I am not one of those people who pines for the way things used to be.
I mean, I grew up before there was a vaccine for measles and related diseases, which means that I had every version of measles possible regularly from the time I was five to the time I was ten.
I am fortunate that I had no lasting effects from those bouts, but it wouldn’t have been a bad thing to have missed out on measles.
So I’m a huge fan of vaccines and of other treatments and preventative measures for contagious disease. (I can rant about this at length, and have, but that’s not my goal in this post.)
In general, I’m in favor of many of the changes that have occurred in my lifetime, the mechanical and the digital as well as the medical. For example, as soon as I learned to type, I began writing on a typewriter.
I jumped to correcting typewriters as soon as I could afford one and I got my first computer in 1983 primarily as a writing device.
I also love the communication options. Email is great. Texting is great. Having a phone with you so you can coordinate meeting up in person is fantastic.
What I don’t love are the constant changes and updates. While security updates are important and some changes do provide an improved product, there are way more updates than need to happen.
And of course, if you don’t want to change all those things, sooner or later your computer won’t be able to use the tools it needs.
Here’s the other problem — and it might be the one that bugs me the most — these changes are sent along willy-nilly, with no regard to your reasons for using the device or what you might be doing at the time.
It’s not like you get a message — email would work for this nicely — that says these updates are available and recommended and here is where you go to get them when you’ve set aside some time for tech maintenance. Nor is it like you get a choice when, say, you don’t really want to change your word processing program.
No, they assume that the most important thing in your life is tech maintenance and interrupt whatever you’re doing, when in fact the most important things are the projects that you’re using the tech devices to do.
Writing, analyzing data, meeting people via Zoom — those are the important things, not keeping up the computer. Continue reading “Ways of Making Progress”…