From the title of this post, you may be thinking that I am about to get on a soap box. Actually, that is not my intention (though it may happen). My real intent is simply to talk about some observations, annoyances, and complications with technology.
I have long been concerned with our society's obsession with creating devices that keep us from having to think for ourselves. My main question has always been a simple one. If someone (or something) does the thinking for us, i.e. public officials, computers, and other devices, how many generations before we loose the ability to think for ourselves? A simple question, but one nobody seems to want to hear or attempt to answer. Somewhere down the line, we will see if my questions are valid or not.
Meanwhile, time passes and more things are done for us so we don't have to think about it. Unfortunately, the results are not always so effective. This concept was pointed out to me quite effectively this past Friday morning.
As those of us who live in states with daylight savings time are aware, daylight savings time now ends at 2:00 AM on the first Sunday in November. This means that the time is set back one hour in the wee hours on that Sunday morning (or better yet, at bedtime on Saturday night). Not a difficult operation, but one that some of us are bound to forget.
Of course, where there is a possibility of the human mind messing things up, some helpful soul had designed a device to do it for us. My clock radio is just such a device. The time on said clock is automatically set by a radio signal, no doubt generated by a computer somewhere. When the time changes, the signal automatically sets the time forward or back as the season dictates. Very convenient and helpful, Right? WRONG!!
Friday morning, I woke to the alarm the same as any other morning. As I made coffee and started getting ready for work, a school bus passed my house, alerting me that something was not quite right. At this point, I looked at the clock in the living room and found that I should already be in the parking lot at work.
Obviously, someone had programed the computer to send the radio signal to set clocks back on the first DAY of November instead of the first Sunday. As a result, I was late for work, something that had not happened in the almost two years of employment with that company.
Yes, I was angry, but I was (and am) also inclined to wonder how many other people were also late. How many of them have jobs more important and time sensitive than mine? How many of those people would have been late if they had been thinking for themselves? Wouldn't it be better just to take responsibility for ourselves and do such things manually?
These are just a few of my thoughts on such things. I encourage you to share some of your own thoughts in the comments.