Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Living in a Cave

It's not uncommon to hear people who are frustrated with my skepticism about technology to say "Do you want to live in a cave?" They seem to think that living in a cave is a really bad thing. So far, no one who has expressed this sentiment has actually had an experience of living in a cave.
I have lived in a cave. Also in a yurt and other places that by modern standards would seem quite primitive. True, it's not especially comfortable, but to quote Royal Robbins, "what you gain in comfort you lose in intensity." When a cave is your home, your life is lived very intensely. There is a richness and vividness about it that living in a comfortable home with all the technology imaginable can never provide.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Space Shuttle Date Problem

The Space Shuttle can't launch in December because the computers can't handle the year-end date rollover. One of the most advanced technologies in the world is handicapped by a bad computer design.
view article

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

poetry: cell phone insanity

Here's a delightful poem about cell phones and insanity:

Writer's Almanac

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Twitter Nation

Here's very funny article poking fun at the "Twitter" fad: Twitter Nation

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Digital Television Conversion Mandate

I strongly object to the government aiding private business by mandating that all broadcast television must convert to digital.

I read that as of Jan 1, only 20% of homes are prepared for the analog-shutoff to occur on Feb 15. Which means that 80% homes are happy with analog tv.

So the FCC is forcing 80% of the country to adopt a new technology that they would not voluntarily pursue.

Unlike the transition from land line phones to mobile phones which most consumers have embraced because it offers them clear advantages, the tv conversion is not motivated by consumer demand.

So it's completely unfair to force television viewers to spend money to convert to digital television when they don't see any obvious benefit to themselves.

Personally I don't own a television nor do I watch television so it doesn't effect me a lot. But if we let the government get away with this mandate, then they could just as well mandate that I have to get rid of my land line phone and buy a mobile phone, which I don't want and can't afford.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Worst Technologies

What are some candidates for worst technology still in use today?

Nuclear Weapons / Power

Automobiles kill 40,000 people a year, as many as soldiers that were killed in the Vietnam War.
The infrastructure to support automobiles destroys landscapes, creates unsustainable suburban land use, and depletes non-renewable fossil fuels.

The evils of television have been well documented in books such as Gerry Mander's In the Absence of the Sacred. My biggest gripe is that it programs people to be little consumer robots.
The average adult sees 20,000 commercials every year. That's 20,000 times a person hears a message "You aren't good enough unless you buy something."

Nuclear weapons, obviously because of their huge destructive power. But also nuclear power because we don't know what to do with the waste.