October 17, 2002

Oct 17 2002

This is brilliant, but for programmers only (or at least those familiar with programming languages), I’m afraid.

10:32 a.m.

And Lileks is a solid personal weblog/article site. I should note that the author is pretty solidly politically Conservative, but his opinions are well-grounded in what appears to be a lot of serious thought. Moreover, I find him to be extremely entertaining:

“The US party calls in mortar fire on the enemy positions. The UN party stands up, climbs over the lip of the trench, and recites Robert’s Rules of Order as it approaches the machine-gun positions. Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, for evil is specifically prohibited under Article 4, subclause B.” — J. Lileks, The Screed about Paul Wellstone

10:32 a.m.

And  here’s something John C. Dvorak says about the “Betrayals of Technology,” that technology really hasn’t made our lives better, just different. I can’t disagree.

Technology makes some things better, but it makes other things worse. It’s trade-off, and not always a balanced one. Look at e-mail: I have to make time to check my e-mail every day. And a lot of the time, I do it just so I can delete the spam for cheap Viagra. Sure, e-mail lets me hold some fascinating conversations, and keeps me connected in other ways using listservs and the like, but it’s at the expense of, say, half an hour a day. I’m spending one-fiftieth of my life reading and answering e-mail.

Or how about cel phones? Just think of the amount of time you spend turning your cel phone on and off, making sure you’re taking it with you, and learning new features. For a lot of us, it’s worthwhile, but there are significant costs to the experience.

What really concerns me about this is society’s perennial fascination with new technology. As soon as a new product is announced, if it sounds even vaguely useful, people start to praise it and lust after it. From Linux to PDAs to the Segway, the trend is the same. Do we really expect that the next innovation will come at no cost?

I knew I loved John C. Dvorak.

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