Techy Madness: Are We Enslaved to the “Machines?”

There they go.

The hordes of techy acolytes stormed the stores to throw hundreds of dollars on the altar of the Apple god. This was apparently required as the latest incarnation of one of the company’s products supposedly offered even more …but of what?

For the cohort of those who are less enchanted with such technology, this fanaticism is a mystery. Actually, the entire enterprise of acclimating to advanced smart phones or computers is positively fraught with frustration and consternation of confusion.

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What cannot be fathomed is why is it necessary for consumers to purchase even more expensive phones or computers when the model they already have is probably more than adequate. It appears to be something akin to mass hysteria… bordering on a cult.

In general, humans above a certain age are adverse to joining cults…they’ve done all the communal actions in younger years and now want calm and stability with known objects preferably with knobs, not buttons, whose operation poses no conundrums of any sort.

The thinking goes something like this:

technologyHow has the technological industry managed to convince consumers they must buy – at great expense – each new product no matter how insignificant the “improvement”…sometimes the improvements turn out to be failures, detriments.

It is widely circulated opinion that Windows 8 is hardly worth the screen it’s written on. But try to buy a Windows 7 and you are relegated to nearly dumpster diving, while anyone mad enough to insist on retaining Windows XP is an object of derision bordering on scorn.

Many in this experienced cohort have been interacting with computers since the early 1980s.They’ve seen many different systems and actually developed a fondness for one or another. However, were they allowed to enjoy the familiarity of, say, the program named “MultiMate” which is a perfectly fine word processing program though very limited in scope?

Of course not.

Just as they might have been pried from their Smith Corona electric typewriters to enjoy the marvels of the IBM Selectrics they were then pushed down the path of personal computers, which morphed at an accelerating rate to this very day.

Now such people are not adverse to technological advances. It is the mechanics of operating these ingenious inventions that cause confusion.

You see, this particular cohort has a limitation similar to early models of computers.

Actually, their “brain disks” are full…there’s little space to insert additional information.

They become annoyed and ultimately peeved they must constantly “upgrade” their computers and phones. All of this entails learning new operating systems, novel screen configurations, a host of visual and keyboard commands that will simply not fit into the limited brain disk space available at their stage of life. To say nothing of the usually great expense.

Think of it this way. What if every year car manufacturers redesign appearance as well as operational features of vehicles.

For example, let’s say someone decides the car doors should be on the roof because it provides better ventilation. Or the dashboard disappears completely. And one must play a guessing game to know the speed the vehicle is traveling, unless a myriad of commands are committed to memory which will allow access to that speed dial. Let’s say, for example, no apparent gas gauge can be seen. A series of commands on a lever must be executed before that important information can be found.

Best of all, the designers decided the vehicle’s steering wheel is vastly outdated. In its place is a miniature keyboard mounted on the door panel which must be operated with the driver’s left hand…as the right hand is engaged holding a portable rearview mirror which is considered far too backward to be mounted on the windshield.

tech carImagine having to renegotiate the operation of an automobile every year as designers ramp up what they consider advantages for people who just want to be able to get into their car and go. Without having to hire an automotive geek, at considerable cost, to teach them how this current auto design works, knowing full well that next year it will be declared obsolete and consumers will be in the unenviable position of having to go back decades to relearn how to drive a motor vehicle.

At least car manufacturers provide an owner’s manual to explain, in detail, the operation of the vehicle; that’s more than tech companies do. You buy and are on your own…instruction is often the hated phrase, “just play with it” – what an insult.

If the basic question is asked…why is it necessary to constantly “upgrade” technological products, one might focus on an additional question…who are the richest people in the country these days?

Why, it is the people who have apparently hypnotized humans to be willing to turn over precious, never-to-return-time playing video games, and parting with hundreds of hard-earned dollars to be part of that cult worshiping at the shrine of ever-increasing speed in communications.

There’s some delusion here…becoming convinced the “getting” of contact and information is akin to actually accomplishing something.  Anything marketed as an upgrade gets attention.

Ask the scores of techy millionaires if this is a good trade…the late Steve Jobs was quoted in media interviews stating his children were not permitted unlimited access to devices which made him rich.

Advancement is a marvel and appreciated.

We know the Apollo astronauts’, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin’s computers had less “power” than today’s cell phones. But they had something more powerful…their brains.

Experienced computer users don’t want to waste the dwindling time available to them by having to decipher some twenty-year olds’ latest brainstorm of a techy improvement.

Actually,“MultiMate” was a fine word processor for writers if the geeks had simply created a better printer and means to connect to the Internet. But that wouldn’t have generated the millions flowing to tech companies.

The entire tech industry is like the “Soup Nazi” on the old Seinfeld show.

No …you can’t have what you want. What you know.

You must want what tech companies are selling…

“You’ll like it…it’s an upgrade.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (not to be confused with the political activist and author from the Revolutionary War period.)
Save America as Founded

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