Monday, December 23, 2013
I've had those with the computer and the modem today, and earlier I had problems between the incompatibility of my old scanner (it scans but now saves just rectangles of black) and the Maverick operating system I downloaded.
All that made me think of the dependency technically more elaborate systems create, the impossibility of guaranteeing the absence of all bugs, lice or mice, the difficulty of getting help from actual human beings (even when one pays for something) and the general helpless frustration I've felt today, trying to fix a problem two days before Christmas and while mostly talking to a very nice robot who can't understand my accented English.
Or suppose that you pay for a program which then malfunctions. You go to the website for help and find that there is NO WAY of sending a message that a person with at least one eyeball would read. Instead, you are told to go to the discussion forum where people who ask for help often post the oddest stuff ever and even if they don't, are just ignored. But of course you can get human help! Only you need to pay extra for it.
Another way of putting all that is to note that when you get a technical problem you better set aside about eight hours of your own time and labor first. Now price that at the going wage rate for you and then add the cost of that times the average number of failures per year to whatever you are paying for the program.
Those troubles do not mean that the cyberspace and what it offers wouldn't be wonderful in many ways. But imagine if car trouble was treated this way. Computer systems are now as complicated as cars, yet ordinary people are mostly expected to sort the problems out on their own.
Anyway, back to our regularly programmed contents now.