Are We All Luddites?

It’s starting to turn green.

A couple weeks ago, Pam, over at Butterfly Sand – which, by the way for the longest time I read as “Butterflys And” and not paying attention to the spacing in the email, or the obvious improper plural form, I wondered “and what?” – wrote about being a Luddite Wanna Be. Hmmm, a 49-word opening sentence. This does not bode well. I left the following comment on Pam’s post:

“Without technology, I wouldn’t know you. That’s reason enough to not be a Luddite. The other reason would be the 42 years of food that technology has let me put on the table. I may have to follow up on the post.”

Don’t worry! I am not going to summarize 10 years of eager anticipation and study and 42 years of experience in a single blog post. I’m going to spread it out over a series. And, for those of you who are groaning (including The Editor), let’s make that an interrupted series. A periodic visit into that vast subject area.

You can think of this as the first post in that series, a prologue. Actually, it might be an epilogue that just happens to come first. That’s because in looking back on all the luddite-like behavior I have had to deal with, and the real and imagined justification for that behavior, I’m less critical of the practice than I always historically once, let’s go with once, was.

In fairness to me, I’ve always been a kinda-sorta sympathetic to the luddites. Maybe not sympathetic, more of an apologist, and offering more of a half-hearted apology than genuine understanding. It has long been my belief that people don’t see the value in adopting new (computer) technology because of a compound failure. Part-A of the failure is technology’s fault, it evolves in a slow and uncertain path, much like the daylily puzzles John Hric has been writing about lately. As John says, it’s a puzzle with uncut pieces and no picture to guide us. We moan about how fast technology is changing, but it’s only now starting to pick up speed. For most of my career, it actually moved rather slowly. Part-B of this failure has always seemed to me to be most of humankinds’ inability to imagine far enough. When we looked at our rotary-dial phones in the 50s, we imagined a better rotary-dial phone. AT&T obliged with the Princess Phone in 1959, and continued to improve the Princess during the 1960’s.

No one was imagining cell phones. Well, maybe Gene Roddenberry and the writers on Star Trek were, but they were clearly parked under the heading of Science Fiction, not Behold-the-Future. The futuristic video telephones AT&T and Western Electric were proposing in the 1960s were a marriage of the slightly forward-thinking Touch-Tone phone and a smaller-than-normal TV set. Maybe a few engineers at Bell Labs were imagining mobile phones, but they no doubt understood that humans would only adopt new technology at an acceptable pace.

AT&T was better suited to dealing with luddites than I was throughout my career – they were still a monopoly in the 60s and 70s. Maybe we preferred rotary dials – we got touch tone buttons. Maybe we preferred operator assisted long-distance – we got direct-dial. Maybe we preferred unsafe cars – we got seatbelts. It’s easy when you have a monopoly or Federal regulations on your side. The biggest change I forced on people was when I switched us all from Word Perfect to Microsoft Word – there are still people who haven’t forgiven me for that.

Getting back to the title, am I saying I’m a luddite? No, not really, but I did not imagine the ways in which some technology has evolved, and I’m not adopting. I don’t have a “smart speaker” in my house. I don’t have “smart appliances” in the kitchen, laundry or workshop. I am not battling the refrigerator for the right to choose when I will replace the mustard – I simply don’t trust the refrigerator, or the washing machine, or the electric meter or Alexa. Collectively, they all want more from me than they offer in return. I may not be able to imagine what the next smart device will be, but I can easily imagine what these companies want to do with my data.

That’s it for today. Like I said, I won’t bore you with several visits to this subject all at once.


We’re starting to see more and more signs that spring is heading our way. The gallery includes a few photos taken over a leisurely weekend.

104 thoughts on “Are We All Luddites?

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  1. Whenever you start talking technology, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. For the most part, I simply believe that we should take what works in our lives and leave the rest. I imagine that there are still some holdouts in the world with their rotary phones 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. New technology is always welcome. Recently I discovered an App called Ducto and it’s been making life easier in transferring files between my phone and my laptop. I always used the cable and sometimes it would not be around when I needed it. I don’t like fracking (even reading about it disturbs me) and I think perhaps the production and use of plastics should have been regulated from the onset. It took me a whole night to update to Windows 10, then I realized that Windows 10 doesn’t support the AutoCad version whose license I have. Terrible thing. Not that I don’t like Windows 10. I liked the AutoCad version I was using. We had to buy a new version, though. At this point in time, technology has too many benefits. It’s like the foundation on which life is built.
    Anyway, I always liked that photo of your shadows, you and Maddie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Peter. I have experienced the upgrade that breaks favorite programs. I’ve also experience upgrades that I’ve installed that broke program I had written. That’s when life really seems unfair. At this point, technology is moving much faster than anygovernment’s ability to regulate it. Tech companies are taking advantage of that, and moving as fast as they can to test new features (sensors, cameras, and autonomous features) in cars by adding them to our cars, at our expense. Many of these are features no one would pay for, if they were optional, but it’a great way to test and to see how well they hold up under various use scenarios.

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  3. One of my basic principles in life is: if something works stick with it. When technological devices or applications change, to me it seems like they do so for no good reason. I don’t want more complication or faster speeds, I want less. From this perspective I don’t think of myself as a luddite, I think of myself as a pragmatist. And frankly, there need to be more of us in this world, being very vocal about our displeasure.

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    1. I wouldn’t call you a luddite, Ally. I have seen changes that I understand are moving us toward a better place, but I have seen and see today, too many changes just for the sake of change. I find myself muttering “just because we can doesn’t mean we should” more and more often. Sticking with what works is often difficult to pull off. Good luck (to us all).

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  4. I’m one of those who sits backs and openly admits that I’m computer illiterate. I know the basics, I don’t mind learning more, but I don’t “get it”. Being retired now, I don’t see the need for the refrigerator to have a conference call with the toaster and home security system in my “phone.”

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    1. Ha ha – I’m with you on not seeing the need, GP. I’m fully capable of opening the fridge and deciding what to buy at the store. Even though I work in the industry, I question the need for some new features. These initiatives will die under their own weight, when Samsung doesn’t become the central brain in the house of tomorrow, they will see very little value in features their customers don’t want. Right now, it’s not clear who’s going to win and there are too many companies fighting for the key spot.

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    2. This cracks me up! Can’t you just picture walking into your kitchen while they are all on the conference call…..and they all get quiet. I try to maintain that I am the smart one in my house and no backtalk from my fridge….or Alexa!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m one of those who hates switching writing programs. I still use Wordpad instead if Microsoft Office for most simple things. I have yet to figure the proper way to set the margins. Too many bells and whistles to contend with. I just want to type already. Now you even have to figure which type of file to save as because if you are submitting to an editor different ones require different file types. Geeze.
    That’s alot of squirrels showing for peanuts there, PT.Tha sunrise photo is beautiful. Enjoy that sun, Maddie! We were just discussing the upcoming baseball season with the bartender at Wahlburgers. He said Spring training has begun already and I believe the first game is the Cubs. We have a calendar on the fridge, mostly so we know what days to avoid the Battery. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Next Friday (March 28) is opening day! I hope the weather cooperates. Last year, it snowed in several cities during the early weeks.

      There are a lot of squirrels running around out there. We’re getting ready to cut back, so they remember how to forage, and so the little ones learn more than “go see the nice lady” as a way of being fed. But it’s been cold, and the ground has been covered for so long, I have no doubt that they are finding it hard to find normal food. Still, some certainly don’t look like they’re going hungry.

      I use Word, and upload to WordPress. It’s hard enough to keep up with one program, learning several isn’t my idea of how I want to spend my free time.

      I hope this marks the start of a great week, Cheryl. We’re cold again, but nothing falling from the sky.

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  6. Love to join the conversation! For a coin to be valuable there must be two sides. I like that we still have a choice to use what technology we want and that there are still ways to unplug if we want. I need and use tech but I remember fondly when I was unplugged. Great post Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It this series gets boring, Pam, remember, it’s your fault ;-)

      I hope we continue to have choices. So many companies are pushing to have their technology “officially” adopted or be allowed to slide in under the radar before regulations get written. There’s too much at stake to blindly follow their self-serving lead.

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  7. While I love trying new tech, I don’t necessarily embrace all of it. I am fully capable of locking my own doors and making a grocery list so some of it’s just silly. But oh, the Princess phone! We thought we’d died and gone to heaven when that came out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I remember when those phones first hit the market. That was the phone in my mom’s bedroom. We had to ask permission to use it. I use a list app on my phone, but for things that I need to remember the next time I’m in a store I don’t visit often. I can usually remember things from the house to the store (although my wife did send me with a list yesterday).

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    2. Hahahah! The first time I saw Pam’s blog I also read it as, “Butterflys And”. My immediate thought was, ” WTH does that mean?” Now I feel better!

      Most technology is way over my head. I was good with the rotary phone and I’m good with touch tone. I like air conditioning, flush toilets, the microwave, television, my iPad and freezers that don’t need defrosting. I like my electric lawn mower and trimmer. I’m grateful for the technology that has made my life easier, but I draw the line at talking refrigerators or any smart appliances. Some of these bells and whistles seem to be nothing more than the new way of “keeping up with the Jones’ “.

      I definitely think that one squirrel is a mom-to-be. Hmmmmm, more mouths for you and the Editor to feed! Lol. Maddie looks very pleased to be outside on her cot again. Love the shadow shot of the two of you.

      The photo of Maddie where she thinks there may be demons….she may be right! At first glance it looks likes some weird creature is growing out of her chin. On closer inspection, it’s just a leaf on the ground. 🙄

      Hope today starts off a great week for you Dan.
      🐾Ginger 🐾

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one to have that thought, Ginger.

        If keeping up with the Jones’ requires me to get a refrigerator that talks, I’ll gladly cede the race to the Jones’ It’s all yours, guys, knock yourselves out.

        Squirrel moms tend to kick their kids, not only out of the nest, but out of the neighborhood. We have a few visitors from across the street. Actually, it’s how this feeding frenzy started. Two baby squirrels were crossing the street when their mom got hit buy a car. My wife found them sitting next to the mom’s body :( They seemed old enough to survive on their own, but she started feeding them walnut pieces, just to make sure. That’s the original Sammy. I’m not sure they ever learned that food didn’t only cmoe from the nice lady.

        Maddie took me outside, saw the sun and then dragged me back on to the porch and over to her cot. I think she decided it’s time. It was pretty cold, but we stayed out for about 20 minutes. Maddie often gets spooked as we’re going down the driveway into the park. I don’t know what she sees, but sometimes she even barks at it. I always thank her – just in case.

        Have a great week, too!

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  8. You certainly have chosen a controversial topic, Dan, that is virtually guaranteed to spark some heated discussion. Before I offer some thoughts, let me say that I really enjoy your photos of all of your furry friends and welcome the fact that you are still managing to capture sunrise photos despite our recently mandated change of our clocks. My general view on technological advances is that many of them are foisted on us by producers who try to convince us to buy their widget and the “improvements” are often merely marketing ploys. Many of the time-saving devices don’t actually save time and many devices are unnecessarily complex, in part because they try to be all-in-one devices. So most of the time I try to follow the guideline that simpler is better and I am perfectly comfortable being on the trailing edge of technology. What does that mean? I shave with a razor that uses drop-in double edge blades; I use a watch with hands that does nothing but show me the time and the date (when I remember to adjust the date to compensate for the months with fewer than 31 days); I read a physical newspaper each morning; I drive a simple, uncomplicated car; and I use a Tracfone cellphone that I turn on only when I want to use it or when I know someone will be planning to call me. Technology is not inherently good or evil, innovation does not necessarily mean improvement, and activity does not mean progress. I’ll stop now, but I think you sense where stand on the issue–I am somewhat of a skeptic and proudly a semi-luddite. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, Mike. It seems you have more in common with my wife than your choice of cars. I tend to agree with many of your positions. I do my best to avoid multi-purpose devices, because, inevitably, one device dies, one feature stops working or the battery dies and you end up replacing everything. We still subscribe to paper newspapers and I also still wear a watch that just tells the time. Much of the technology “improvements” is marketing-driven, by companies that are hoping to gain the a foothold into everything. If you buy our lock, then you’ll want to shop with us and use our delivery service. I keep hoping that there will be a point when the majority pushes back, but the tech-giants keep rolling forward. I think it’s a good time to be a skeptic. Thanks for the comment!

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  9. Morning, Dan! I don’t remember what TV program I was watching (a commercial maybe?) but I howled as I saw two young men attempting to call on a rotary phone unable to figure out how to use it. They kept pushing the numbers and not using the rotary dial. As for me … I consider myself smart and so I covet that fact. I do not wish to hand over my intelligence to any machine for in doing so that would make my brain sludge. I appreciate technology to a point as in right now for instance …. This platform called WP has introduced many wonderful people and gives me the opportunity to show my passion for photography. I’ll take what I want from technology and attempt to leave the rest alone. Now when a smart water meter was installed in our house, hubby and I put up a huge stink, refusing to do it. We in turn were threatened if we did not have this installed, our water would be turned off. Hmmmm …. no further comment. Enjoyed your gallery …. thank you, Dan!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. We were switched to the so-call smart water meters, and I think we’ve had 3 or 4 generations of them, because they turned out to be not-so-smart after all. I do take advantage of technology that I like using, but I doubt I’ll ever have a smart refrigerator. Seriously, just keep the beer cold.

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  10. Age plays a big role in slowly becoming Luddite-like. Embracing new technology is harder when we’re old(er). I embraced the Princess phone immediately, although my mother said “no”. Do I have Alexa? To that I say “no”. I could go on with the technology laundry list. Thanks, Dan. Loved the photos of the old video phones. I saw one at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennie. Those photos are from the Fair. The Princess phone was such a hit. I think it’s the first time AT&T decided to do something just for marketing purposes – it didn’t have any other new features.

      I have tried all kinds of technology. I was an early adopter of GPS tech, but there are some things I just don’t care to own. I can buy my own mustard.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not surprised that the photos are from the Fair. Seems like, maybe, twenty years ago, so why are those photos so old? 😀 Brilliant marketing on the Princess. And yes, I can buy my own mustard, too.

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  11. I don’t see myself as a Luddite at all. In fact, I get frustrated when I can’t keep up with it or when it doesn’t work. Or when we switch from a Word Perfect to a MS Word at work and there’s not enough training. That’s when I wish I had a Spock to perform a mind meld so I can learn quickly and get on with my techno life.
    Spring is almost here, Dan. Two more days. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. Don’t hold it against me (or the IT guy) about that switch. People wanted Word Perfect, Lotus 123 and PowerPoint. To get those, we had to buy all three office suites. My boss told me to cut my budget, so…

      The training is hard. We did training here for years, but people didn’t take advantage of it. Now they want us to do it again. two more days until spring and less than 250 until out-of-here.

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      1. I absolutely do not hold that against you for the switch. I usually welcome it, then get frustrated that the training is minimal. I’m waiting for the switch this year to Office 10 as we’ve been hanging onto 7 for some time. It’s what happens when as sate has 10,000 or so employees.

        I’m happy for your countdown!

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        1. I can’t imagine managing this stuff for an organization that large. The good news, if they go with Office365 (which would probably save them money) the updates are automatic from then on.

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  12. I will enjoy your treatise on technology, Dan. I have embraced it all my life. In fact, I was involved in the late 70’s developing a computer-based sales reporting system. It was optically driven (little ovals) but some pieces still exist today. I was onboard with PC’s and all things automatic. Me and my Mac are inseparable. Bring it on, Dan. Your photos were terrific today.

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  13. Ah ha, you’re stirring some memories. I thought the princess phones were cool when they came out. I looked for a prince phone too. :-) Yes, I’m still a little reserved on SOME technology but will embrace others. 😁

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  14. I wear the Luddite label proudly, not because I oppose the march of progress, rather because most new ideas are really, really, really stupid. It is why they fail. What progress needs to be progressive and stay on track is a cohort of cantankerous naysayers who obstruct, fight and resist anything that smacks of newfangledness and in that way, bad ideas die before they can do harm.

    As Saul Bellow once wrote, new idea begin on the coasts, by the time they get to the Midwest, they are threadbare and we can see right through them.

    Trouble is, Saul Bellow came up with too many new literary ideas….probably because he was from Chicago.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a funny quote. I remember presenting new ideas (when I worked for Airborne Freight). They all had to clear the LA, Chicago and NY stations. So any didn’t make it past Chicago. Those that did, often got smacked with a bat in NY. Those guys were merciless.

      I keep looking for the groundswell of resistance to smart appliances… waiting… waiting.

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  15. Good topic to explore in segments – looking forward to it. And dan, do you remember when the really long phone cords came out? And you could be on the phone and go room to room – and from the gallery – I like the shadow photo with starting to look green…

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  16. upgrade was not an ambiguous word. as in formerly. that is no longer true. often computerize equipment is considered part of a system. now days an upgrade often de-integrates as much as it does anything else. i can think of several upgrades and how they de-integrated systems. Windows 10, a new more powerful cable router, a new Apple laptop. They were all a great step forward and an ungraceful stumble back. Before Win 10 i could connect two PCs and simply copy the files from one to the other. I could still run old DOS commands to manipulate files. the old cable doesn’t work anymore. Same for the DOS file commands. many features do not exist in the Home version of Win 10. a new cable to connect new PCs might be out there, might. The new super duper router may or may not have the right wiring connection for the big backup disk. backup or lost in a haystack ? and the new Apple laptop has so far resisted attempts to install the not so ancient laser printer. the printer vendor does not appear to have install software for that Mac Airbook. i am more and more convinced that upgrade rhymes with aggravation. maybe even malicious aggravation. i am half expecting a recall notice when i go to plant this year’s crop of seeds. “seeds 2019 are incompatible with dirt 1.0. you must upgrade to dirt 12.59 or greater to plant a new crop.” and as they said during megamaid’s demise in Spaceballs ‘thank you have a nice day.’ on the bright side i am thankful for upgrades improving the quality of my adult beverage time. i hate drinking without reason. i have so many reasons the next several months are totally covered.

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    1. I like the idea that you’re planting in Dirt 1.0 – I’m still laughing about that, John. Upgrades frequently break otherwise useful things. I just don’t want to see the day when a software update breaks my mechanically sound refrigerator and renders my beer warm.

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      1. Egad lad now you have gone too far. Then again in the winter I seldom like anything icy cold. Egad now I have gone too far ! What pray tell is this world coming too ? ! ? ! And yes we went for the cave yet sane answer. Forward the email you need printed and I will get it from my PC… an hour later….

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  17. If there weren’t still reasons to long to be a Luddite maybe LinkedIn wouldn’t keep asking me if i know Bruce Antion !

    Sent from my iPad

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.

    >

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  18. Hi Dan – some great comments here on a fun post – well fun for some! I’d love to be in the main pack … trouble is I need to be at work, or with children and grandchildren to answer questions etc … all a challenge now! Still I’m happy – I’m ticking along … don’t give me driverless cars, or a fridge telling me what I need to do, or for that any thing twitter oriented re regulating my life! I’ll just do what I decide what to do … I was given a voice and freedom for which I’m eternally thankful – cheers Hilary

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  19. I do use the microphone to TV speaker to have it find programs for me, and believe me I’m a bit paranoid that it’s listening and recording everything we’re saying 24/7/365! I don’t have anything else smarter than my digital house thermometer and my cellphone. That’s all I want.

    I love that selfie image with yours and Maddie’s long shadows. That light was gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. I love those long shadows and walking in the low sun. I wasn’t planning to walk that early, but Maddie decided she wanted to go. I don’t use voice control, except with my GPS. At home, I’m usually watching TV while others are engaged in quiet activity. Also, Maddie barks if I yell something out to my wife, so asking the TV to find Star Trek would sound more like a Romulan invasion. I don’t know about recording, but, obviously these things listen. I dread the day when I say something and the appliances bargain among themselves to see who should handle it.

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  20. I think I sit somewhere in the middle. I’m pretty techy but not a wholesale adopter. I had a gmail account when it was only beta and you had to be invited to join but I still reach for the remote to change channels on the TV. I love technology but sometimes, when I’m battling with the 17-year-old over screen use and study, I think wistfully of what it must have been like to parent in the 60s when the only screen you had to monitor was a single TV.
    Thanks, Dan. Really looking forward to this series.

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    1. Thanks Heather. Working in this field has led me to be an early adopter of computer and office tech, and smart phone/tablet tech. So far, I have drawn the line at my doorstep. I have a GP that I talk to, which is safer than fumbling through a menu while it’s hanging in the window. I wrote a post one time about how I was the remote back in the 60s. I remember commenting to our daughter one night when I saw her engaged in a group chat, that I thought she should be doing her homework. She showed me how four of them were writing a report for their group project and she was typing because she was faster. I didn’t question her again.

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  21. I don’t want any of those talking boxes because I figure if they’re talking they’re listening. And, I do not want to talk to any of our appliances. I want the illusion that I’m as smart as they are. :-) I had lunch with a lady from CT last week who was describing the cameras and other security things they set up in their house before leaving. They monitor all the cameras, open and close their blinds with their phone, and one of their cameras is facing their thermostat so they can read it at all times. Boy, I felt like a slacker. I turned the water off, closed the curtains, set the thermostat, and the only thing I monitor is the propane tank. :-)

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    1. If we were leaving for a long time, I would probably want to set up all that stuff. But then, I wonder if you feel the same about being away? People have been going away from their homes for ages, I’m not sure we need to stay this connected to them when we’re gone. I’m connected to apps and gadgets monitoring our network, servers and the room the stuff sits in. It’s more of an annoyance than a service. I can understand monitoring the propane tank.

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  22. What a great post, Dan. WordPerfect, the bane of my existence. Princess phones…I so wanted one. Not to be. Our company owner retired and turned the business over to his son. It is a whole new learning curve, but I am keeping up. I do, however; refuse to let me appliances talk to me. And I do not need another woman in my kitchen, so Alexa is not invited. Little Stevie and soon-to-be Mama Squirrel are adorable. Does your mailman know about his namesake?

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  23. I loved Wordperfect. It thought the same way I did about producing documents.

    I’m one of those people who gets new technology when they can see a use for it. That means that neither Google Home nor Alexa lives with me. I don’t even have a smart phone, although I suspect that will change soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks April. I think WordPerfect had more fans, but the world was glued to PowerPoint and Excel, and those came with Word. I still have coworkers who bemoan the fact that Word doesn’t have a “Reveal Codes” mode. That decision save our company a bunch of money, but they hated me for doing it. As far as I know, nothing is listening to me in our house, including the cats. The dog listens for key words like, “sit” (as in go outside and sit) “walk” (or any portion of “I think I’ll take Maddie for a walk” including “I think…”) or the sound of plastic wrap coming off of food. I do have a smart phone, and a tablet, but they are quiet and not listening (as far as I know).

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  24. Oh, so much to which to possibly respond, Dan!! My husband is an IT guy, so tech is with us all the time, but we are one in our desire not to have smart appliances/garage doors/houses (although we may be forced into it one day if we live long enough, I suppose), not to have Alexa, et al, or anything else that may be spying on us. But wait! We have smart phones and laptops, so who can be sure about those? That possibility for and uncovering of misuse and yes, spying, are what concern me. And what happens to the little activity people already get when they can sit and order something to do everything for them??

    I love the internet and blogging, which has brought me many new friends and acquaintances all over the US and the world, but I also cherish the times I’m on vacation and out of touch. Yesterday we were talking about investments with a 35-year-old friend. I mentioned researching mutual funds, etc. now is so easy with the internet but that I had gone to the library to look them up. She looked at me in disbelief. She’s never not known the ease of access of the internet. What an odd moment that was! :-)

    Enough. I have to have some breakfast and get ready for work. Enjoy Tuesday!

    janet

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    1. Thanks Janet. The library? Oh my, her head must still be spinning. The tech is all around me, but very little makes it home (except phone, tablet, laptop). I would like the garage door opener that I can check from my phone – it would save me those trips around the block ;-)

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      1. The expression on her face was priceless. I’ve gone back one or twice to check on a garage door. When I first got an opener, I didn’t realize how close you actually had to be to open the door, so I worried that I’d inadvertently open it from a long distance. Wrong!!

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  25. Good heavens! I lived through the party line era in rural Mo! Guess I could tell some tales lol And I even drove a stick shift with 4 on the floor haha No computer car is gonna drive me. That I guarantee ya!

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  26. Those photos of receding snow as spring arrives are lovely, Dan. I’m not big on 24-hour connectivity to the internet; I unplug the router when I go to bed. I don’t know why Google needs to track my every move; it’s not as if I’m doing anything noteworthy, it just seems creepy.

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  27. I’m on the luddite spectrum. I don’t mind trying something new as long as it’s not too complicated. Today I met with a bank executive type (for good reasons) who was lamenting about big changes in their computer system that the IT folks assumed were easy to understand, but weren’t. I could relate. I bet you’re good at explaining things.

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    1. My coworkers might disagree 🙂

      I try, and some seem to get it. Or at least the parts they are interested in. Sometimes we don’t want the change either. We have to do them for business reasons. But we get blamed.

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      1. Ah. I understand how that could happen. I might have been guilty of some of that blaming, or at least some tension in trying to adjust to changes. Now, I’m mostly free of that sort of thing. Soon you will be too! :)

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  28. I don’t think I’m a luddite but I don’t always easily embrace new technology. I remember thinking how odd it was that my parents never used an ATM, but, now that I look back, it was a technology that didn’t provide a benefit to them. They enjoyed having a quick, pleasant conversation with the teller… why would they want to interact with a machine?

    Your mention of AT&T and “no one was imagining cell phones” reminded me of a quote I read about Kodak and why they missed the digital camera revolution: “Kodak thought they were in the film business, not in the image-capturing business.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janis. Kodak is a sad story. They literally invented the image business, but they couldn’t figure out how to make the switch, or how little time they had to make it. Our parents spent a lot more time interacting with people. I don’t think that was a bad thing.

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  29. “I switched us all from Word Perfect to Microsoft Word ” — I would say that was pure evil, but I trust you to have had a good reason. Otherwise–evil. Pure EVIL. I switched to Word because Word wouldn’t play nice Word Perfect, and I needed to submit things electronically to people I wanted to buy them. Now, of course, I use LibreOffice. Ha! Ha! And again I say, HA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the worst of all reasons, Marian – it saved the company money. We knew Word Perfect was a better product, but we had to be compatible with the folks who didn’t know any better. I sealed my own fate – I had to learn MS Office well enough to teach others. I’ve been using it for 20 years now.

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  30. I definitely express resistance to new things. I can be Luddite-like about some things. Mostly, I want it faster and easier. I tend to turn my nose up at anything I think is over the top, like talking refrigerators with LCD displays. Just keep the food cold and don’t break down before your newness wears off, okay, Fridge?
    That squirrel is definitely expecting :) I wish we got some blue jays. My parents used to have a pair who would come right up to them for peanuts. I loved watching that over morning coffee. (Look at that, a good Florida memory!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, it’s good to see a good Florida memory. I’m with you on the fridge – one job. At least technology is in or moving into a period characterized by gradual continuous change. Maybe that will be easier for us to deal with.

      The blue jays are pretty good at stealing peanuts before the squirrels get to them. One did come up on the porch while my wife was feeding critters. In the summer, if the squirrels bury a peanut, a blue jay will often swoop down and dig it up.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I love this post, Dan. I am not a Luddite. I think technology is marvelous. I do also believe though that it is narrowing the scope of jobs available to people. This is a fact that is supported by the World Bank and other reputable organisations who have published documents on the Fourth Industrial REvolution. We are definitely in an age when the ability to be creative, innovative and to cope with change is essential in workers and we must work hard to develop this in our children if we want them to have good jobs in the future. Sometimes, I think certain writers are visionaries. When I think of the digital age, I always think of the scenarios painted by Stephen King aka Richard Bachman in The Running Man and The Long Walk. It’s a bit scary for the uneducated masses. I have written a few publications on how this will impact Africa and its workers. I have run on a bit, sorry, but its so fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d be interested in reading those publications, Roberta. Can you point us to them?

      Technology is changing the world in many good ways, but it’s also being used to abuse people in many ways that they don’t understand. My chief complaint is all the sensors and cameras that they are loading into cars. Most of them offer a human driver no benefit, yet we pay for them, and we pay to maintain them, while car companies gather data necessary to perfecting autonomous vehicles.

      The “experts” are split on whether technology will usher in a host of new and better jobs or cause job loss and lowering of pay as humans are forced into a narrow band of things that are too expensive to automate. I’m leaning toward the later, at least at first in developed countries. Technology is moving faster than regulation, education and society, IMO.

      Thanks for this comment, and for the tweet!

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  32. Well said. I love technology in all its forms. What I don’t like is the time and effort it takes to transfer all my files (and games and pics and wallpapers and screensavers, etc) from one computer to the next because the next gen won’t talk to or acknowledge my old computer. And it’s why I save all my work in Word Perfect as well as Word. Maybe the tech folks need to address that issue before trying to “improve” the next gen of computer. :)

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