Dumb Technology Please

Dumb Technology Please
Photo by Tomas Tuma on Unsplash

Make no mistake, I am a nerd who loves progress and technology. I especially like the stuff that makes my life easier. Preferably whilst also not costing me my privacy or needing software updates just to do something mind-numbingly basic. Like, for example, cooking your food or keeping it cold. A toaster does not need internet access to work.

I can understand some tech needing software. Phones and computers, for example. That's some good stuff. The occasional car could use a little computer technology. Personally, I'd like a car where I press a button and it reverse parallel parks for me.

What I don't need is to download a software update to turn the indicator on. Or have internet access to start the dang car.

Sewing machines should not need internet access. If you want a new pattern on your smart sewing machine, it should be downloadable via thumb drive at most. Or on a cartridge like the old school nintendo.

To be "Old Bean Yells at Cloud" for an entire blog entry... I would posit that we don't need things to be as smart as they're touted. It's got to the point where I had to go on an expedition to find a coffee machine with real buttons, no touchscreens, and zero software.

They had one.

One model, no other options.

On the plus side, it just makes coffee. I put the pod in, I press the button, and it makes coffee. Exactly what I want out of it. Huzzah.

My poor mum, who has issues with technology, had a hell of a time trying to find a dumb washing machine. The closest we could get was one that needed programming to go through anything resembling a routine. And even then it doesn't do what it's told. I need to reserve a day to pop on down there and have a good old examination of the instructions to see why it's being mean to mum.

You shouldn't need an IT degree to run a firkin washing machine.

Some technology needs to be as dumb as a box of rocks.

It doesn't need software, nor software updates, nor a permanent internet connection in order to do the one thing it was made to do. It's yet another way of making sure the machine fails on cue when the software support dries up. That's assuming that the user somehow manages to preserve all the fragile plastic parts on the interior.

But hey, we got rid of all those plastic straws, so that's a good thing. And yes, I am still salty about that. I shall remain salty until they find a way to eliminate microplastics everywhere and also bring back plastic straws for the folks who need them. But I digress.

Late stage capitalism sucks, and it's all about having the 'correct' amount of buzzwords to sound appealing to the people who still have money. Meanwhile the people who need the thing to do what it says on the box are just shit out of luck.

We need a dumb technology revolution. With maintenance compatibility. And real fucking buttons.