We've had millennia to develop convenient applications for day-to-day tasks. Stone tablets, pens and paper, typewriters. Illuminated manuscripts, glossy magazines. Horses, chariots, stagecoaches, horseless carriages.
Now we've invented digital, and with it, a one-answer-to-everything approach to developing convenient applications for day-to-day tasks. We're going to Harness The Power Of Technology, or some variation on that phrase, to solve whatever problem we have. Okay. Fine. No objection. Anybody above a certain age will have internalised the notion that tech is clumsy, slow, unreliable and stupid, and of course it was, but it isn't any more.
Code isn't always poetry, but it's easier than English grammar. Apps, smartphones, drones, comms, smart-media gadgets are all designed to be easy to adopt, no brain-work required, and the clumsy/slow parts have been either erased, eased, or hidden behind the smiley user interface. Technology may only be one basket, but it carries a heck of a lot of eggs.
We're very human in the way we use technology. Apps that should be successful aren't successful; the technology we adopt isn't always the best for its purpose, but we go with the marketing. Blu-Ray, Betamax, whatever. Only technologists solve problems, because there's only one language of solutions these days, and that matters because they're the only ones who get to identify problems.
What strikes me is our investment in faking ourselves and the world around us. Robots designed to welcome us into banks, like people do now; VR headsets to present worlds extrapolated from the world we live in. All that money spent on bringing artificial intelligence up to something below the cognitive ability of a hungry child.
What happens here
This site is updated weekly, usually on a Friday although I might change that (again). I write it because (1) I like writing it and (2) I like having a deadline. More often than not, it works out as a commentary on the week just passed*.
There are no ads, no pop-ups and no tricky business with cookies. I don't take money for my own opinions. [Except when they come out in book form.] I write this for myself, without a set agenda, on any subject that catches my attention. If you're interested enough, it's not hard to work out my interests. Not impossible, anyway.
*Although I seem to have gone away from that recently. Normal service may or may not be resumed.
No data is kept on this website overnight. Blog posts are usually shared to my Facebook page. We can discuss them there if you feel so inclined.
Where are we now? We're hurtling round the sun, held to the ground by a weak force that we don’t begin to understand, arguing about trade deals between the land masses on a planet mostly covered by water.
The dolphins must think us ridiculous. No wonder they only come to the shallow water to play with us, not to signal their most complex philosophies. More.
Riddle. It takes two to make me, but when I'm made, I'm only a memory. What am I? Scroll down to find out.
Is that a catastrophe I see before me? Could be. There was a clear sky earlier, but now clouds are encroaching from the North. We could be in for a storm. More.
You found me!
Welcome. Thank you for coming. But am I the right
William Essex? Click here
to meet some more.
Read My Shorts?
Here is yet another page of old blog posts and other writings. Sorry, but I need my metaphorical sock drawer for metaphorical socks. The link to the page is right at the end of the paragraph here.
Roads without end
Here is a passage from a review of the book The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart. I haven't read the book (yet), but the collected reviews would make a worthwhile set of political arguments in their own right. More.
State of the Union
Several commentators today saying that they've lost confidence in the US. Making their point by talking up the glories of the past. After two weeks of this administration, they're not going back.
Were they wrong, and they've seen the light? Or has the US changed? I guess the latter is the intended meaning. But we should at least acknowledge the possibility... More.