new bounty for? We have a great new way to listen to music. It's an MP3 player in some form or variety. Back in the day it was a transistor radio. Guess which one you could listen to for free? Today, it's expanded televisions with high-def capability that you plug into the world of cables and satellites. Back in the day, television was plugged into a wall. Guess which one is/was free to watch.

Many things in the past were user fixable. I had to have a repairman come out to see why the television got such a crappy reception. He had to make adjustments, run a series of diagnostics, cut wires, change out a video box to fix the system. As handy a person as I generally am, not something anyone can do by themselves in the present day. Simple repairs now take an electronics degree and extra training on top of that.

The new electronic world has given us the computer and placed it in nearly every home. From my talks with my customers, about 85 percent of them can't do much more than turn it on and email or watch videos. Everything else is a mystery to them. A very small percentage of the population even knows what type of printer cartridge their machines use.

So, what have we wrought from all this technology? What benefit do we reap, the average citizen? We have spent colossal dollars to listen to music, play solitaire, watch television, talk on a phone and read what some idiot posts on an internet blog. Has this made anyone's life easier? Not in my book. Other than a few random acts during a week, most technology to the average Joe is highly overrated.

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