Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

the great wonderful world vs. just having a coffee

I've been slogging through "Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations" by Thomas L. Friedman... I think I'm going to throw it to the side unfinished.

It's just going on and on about how great technology is because the world is changing so fast, we are instantly connected to each other, data transmission and storage has gone so much faster. Moore's law, github, open source, semi-conductors, intel, 3G, 4G, 8G whatever, and now we can add sensors to create the internet of things and track the exact time we should fertilize cows so nobody has to think anymore because machines will do all the work and the world is awesome!

I still think back a lot on this coffee maker we bought about a year ago. We splurged on a "nice" new coffee maker. About three weeks after we bought it I went to make coffee and couldn't... it wouldn't drip, it just went BEEP BEEP BEEP and a light went on that said it had to be cleaned. So I googled and followed instructions to clean it and inserted a new filter but nothing worked. It still said it had to be cleaned.

When you want coffee, and all you get is a machine going BEEP BEEP BEEP, you start thinking about murder.

So we returned it and bought the simplest coffee maker we could find, with just a single on off switch, and kept our camping french press out for backup.

If the world is so amazing, why is it sometimes so awful?

My liberal friends would say it's fucking capitalism, giving companies the incentive to push out disposable crap. I returned that coffee maker. It may very well have gone straight to the landfill. Those same liberal friends would say that the mark of good technology is free time, if the world was really progressing we'd all be down to 20 hour work weeks. We're not thinking about people enough.

My mechanic friends, who happen to be conservatives, would say it's idiots. Some idiots think we can use computers that nobody understands to enable any idiot to make coffee, but since the designers are idiots too, the coffee maker is shit. Good technology is only achievable when we listen to experts and users, run tests, and hear people out when they're frustrated. Embrace our human side and quit taking shortcuts! Oddly enough, they'd also say we're not thinking about people enough.

Maybe I should have been more persistent, talked to the company who made my coffee maker (I can't even remember it now) and ask them what they thought of the bad reviews. Or maybe I should never have bought it in the first place. I do know that moore's law and putting chips in everything and making the world "smart" has sometimes made it worse. Use your power for good, or for evil. Like all power.
Tags: books, technology
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