Friday, July 26, 2013

Tech Thoughts

While responding to a friend's post, my thoughts took me to some places I hadn't visited since early college. I like thinking about where and how we push tech and where and how it pushes us. I've always loved the fiction and speculative writing that tackle the implications of, say, networked brains, quantum computing and simulated humanity.

That said, I'm also kind of a Luddite.

Well, I'm as close as you can get to being one in this day and age. It took me a decade before I got a cell phone and I insisted on keeping the clunky, analog cancer brick for as long as I could, because it had secondary and tertiary uses as a blunt force weapon and paperweight. I'm not afraid of using Google Maps, but I will "case" a place myself, familiarizing myself with landmarks and points of egress days before before formally visiting it. I sometimes act like I've never heard of flash drives, uploading to the cloud, or special phone apps, because I'd rather have something more tangible in my hands than a collection of ones and zeroes that disappear when I stand too close to a magnet or when I'm forced to bake, on a bus with broken air-conditioning, with my precious electronics in heavy EDSA traffic.  

I insist on twentieth century solutions to twenty-first century problems, partly because I don't quite trust the tech. Dexter's number one rule is that tech breaks and breaks at all the inconvenient opportunities. Obviously, I'm the product of my times. I used to jump-start a primitive hard drive with a hammer and a nail. I was always frustrated when the sun depolarized the iron in my Opus(!!!!) floppy disks, robbing me of shared games and hours of really dumb basic code I wrote myself.

Is it because I live here that I always assume that the tech will always be secondhand, borrowed and somewhat faulty, or will fail completely or will always have near-nonexistent support? And what will this mean for me, if I take up a job that requires chronicling new tech as it trundles off the assembly line?

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