So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Give Me That Old Time Technology

I don't consider myself to be a Luddite (for those of you who aren't familiar with that term, go here) in the purest sense. My recent KW trip had moments where I would have resorted to Luddite tactics, though. Fortunately for the woman in the commuter jet blathering on her cell phone, the flight attendant moved us up about eight rows and out of the sound of her voice. Otherwise, I think I would have said something very unkind and caused a boatload of hassle.
Why is it that electronic devices like DVD players, computers, MP3 players are limited to the individual user (ideally, although there was someone using a device on this trip my amazement) and cellular telephones have to be public? I don't want to know your personal business, and if you are doing your personal business, I don't want to hear you AT OVERFULL VOLUME. I doubt the rest of the passengers nearby want to, either. It's enough to make you do bad things.
The roots of my technophobia, I think, are the result of not following what some tech-geeks would call digital agnosticism. I would love to have a Suunto or Polar heart rate monitor without having to have a Wintel platform. Don't tell me I can have it both ways by getting a dual platform Macintosh or installing software that allows me to run Windows (which, BTW, I do have). It's the same reason I loathe Google Video, YouTube, and sites that have embedded video/audio players, such as Versus, Inside Triathlon, and (ITU's web site). I have perfectly good software (OEM, or legally downloaded, or purchased from Apple) that plays and edits v/a; which I use for my own purposes. Give me the material and let me watch it in the manner I wish. Half the fun is being able to manipulate, cut stuff out and make my own viewing experience that much more enjoyable.
My complaint isn't limited to just Wintel/PC, either. Apple is just as guilty at the anti-democratization of technology: Build a phone that does everything but bring you a beer and do your laundry, but limit it to a single service provider/network. Oh, and let's make the d@mned thing so friggin' expensive that only the well-off and the kids with a butt-ton of disposable income (or stupid parents) who want to make that I have the latest and greatest gadget statement will afford it. Hey, I'd love to have a cell phone that holds my music, too. Perfect for those training runs or rides where I might be in BFE; one less item to carry.
However, I will not be bludgeoned into moving all my phone service from the provider I'm with just to get an iPhone. I'll gladly wait until a) the price plummets, and b) the number of service providers expands so I truly have a choice.
High-tech, realistic video games, TiVo, movies on demand...what would my grandparents think if they were alive today? As it is, I'm frighteningly close to the point where the technological advances are outstripping my ability to adapt and keep up, personal finances (read: frugality and willingness to live in obsolescence) notwithstanding.

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