Technology really can’t save you from yourself (3 holiday examples and a bonus theory)

I love new toys, and am always delighted to play experiment with new software or hardware that might improve my life.  This holiday season, however, once again taught me a cruel truth: Even very cool technology that “just works” can’t save you from being an idiot user.

  • Example 1: Leopard.   I got this for Christmas from A, and installed it on New Year’s day.  It took 3 tries, and, along the way, taught me the joys of booting from a Firewire backup.  (Yay for backups!)  The problem?  My failure to realize that 5 is a smaller number than 7.  (In my defense, math is hard.)  De-gunking my hard drive cleared the necessary space, and all was shiny and new.
  • Example 2: HeadBlade. I got this because it seems stupid to pay $15 every 3 weeks for a clipper job, especially since, during the semester, finding the time for such a haircut is a pain in the ass.  Using it really is fun, and The Little Man loves looking at the razor, so all-in-all it seems like a win.  Having said that, it would have been a clever thing to actually *get* a haircut before first use, rather than just scraping away at 3 weeks’ worth of head-stubble.  Stoopid Jason.
  • Example 3: My new work coffee pot.  My other main holiday gift: A very simple coffee pot/hot water brewer for my office, since there’s no *especially* convenient coffee on my end of campus.  No problems here at all: The first time I made coffee, it saved me the 10 minutes (round trip) of walking to various other locales, and, more important, saved the temptation of buying non-coffee products.  Excellent–not even I could screw this up.

And a bonus theory related to those non-coffee products: Ordering pastry at Dunkin Donuts is slightly akin to shopping for pornography in public or playing Truth/Dare: There’s a small range of generally accepted variation in one’s order (glazed, chocolate, jelly . . . ), which you waver from at your peril.  Ordering, say, a vanilla frosted donut with sprinkles in front of a colleague provides excellent fodder for raillery or outright derision.

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