To keep life simple and embrace reality: Always a challenge.
It has always been a challenge trying to keep things simple. It is not a conundrum of modern times. Things have a habit of becoming way too complicated, way too fast. It is all too easy to get caught up in details. After all, that’s where the devil is.
Society today is driven by details. Computers are partially responsible for this. Computers are nothing–if they aren’t about details. All those zeros and ones must be in the exact right place if you expect the machine to do anything.
When I got my first computer, a Commodore 64, and began to enter my first programs, I realized that I was beginning to think more like the computer than the computer was thinking like me. Back then, there was a lot of hype about artificial intelligence … I’m still waiting.
With computers, things are always black or white, on or off, zero or one. There can be no inbetween. It is possible to make computers talk about gray but it takes a helluva lot of programming. For computers, it must always be either/or.
Computers were supposed to make our lives simple. Give us the oodles of leisure time. Free us to do the critical thinking that only humans can do. Somehow this concept has been lost over the years.
I love computers. I love the things they add to my life. I love the easy access to information the Internet provides.
However, I do not love waiting in long checkout lines because the company chooses to use their computer system to check up on their employees instead of ensuring a speedy checkout for its customers. Not to mention the numerous robot phone calls that never come at a convenient time.
“Keeping it simple is harder than it sounds. Things have a habit of becoming way too complicated way too fast. Still, we need to take a breath—embrace the forest not just the tree.
Published: January 3, 2011