Last week was a loser for me and some friends, acquaintances and colleagues. In a theatrical sense somebody might have titled it: “Week of the Dying Computer”. It seemed like everybody either crashed, bombed or let the holy smoke from the interior workings of these little communications marvels. My personal disaster required the purchase of a whole new unit.
In my drive for hope and change I surrendered to the siren call of advertising and the blare and clarion call to accept the fact new was necessary. I never expected that new wouldn’t equate to better. Of course that’s the problem with public relations and the presentation we all expect when somebody starts popping off with the words we want to hear.
We all want progress and we all expect our judgment is superior to all others looking at the same problem. Some of the shoppers have ideas and knowledge and experience in what to look for. Others like me take a little more convincing because of our ignorance. But our ego makes us believe we can’t appear ignorant. The sheer unpleasantness of the word drains our senses. We won’t allow others to see our less than commanding knowledge of what we’re trying to make decisions about.
I admit I’m no computer savvy guy. The typewriter sufficed for years. As a matter of fact, I was responsible for the development of correction fluid and correction tapes because I endangered rain forests for the millennial mistakes I’d make while working on manuscripts and school papers. It’s good to know the worth you’ve developed over the years.
There were warning signs the old box was going bad when I saw some of the mistakes actually took a severe amount of time to appear on the screen. Normally I could screw up immediately but the errors were crawling to the screen with a darned near arthritic pace more akin to cold molasses than a geriatric snail’s pace. I sauntered off to the local big box store and spent over a week getting to know and understand what was going wrong and the best models to assure I got the replacement I needed.
I examined the specifications and read the promotions and made really close comparisons between the obvious front-runners and the lesser gifts given us by the computational gods. I figured I knew what I was talking about. The day came and I was ready.
Armed with my heaviest credit card and all the good wishes of loved ones and colleagues more accomplished; I sallied forth to the same local big box store and spent over a week’s worth of wages for the latest, greatest computational whiz-bang Word Wrangler 2000 with auto-digitation redundancy and syntax modification technology. I assumed I’d qualified for an all-expense paid trip to Valhalla. My Pulitzer would be no more than a preliminary to my receiving a Nobel Prize for Literature.
How wrong I was. This bloody thing has the same temperamental attributes the other one had. The main difference is I make mistakes at a speed approaching that of light if not greater for the neutrino enhanced verbiage destabilizer and communications garbler built into the software platform advertised as “Wort by Micro-spore”. They were advertised as the latest, greatest and best since the invention of pencil erasers. In the pursuit of personal betterment, I became socially and practically dyslexic. I misinterpreted new as being different and different as being better.
It wasn’t altogether the smartest move I’d ever made but for the most part it is different and different does seem to be something I’m not accustomed to at times. But I have found that the difference most often before me is the fact I’m recognizing that nothing is different.
This new computer spells no better than the old one. It’s still gets it all wrong regularly and it’s costing me a ton of money in time wasted making corrections I was assured wouldn’t be necessary if I only accepted NEW as being better.
It’s sort of like politics; just because it’s newer doesn’t mean it knows better what it’s doing.
Thanks for listening.