Ditch That Computer!
Perched at the back of the massive, stadium-style “Intro to Psychology” classroom, I looked out at a sea of freshman armed with laptops. I thought to myself at the time: “There is a meaningful shift occurring before me.” My too cool for school, slack-off senior friends and I all had notebooks and pencils. We were merely three years apart, but the class of 2009 was fundamentally different than the class of 2006.
When I was growing up the internet was primarily viewed as a dangerous place. My first internet experience involved my friend and I logging into an AOL chat room. At least 95% of the people in there were sexual predators. “I’m looking for a sexy F/13. Wanna cyber?..... “I’m a gorgeous F/24 looking for rich men”. Almost everyone who chatted with us asked us what we were wearing. The internet was the virtual wild west, but instead of cowboys, Indians and outlaws you had degenerates, deviants and perverts.
I didn’t have high speed internet until college and even then “high-speed” is a generous term. It was so slow in fact that you had to plan your evening porno watching in the morning. Open your Kazaa app at 8 AM, use pathetic sexual search terms, get a list of titles that looked promising, choose one or two – It would be ready by evening; accompanied as always by at least 8 vicious viruses and, of course, a slight sense of shame and self-disgust.
While the internet is still (and always will be) predominantly used for porno, it has now (much to my chagrin) creeped into our every day lives. I decided to test out my wife’s brand-new coffee machine this morning but instead of pouring me coffee the thing started blinking orange. I looked at the manual and learned that a blinking orange light indicates a “software error”.
SOFTWARE!!?? Software!? I’m trying to make fucking coffee. For thousands of years the formula was coffee beans + water + heat. Nowadays a computer is somehow involved. You know why? It’s because of the freaking class of 2009 and all the other young’uns that grew up dependent on technology.
Mikey millennial wants to track how much coffee he drinks a day and have that information synch with some stupid app on his phone. He then wants to share his favorite flavors with his buddies over Instagram. Then Amazon and Google will spy on his accounts and start recommending a monthly subscription service, new flavors, and maybe introduce him to local singles who also enjoy the same brew. It’s an entire ecosystem of superfluous shit that distracts Mikey throughout the day and renders him completely useless in all aspects of life.
Compounding the problem is that Mikey’s father is also a moron. Mikey Sr. is in his late 50’s and a VP at some mid-sized company. He doesn’t understand technology but is worried about being viewed as an out-of-touch dinosaur so he has spearheaded a “digital transformation” for his entire division. Nobody, including Mikey Sr., knows what the heck that means but there are thousands and thousands of leeches willing to “make this happen” for a nominal fee of $50 Million.
I see this nonsense every day at work. I’m currently involved in a mass data collection and tracking effort and it’s absurd. We have four different IT systems feeding into one “master” database. I would guess that there are 60 people involved in this charade. We have geeks building integrations from one system to the next so that the “data flows smoothly” (fyi – it never does). We have grunts doing “data cleansing” up front to make sure it is formatted correctly. We have a data visualization team that is supposed to make fancy visuals using the data, a systems mapping team, etc. etc….. Corporate America is mired in millions of these farcical, limp-dicked endeavors. Completely and utterly ineffectual. I could round up a crew of old ladies, give them typewriters or pen and paper, and get significantly better data at one hundredth of the cost……… The entire data tracking boondoggle reminds me of a Soviet-era joke that this old Russian guy told me a long time ago: “What’s loud, bulky, uses a ton of energy, costs a fortune, and doesn’t heat food?....... A Soviet microwave.”
You need a data visualization team to help you understand the challenges and issues facing your project or your company!? Let me present an alternative theory, perhaps you are a nincompoop who doesn’t know his own business. I’ve been here 10 days and I was able to spot the primary problem without any visual aids – it’s you.
Computers and the internet should go back to what they were designed for – porno. You want to shop? Go to the fucking store. You want to meet eligible men or women? Go outside and interact with someone. You want to order a pizza? Call Dominos. You want to run a company properly? Learn the business and stop wasting millions on IT “solutions”.
As I stand here watching my coffee come to life in a copper vessel over the stove, I feel liberated. The whole house smells great, there are no manuals or orange blinking lights, there aren’t any software issues or connectivity challenges. Just a man making his morning brew the way it has been made for centuries. I’ll sip it slowly and read a physical copy of the paper while these clowns debate why System X and System Y aren’t working. If only they had enough sense to unplug and pursue work and life the old-fashioned way. Sadly, I suspect that two decades of binge watching high-speed porno has fried their brains beyond repair.