Convenience or Handing Your Power Over?

Marketing advises us that many things are convenient and time saving. An example in case is on board satellite navigation systems as are parking cameras. I suspect that is very difficult to buy a new car these days without these fitted. There are pieces of software that help with diaries and contacts. For me there is wretched thing in which emails are stacked as conversations. I once gave over partial control of my outlook diary allowing secretaries and others to schedule meeting for me. Not fun. There are lot of things that seem convenient but which impinge a great deal into life. Outlook assistant pops things moving into the bottom right hand corner of my screen and it very distracting.

I have never used a satellite navigation system. Once when traveling with someone else in the car they used one on their iPhone to avoid a traffic jam. When we hired a car in Brussels central train station, the guy there tried to rent us a satellite navigation system as an extra. He did not understand when I did not take him up on his offer. As a consequence of not using satellite navigation, I rarely get lost. I tend to plan journeys and sometimes do a walk through of complicated parts of a journey on Google Maps Streetview. This way I remember routes and do not have to rely on technology. I have not handed my power over to a microprocessor. I also navigate loosely by sun and sometimes by intuition. I use my brain, my mind and my memory. I do not rely on shortcuts…

I do not think that semiconductors in cars have had the same radiation hardness tests as those used in satellites and space telescopes. If there is a sudden burst of radiation many of the chips could be toast. We have one old car, a shed, it would probably still work whereas a top of the range 4X4 with computer controlled traction control might be useless. People might have to learn to read an archaic thing called a map.

Younger humans have an appendage called a smart ‘phone and in many cases their entire life is on that ‘phone; contacts, banking, apps to synchronise with their toothbrushes and look at their baby monitor video camera. There are even apps to aid going to sleep and dreaming. The telephone company here offered us an extra X gigabytes a month for a couple of Euros in an email. The online process to opt out of this generous offer was obscure and difficult.

The question is do you have power over the apparently “convenient” technology or does it have power over you?

Could you go cold turkey from technology?

Are you free or hooked?  

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