Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.  — Henry David Thoreau

My computer is caught in what an engineer I once knew called ‘self-eating watermelon mode’.  Don’t try to figure it out.  It doesn’t make any sense to me either, both the expression and my computer’s behavior.  A recent Windows update required a reboot.  When the computer came back up it couldn’t finish the update and reverted back to the prior state (good idea) including the fact that there is this Windows update that needs to be installed (bad idea).  So it insists on installing the update, which fails on reboot, which causes the computer to revert to its previous state, which includes a needed Windows update, ad nauseam.  The same thing happened a few years back with my McAfee anti-virus software.  It continually tried to install a new version that wouldn’t install.  After foolishly trying to talk to tech support I found the perfect solution: I uninstalled it and have been happily McAfee-free since.  The same thing happened earlier with Norton.  At a personal rate of fifty dollars an hour, I wasted easily a thousand dollars of my time dealing with these issues.

This is ridiculous.

At work, my title is Advanced Systems Manager.  At home, I am our IT systems manager and chief security officer.  If I allowed it, my home job would consume at least as many hours as my career.

This is ridiculous.

I was in a near-collision last year, the car behind me totaled by a rear-end collision while my bumper was just gently tapped.  I got out of my car and found the driver behind me on his cell phone talking with 911, the driver who had hit him on his cell phone talking to 911 and a bystander running to the scene talking to 911.  My cell phone was clipped to my belt, useless.  It was turned off and, being a smartphone, would take several minutes to boot.  That lengthy power-on sequence was necessary to provide an operating system to allow me to play games, watch videos and partake in culturally vital activities such as sexting.

This is ridiculous.

I yearn for a flip phone.  You remember those?  A simple tool that did one thing and did it relatively well.  And didn’t consume your life in the meantime.  I’m not alone.  Jerry Jones, the owner of the NFL Dallas Cowboys, took some grief last year when he was seen talking on a flip phone.  If it’s good enough for an overly rich megalomaniac, it’s good enough for me.

There are hints of compromise in our need to have useful tools without having to mortgage our lives in the bargain.  This article at gives a glimpse of a functional smartphone that places calls, provides GPS location and rudimentary web surfing.  And, thanks to the use e-ink technology, could go at least a month on a single charge.

That make sense.

Unfortunately, this smarter smartphone is only a concept, not yet in production and, I suspect, never will be.  We are too addicted yammering–whether it comes from our mouths, the television or the demands for time from our electronic servants–to do something sensible.

I’m fighting this nonsense in my own feeble manner.  I have a standing action on my weekly calendar to get rid of something.  Wasting my time on technological nonsense is high on my list of things-to-get-rid-of.  I plan to get on that right away.

Just as soon as I reboot my computer.

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One Response to Nonsense

  1. Yep, yep. Far too much ridiculousness. I applaud your standing action exercise. My getting rid of something, is most likely going to be ridiculous time spent on social media platforms that yield little of no useful return. Onward we march.


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