Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh, I love technology...

This weekend, the dishes were done in a timely manner, loads of laundry were completed, sheets changed, clothes put away. Obviously there's something wrong here. Oh right, procrastination is my best friend.

I spent much time huddled over articles and texts reading about computer-mediated communication and the command line, thanking my lucky stars I was born into a world where I don't have to write out notebooks full of code. This class is intense, but its intensity actually ensures that students read all of the materials that are piled high into our outreached, trembling arms. If you don't read and understand the material enough to write thousands of words about it, you'll probably cry yourself to sleep. Then, you'll fail.

In "In the beginning was the command line," Neal Stephensen, pompous fellow that he is, mentions that in the past writers have kept a skull on their desk as they write to remind them of their own mortality. He suggests that something should also serve as a reminder that technology, and how we interact with it now, may also be fleeting. I was reminded of this as the sad orange light blinked on our wireless router to show us that the modem wasn't allowing us to access the Internet. "HOW CAN THEY DO THIS TO US!" I cried out, on the verge of tears. "If I can't access the program for our very web-reliant course, I can't submit my essay and I will FAIL!" Drama.

Thankfully, B is more patient than I. After unplugging the modem for hours at a time (to punish it for what it has done?), we were finally given the green light. Literally. I'm thankful that I grew up with graphic user interfaces and operating systems. I remember trying to run things through DOS on our first home computer, and that was frustrating enough -- no way would I ever have the patience for the command line.

It's interesting to read about the humble beginnings of Netville. To think that once, this genius group of individuals was sheltered by the US military and academic institutions to share knowledge on the cutting-edge of technology as homeland security. When interest in the Internet grew, the values of technological advancement and sharing were overtaken by society's desire for entertainment and fluff. Oh, and marketing.

On another note: I started subscribing to This American Life's podcasts this weekend, and the National with Peter Mansbridge. I am now one happy little transit rider.

4 comments:

Mandy said...

Sometimes technology makes me want to punch the computer monitor. I remember DOS commands too. Its sort of like a nightmare.

Daisy said...

ooh - I've had internet meltdowns. My masters is digital comm and so yeah - I feel that pain.

Emily Jane said...

It's incredible how dependent the whole world has become on technology, and TOTALLY scary. I remember working in a Best Buy one time and we lost power and we just couldn't operate. At all. And whenever I teach and the laptop has a "server disconnection" and my PowerPoint freezes, so do I!!

Kyla Roma said...

Ugh I hate when the internet goes out-the feeling that I get when I can't check my e-mail is just indescribable lol

I'm totally addicted.
Would a typewriter be like methadone?
Please let me know, I need a back up plan.