Classical Sass

Myth or Fact (tech edition)

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Tech plays an important role in almost everyone’s life.  Even if you are against tech, then tech’s role in your life is that you don’t want it there, and excluding it is an active, consistent, current that runs through everything you do, all the time.  Unless you are in an area that just doesn’t have tech, are not exposed to it, and have no thoughts of it because for you it just doesn’t exist, and never did, tech is a sneakily pervasive sucker that sinks its poorly understood claws into all of our basic functions.

This is particularly the case for those who love tech, and, additionally, use it to manage a chronic illness.  (me.)

However.

1. It is acceptable to have a wide margin for what is considered reliable when dealing with new technology.

Myth.  The way our economy works is via competitive sales: this item functions more efficiently than this other one, this gadget gets RIGHT answers and yours doesn’t; here is the over-simplified scientifickish explanation to ‘prove’ it, etc.  When you invent a new device, and then advertise that it works SO MUCH BETTER than the last one, it should a) do that, and b) have an actual, factual, reason for doing so.  The vague claims of better materials, different sensors, whathaveyou, aren’t enough.  If you have new tech, PATENT THAT SHIT if you’re worried about not making any money, or fucking share your find with everyone, so we can all benefit.  Stand by your potentially-not-shitty creation, and make it actually work.

2. Technology is an acceptable way of making our lives easier.

Fact.  I won’t claim that it is always acceptable, but I can tell you that my blood sugar control with a pump is in an entirely different realm of controlled when compared to my multiple-injections-per-day-routine.  Do I sometimes make myself multiply and divide in my head, just for practice?  Yeah, a lot.  Doesn’t change the fact that my graphing calculator was the reason I wanted to go to math class at all in high school.  Does making a chart or graph by hand mean that I understand its contents more easily than if I just entered in the info and had a computer do it for me?  Not really.  In order to make the tech work, you have to know how to use it.  I’ll understand that graph no matter how it’s created as long as I’m the one creating it, and it will probably look better and be done faster if it’s with a computer.

*Caveat: I prefer customer service when it is rendered by people, not pre-recorded voice options.  Granted, many of these people have no idea what the hell is going on – anywhere, much less at their jobs, and let alone the current phone call, but I still prefer people helping me.  Getting angry at a machine is unrewarding at best.

3. There needs to be an opinionated GPS upgrade. 

Fact.  The apathetic, vaguely gendered, monotone, voice that tells me how to circuitously arrive at my destination is Really Fucking Irksome.  It is completely implausible that something, machine or not, resembling a human voice wouldn’t utterly lose his/her sanity while trying to tell me how to transport myself somewhere, and the everlasting non-judgment from the machine insults my integrity.

I mean, you could keep the placid, neutral, tone and still make things less awful with a few simple changes.  How hard would it be to replace the vacant ‘recalculating’ comment with a heavy sigh?  Add in an ‘I fucking told you’ and a ‘this is what happens when you don’t listen,’ and you’ll have a GPS that will piss me off less when it takes the dumbest possible route to go someplace.  Tack on a ‘Next time you fuck with my advice, I will take your ass to shit-shattering, saliva-icicled, Siberia,’ and I’ll be a happy, albeit lost, driver.

4.  Roku rocks my world, as does instant streaming.

Fact.  I get a little scared when big companies go down, mostly because I don’t know what that means for the people working there or for us, erm, economically.  Or something.  But instant streaming and my Roku are beautiful, unfaltering, unicorns of nightly laziness that live in my bedroom.   Renting/watching movies and TV shows without having to leave my house could only be bested by the arrival of a restaurant that delivers local and organic meals to my door within a half hour of my order being placed.

5.  Cell phones.

MYTH FUCKING MYTH THEY ALL FAIL OH GOD I HATE THEM ALLand then the battery must always be recharged at all times recharging and the fucking screen always being scratched and like 7 out of 4,542 apps do anything as in one thing which is usually inane anyway and eating voicemail and delayed-instant-text-paradox and no signal despite phone towers being built inside my very own sphincter and they still don’t work in elevators at least half the time and if I leave my house without one I have a panic attack-meltdown combo that involves gibbering and drool and not even knowing how in hairy hell I ever managed without one but OH NOES musn’t let water touch it because despite taking pictures of mars and inventing solar powered cars of course water will kill my phone every damn time and blue tooth is still a giant unfunny joke and SWEET BUT SALTED JESUS WHY IS THE BATTERY DYING YET THE FUCK AGAIN

6.  It is ok that science and technology take social and monetary precedence over the arts. 

Myth.  This goes back to the first Myth/Fact post involving the importance of the arts in our lives.  Some technology just costs more than most things in the arts category, but disregarding the arts in order to oversell the benefits of science and technology is unbalanced and unhealthy at best.  Of course, the reasons behind most of the funding choices have little to do with any natural or fundamental preference for science over the arts, and more to do with the distribution and exchange of control.

There must be a way to take the corruption out of money, but maybe that involves taking the corruption out of power.  Until we change how we define and understand power, it seems likely that corruption will continue its inexorable spread through our currency.  Without the elimination, or at least, reinterpretation, of control and power, I’m not sure there’s any way to completely rectify the way we handle our slippery middle man, or how it affects our reigning cultural and social preferences.

7. User friendly tech is an oxymoron for most people because most people are not the geniuses that invent said tech

Fact.  Also: inexcusable.  I don’t know what backdashes and ones and zeros and brackets mean in the world of computers and programming.  I was taught basic programming in high school, but a) that was a million years ago; tech changes faster than famous people do, and b) if I can’t remember why I’ve gone into the kitchen, and must repeat the action several times before anything is accomplished, how is it reasonable for me to remember rudimentary programming skills and expect them to help me with current tech?

Caveat- it’s gotten better.  The problem with user friendly bonanza is that it involves us needing to know less and then creates an intensified need for specialists to alleviate any issues that arise.  Kinda like car or home repair.  Then the issue goes back to corruption, and how the opportunities for it to thrive increase as our general knowledge about specific services and products decreases.  I want to speak in support of educating ourselves about as much as possible so we can be self-sufficient, but the truth is that it is exceptionally time consuming.  And I believe in specialized trade (individual integrity and honesty aside); at its core, the issue is still art.  Being a specialist involves fine-tuning your abilities in a particular area, and that process is, and always has been, art.

8.  Firefly is gone and this continues to be heartbreaking.

Fact.  No explanation needed.

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