Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Lazy Luddite

Despite that fact that I have always declared myself to be a Luddite, it would seem that I am a bit too lazy to be a really good one.  I do have moments where I consider defenestration to be the only real solution to my technological woes.  And of course, stomping on things can be truly satisfying.  But I always seem to stop just short of this truly Luddite action and carry on using, though slightly grudgingly, all the most modern sorts of technology I claim to hate.  I have thought about it and I think the reason is honestly that I am too lazy to be a good Luddite.

Throwing your laptop out the window might be satisfying for a few minutes.  Then the realization of all the things you have to do over will slowly sink in.  What about all those photos I put on it?  I don't have them saved elsewhere because that requires more technology and effort and time.  And all those random documents I have on it.  Variations of CVs and resumes that I really don't want to have to recreate.  I would die of sheer boredom.  Then there is the fact that killing off your current technological device just means you'll have to replace it with another one.  As much as the old device irritates you at least you know how it works.  New devices have all these complicated features that don't work the way that logic would dictate they should.  I suppose what I'm really saying is that I hate change more than I hate technology.  I could reasonably adopt the saying "change is bad, new is terrifying" as my personal motto.

Phone overshadowed by a hammer
Nice little phone minding its own business.  Suddenly senses that it is being followed.
That's really the problem with technology.  They never leave things alone.  They "improve" all the things that worked until they don't work anymore, until they become the least logical way of doing things, and make your life more complicated.  At the same time the real problems never seem to be fixed or worked on.  It seems like the masters and makers of the technology change things simply for the sake of creating change and that is the epitome of evil as far as I am concerned.  So, in this way I am truly a Luddite.  I see technological advances as challenging my way of life and I resent them.  I like the old way.  I understand it.  I do not want it to change.

Phone fallen and screaming at a hammer's shadow
Heart pounding the phone runs.  It trips on a curb and falls.  Then it sees its attacker and screams.
Perhaps you are wondering why all of a sudden I felt a need to rant about technology.  What precipitated this outburst, you ask yourself?  My phone.  My nice, easy, uncomplicated phone decided that it had worked for too many years.  It decided it was done working and that it needed to die, quite suddenly, in the middle of the night dragging me into yet another clash with technology.  I suppose it is rather fitting that my phone chose to die here in Leeds, that my technological struggle takes place here in this city.  You see, Leeds is located in what used to be the West Riding of Yorkshire, which along with Lancashire, saw the largest disturbances from the Luddite movement.  So it really is fitting that my old ways are being challenged here.

Phone dead from hammering
Incoming call from Hammer de Muerte.  A proud moment for a true Luddite.
So, being that I hate technology and change so much, and seeing that I think that technology is pretty much magic, see my thoughts on flash drives, the question is really this... why don't I seize this opportunity to really turn Luddite and do my convictions proud?  Because it requires too much work, that's why.  As much as I complain about the way technology ruins my life, it really has to be said that it makes many things easier.  For instance, I do prefer actually writing with a pen in my hand.  I find it easier to think that way.  But who has the time to hand write essays and then type them out later?  I barely had time for all the reading I had to do as it was.  Typing out essays as I went and using flash drives was the lazy option.  When it came down to it I preferred to spend less time writing and rewriting by hand, be a bit lazy and sleep a bit more.  Have you ever met a college/university student who got enough sleep?  I haven't.  Of course, this doesn't mean that I don't write by hand.  I do keep a hand-written journal.  On occasion I scribble down random story ideas and whatnot and I absolutely adore writing in this way, with real pen and paper.  It just feels better.

Hammer overshadowed by a smart phone
But wait.  What is that?  The Luddite begins to tremble in fear.
The same can be said for communication.  I prefer writing and receiving real letters to emails, but emails are so much faster.  I do still write letters but I write less of them because it is easier to email and get responses faster.  Then too you can write one email and send it to everyone.  Rewriting the same letter over and over again can get tiring.  Then of course, if you want to discuss instant communication, phones are even better.  I never really loved talking on the phone but it simply cannot be avoided.  It is the quickest way to organize things and provides instant communication despite distance.  My mistrust of technology is slowly being overcome by my real laziness.  I like convenient things.  If one phone call can sort out all necessary plans I prefer it to ten emails back and forth.  And if I can stay in touch with family and friends on multiple continents by suffering through a little technology, then it is worth it.  A smart phone can do all of these things and more you say?  Hmm.  It doesn't mean I like technology, or even trust it, but it would seem that I will continue using it.

Smart phone the enemy of the Luddite
Is that a smartphone? Oh God the horror!
I am the worst Luddite ever.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Flash Drives: The Inner Workings

First, I should explain that my views on technology are rather odd.  Basically I believe that technology is magic.  Electricity is definitely magic.  All the explanations of how it is supposed to work has only convinced me that this is the truth.  All electronic devices are therefore run on magic. 

Let me use an example.  I have my own strange explanation for how flash drives work.  If you have ever looked at computer components and thought they looked like miniature cities you may understand where I am coming from.  Now, I don't know about your flash drive, but inside mine there is an entire city of miniature scribes.  Lots of very little scribes.

Computer parts or city of miniature scribes

So, when I put the flash drive into my computer the scribes run out of their little city and into my computer.  They copy my word documents down super fast, there are lots of them so it doesn't take long even though they are super small.  Then they all return to my flash drive with my document stored on their little writing tablets.  They archive it neatly away in little piles that are quickly accessible if I need it again.

If I decide that I need to read my document on another computer I put in my flash drive and all the scribes run in and copy my document down again quick as lightning.  They are really good at their job.  They are scribes of the highest quality.  They are highly literate, and well-versed in different scripts (or fonts as you modern people would call them).  It takes hours of practice to attain such perfection in their art.

This is why you must remove flash drives safely.  To remove flash drives unsafely is irresponsible as it circumvents the safety features of the device and could risk the well-being of your scribes.  Clicking remove safely is the final warning that the flash drive is about to be removed and all your scribes should make sure they are safely back inside.  It clearly sets off the flashing red lights and sirens.  This saves them from danger and you from frustration when your document is incomplete or simply missing because you left behind some scribes with key parts of your document written down.  There is simply no other reasonable explanation for why you would need a safely remove feature.  It is clearly to protect the magical city of scribes from harm.

That is how flash drives really work.  Magic.  How else do you propose the miniature scribes got in there?