Sunday, November 18, 2012

Delay in Post/ Technology & Me

Hello everyone!  Due to the craziness surrounding the couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I will have to postpone my post on body image and WOT until next weekend.  I would like it to be well-thought-out and insightful and have not had the time to do enough preparation for it yet.  In the meantime, I promised an entry on my love/hate relationship with technology.

"Er... I don't think you don't understand.  Technology hates me."

No one believes me when I say this for the first time.  They smile and nod in what they believe is a reassuring way that really tacitly implies, "Of course, dear.  We'll pretend like your technical ineptitude is really the fault of the machine if it makes you feel better."  Weeks later, those same people will grudgingly acknowledge that I know what I'm doing (for the most part; I'm no skilled programmer or anything), but they won't allow me near their electronics, because they fear The Girl Who Curses Technology.  Batteries dying long before they are supposed to, hard drive failures, BSOD, that ever-so-helpful internet message: We're sorry. Something went wrong; when it comes to computers, phones and tablets, I am Murphy's Law.  I spent a day sending text messages reading C!n yOU r#!$ %hI@ m#@@!g#??? because my phone somehow decided that the a, s, d, e, t and h keys were !, @, $, #, and % respectively, and apparently all other vowels needed to be capitalized.  

Yet, despite this, I have a smart phone and laptop and genuinely enjoy using them.  Yes, they allow me to communicate with others quickly and efficiently, and yes, they allow me endless sessions of Angry Birds (suggestion: don't play this in public.  Angry mutters of "Die, pigs, die!" don't go over well in a lot of places.), but mostly, I am amazed by how intricate the hardware is and how detailed the software can get.  For example: processors are now getting so small that electrons move discretely across transistors instead of continuously, an effect known as quantum tunneling, which basically means that they are running into the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle when trying to make transistors smaller; still, Intel is hoping to get them down to 5nm in the not-too-distant future (that's 50 atoms wide.  Yes, atoms.  It seems the race is on to keep proving Moore's Law.)   1080p TV's are rapidly becoming less impressive. The new Nexus 10, boasting the highest resolution of any tablet, sold out within 24 hours (Mr. Nerd will be insufferable when he gets his tomorrow... I think he was camped out in front of the computer). There are apps that will recognize song titles and writers when a phone is simply held up to a singer- that's cool. Scaling programs for all these differently sized screens turns out to be a lot more complicated than it might seem- that's interesting.  The Windows 8 operating system came out- that's... er...

In short, technology is fascinating.  Does it really matter that whenever I touch a device a string of 0's and 1's form the signal "Error: Does Not Compute"?  Should that prevent me from marveling at and enjoying the advances of modern science?  

I really don't think so.

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