There’s a crap for that. Stick a pitchfork me. I’m done. Well done. By Satan himself.
The future’s so blight I gotta dig graves. A pitchfork works well for that, right?
So, technology. Let’s talk about that. It’s here. It has landed on our chests like a motherfucking elephant in a COPD commercial. Let me posit this: How’s that technology working out for you?
In a moment I’m going to share my ideas regarding the three-pronged attack on our very existence by technology. (Get it? Pitchfork?) I used to think there was only one prong but that was before spring break. I’ve since expanded my thinking (as well as something else).
Call it my Grand Unification Theory of Technology (GUTT) if you will. It’s time for a gut check. Spoiler alert: Mine has been spilled open by a pitchfork. Dammit. They let anyone own these things.
It’s time to stick ’em with the prongy end. Make the jump and I’ll get to the point.
What Is Technology?
Before we begin we should define the term. Technology is anything new that can be sold for money. This process is usually undertaken long before it’s ready. To facilitate this, the sales team tells lies about what it will do. The lies are exciting. They are intoxicating. They are shiny. Only after you buy do you grok the lie. Of course, by then, it’s too late.
Prong One – Just You Wait
This is the one that has repeatedly pushed me to the breaking point. The spinning loading animation.
Mr. Spinner is now my best friend in the world. He visits me morning, noon, and night. I’m far more intimate with him than friends and family or any lover I’ve ever known. And he’s not a friendly BFF, either. He represents a Christian Grey lording over my entire existence.
If computers are doubling in speed every 18 months, why are we waiting more than ever? Scientists project that the average person now spends 42% of their day staring at these animated icons.
What could possibly go wrong? The “Internet of Things” threatens us by saying: “If it can be connected to the internet it will.” No one is stopping to ask if we should. That’s a far more important question.
What will be connected to the Internet of Things? Your watch. Your eyeglasses. Other things like refrigerators, washing machines, cars, toasters, blenders, coffee makers, etc. Even your cordless power drill. “Yes, Drilly. A graph of average torque by screw would be really helpful.”
Say it’s the middle of the night and you’re parched. You reach for the refrigerator but it won’t open. You check the built-in display. “I’m sorry, Tom. I’m afraid I can’t do that right now. Loading…”
Here’s an example of my wife and I watching HBO NOW the other night: Tom B. Taker – Vine Video
Prong Two – Betterment
Despite what TV commercials say new isn’t always better. It can’t be all “pro.” There has to be some “con.” And that’s the part they never tell you about.
I have a CD collection. In the past, if I wanted to listen to a song, I had to get off my ass, go to the cabinet, find the bloody thing and put it in the player. The player would only hold one CD. It would play the songs in order then stop. If I wanted more I had to rinse and repeat.
Not any more! Now I can load them all into my fancy iTunes library in my computer. (Assuming they read at all. I tried a disc I bought in 1985 and apparently it suffers from disc rot and is no longer readable.) For the sake of argument, let’s assume it actually worked.
It didn’t take long until I had more than 13,000 songs in my library. At last, the promised land. I could listen to the songs in any order. I didn’t have to get off my ass each time. It was magic.
But wait. What’s this? The songs have little glitches, pops, skips, and other audible flaws called “artifacts.” Even phonographs that were eaten by needles (on purpose) were better than this.
Programmers aren’t perfect. Their mistakes are called “bugs.” That’s probably because they all deserve to live in the Roach Motel.
What happens when software is no good? I just tried to deposit a check using my iPad and the Bank of America “app.” It accepted my image and then… poof! Goodbye. Too bad. So sad. Not even an error code. This is called a “crash.” Just like what the stock market does.
Sometimes you get lucky and get an actual error message. “An error has occurred.” Oh, yes. Thank you. That is so much more helpful. This is truly a great day. Thank you, technology, for showing us the way.
Recently while “enjoying” our Netflix the show will do weird things like stop in the middle, abort to the menu, pixelate like you’re wearing Coke bottles as glasses, or go back and automatically play from the beginning. It’s getting so bad that we actually do the wave and high five each other when streaming actually works. “We did it! We beat the odds! We got to watch a show!”
The Apple TV has gotten really stubborn. It’ll crap and try to blame everything on us. But, in a miracle worthy of sainthood, it actually gives us an error code. “3906.” What does it mean? Is it a Bible verse? I’m familiar with John 3:16 but not this one. Maybe it’s a reference to Leviticus: “He who views the pixels of the LCD shall be abomination and rot with the shrimp in ye sea.”
I searched the internet and, when it wasn’t showing loading animations, eventually learned that Apple does not define the code. You’re on your own. We’re not going to help. And, Apple likes to add, “Fuck you for buying our products.” Didn’t the salesperson explain that part when you made your purchase?
Technology is a revolving wheel of pain. Once you’re on board it becomes the method of torment to spur you to buy more, at least until you hear voices in your head and climb the nearest clock tower and yell, “Loading!”