Thursday, January 31, 2013

slower IT growth?

Time magazine from last week has an article about the slowdown in the growth of in the implementation of information technology equipment partially related to the lack of folks trained to provide support, but also partially related to a slowing in the rate of technological advancement. The article points out that this is a good thing as it might allow workers to begin to catch up. In some ways, high-tech has us screwed. A couple incidents in my own week may serve as examples.

Beginning about 2 weeks ago, I became aware of a very serious issue regarding my telecommunications and Internet provider leading to a call first to technical support, followed by  subsequent calls to customer service. Did you know that folks in the corporate world will lie and purposefully deceive customers? In my case this even included a supervisor who claimed that she had returned my phone call though none of my phone numbers indicated that she had tried to call. It cannot be a happy thing for these folks, being put in jobs where their jobs are to be purposefully deceptive, and yet the anonymity of their employment seems to assure that some (not all) can brush things off at the end of the day, while their customers are left tossing in their sleep.

The second incident involves the mini-spit heat and air system that we had installed in my office and part of my shop. It worked fine during the summer months, but has been a constant recurring failure during the heating season. At this point, it is barely 50 degrees in my office despite having a supplemental electric heater going. The outside unit runs, and the inside units barely put out any heat  at all. It is a complex system with 3 micro circuit boards on the outside unit alone, which they replaced yesterday after the long wait for them to be shipped from Japan, and to no avail. The system still does not work.

Fixing these complicated things is a thing akin in some ways to being a supervisor in a call center except that fixing real things requires a direct connection with one's honesty and integrity on the planet, and response to other living human beings outside the call center.I have no doubt that these folks are just trying to do the best they can with a system that has grown too complex for its own good.

In any case, a slowdown in the rapid pace of technological advancement may be a very good thing. And getting hands-on in touch with technologies that give a true sense of self and provide for honest work, that enables and ennobles American workers is overdue.

And in the meantime, we have been failing our kids. They need to know the basic technologies: How to use hammers and screwdrivers, how to take things apart and put things back together so they work.. how to fix things and how to create things from their own imaginations... how to be honest in their work and responsive to each other, to their families and to themselves.

Today in my woodshop, I continue to make boxes.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Most "repair" folk are, sadly, just parts changers these days. They have lost the connection to what their hands touch so it is no surprise that their minds can easily disconnect, too.

  2. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Thanks for your blog. I am really enjoying your posts. You have me thinking about developing a kids woodworking program in our area. Reinhardt.