Friday, October 31, 2003

The infidelity of technology

"Never get too dependent on technology. It betrays you when you most need it." A few recent episodes have reminded me to stick to this wisdom. There was the case of the McLuhan ghost making the projector blink distractingly in Leo's recent presentation. Lucky for us that we were pretty determined to not be distracted and switched to a non-technical solution by just huddling around the computer screen instead. Then yesterday, I accompanied my husband to his presentation on "NAFTA and its implications for Mexico and Canada" at York University, and his Powerpoint file was found incompatible with the university's system. (I think it had something to do with his office's use of Spanish-based Windows.) That certainly threw him off course, because the whole presentation depended on the tables, figures, and statistics that needed to be shown on screen. These incidents reminded me of my own frustration when I couldn't show the slide presentation I had painstakingly prepared because there simply wasn't a projector (in a forum where they should have had one). And since yesterday my email service with Rogers has been acting strangely, and I couldn't be sure whether the several attempts to send out mail actually went. I usually don't communicate by email so much, but since I've started blogging, I find myself more dependent on emails as a supplementary communication channel. I couldn't help ending up with this nagging suspicion about whether it was the avenge of Microsoft and Bill Gates on us unsuspecting users of computer technology. But I guess the positive side of these experiences is the reminder that we should use technology with caution, don't get over dependent.


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