Let Me Off of This High Tech Train!

| 11/16/2010 1:23:37 PM

Tags: off-grid, technology, complexity, Cam Mather,

Living off the grid sucks! No wait … living off the grid rocks! Do you sense I’m a bit muddled right now? I’m really conflicted by this whole technology thing. I wouldn’t be living here in paradise in the middle of the woods unless some researchers had figured out how to put silicon and a bunch of metals together to make solar panels that produce electricity. My life here would be quite different if some engineers hadn’t figured out how to take the DC power those panels make and store it as DC in my batteries, and then invert it to AC so that I can use regular electrical appliances.


I wouldn’t be posting this blog unless some software designers had figured out this whole internet thing, and unless some space engineers had figured out how to let me use a little satellite dish mounted on my house in the woods to beam electronic pulses 25,000 miles into space to a satellite and bounce them back to another dish and plug me into the internet.

My brain hurts at the concept that I can type a word into my Firefox web browser and within seconds not only do those pulses travel a billion miles into space and back, Google then searches a gazillion databases of information and uses algorithms to sort the order and blast it back on to my screen, almost instantly. Have you ever just thought about that for a minute in wonder? When I wrote essays in high school in the 1970s, I’d have to spend hours in the library to research them. I thought I was state of the art when I typed the final draft of my essay on an “electric” typewriter! It was soooo much better than an old-fashioned manual one!

I’m 50 now and technology is a young person’s game and I’m getting really, really burned out on it. I bought one of the first Macintosh computers off the line in 1984 and started our business in 1987. Back then our desktop publishing service was vastly technologically superior to our competitors who were still using traditional typesetting machines. Those machines quickly ended up in a landfill, as do many computers when the software has advanced so far that they just don’t have the horsepower they need to make the cut.

Several years ago we invested thousands of  dollars in Apple’s video editing software “Final Cut Pro” and began using it to produce our DVDs. This basically meant we had the capability of a video production studio with millions of dollars worth of equipment at our disposal. But for me the learning curve was pretty steep.

11/18/2010 8:36:06 AM

Great rant Cam.

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