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May 15, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Relief From Technology


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Today's song is What The World Needs Now Is Love by Jackie DeShannon, released in 1965.

I consider technology to be used primarily as a tool. It sometimes is also used to provide pleasure. I have used computer technology for both.

As much as I use and enjoy computer technology, I am basically a person who prefers to perceive the world in its natural setting. I like things to occur naturally without pressure or force to bring about change.

Some of the people I admire most are people who aren't enamored with technology, but are very much in tune with the simple ways of nature. I created the Reiki's Light image shown above as a symbol of my respect and admiration I have developed with someone who is a best friend of mine. I'll admit I don't know a lot about the concept of Reiki. I am able to perceive the peace and tranquility my friend exudes when she is near. Everyone around her senses the same experience when in her presence. As such, she is someone people trust and they seek out her company.

It is better for a person to not get too anxious about anything in life since so much is outside of our control. Knowing we have a way to de-stress is helpful and indeed necessary for us, regardless of if we use Reiki, Yoga, or some other form of relaxation.

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U.S. Needs Lesson from China on Technology. For years I've been advocating that we have access to inexpensive wireless services anywhere in the United States. Having a cheap high-speed wireless infrastructure is as important in the 21st century as the Intestate highways were in the 20th century. Those highway projects were funded by taxes to spread out the costs over decades. We should be doing the same thing with wireless Internet technology so that for few dollars a year in taxes, we can be connected any time and any place.

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Why Microsoft Will Fail. While I wanted to see Microsoft broken-up for being an illegal monopoly, I don't know if I agree that it will fail. I didn't want Microsoft to fail, I just want it to be a kinder and fairer company than it is. Even today, Microsoft tries very hard to kill off many proposed standards other than the ones it creates. I believe we need Open Document Formats to allow more competition, but Microsoft doesn't [1; 2; 3; 4]. I believe in the Declaration of Independence, but Microsoft doesn't. Microsoft is an example of greed gone wild, power gone wild, where hardly any innovation is created. But due to the fact that most of the current computers runs Windows, it is hard for me to image that Microsoft will fail, no matter how much their large market holds their users back.

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Scan This Book. This is a story of conflicting needs. The copyright laws of the United States allow copyrights to last multiple generations. On the other hand who knows who owns all those copyrights? There are many items whose copyrights may have ended or can't be legally enforced. Should a technology company be allowed to make such items in question available online? In some ways they have a good point, let those that claim a copyright on old items come forward and request their items not be included as long as they can show proof they own the copyright. The tricky part in all of this is proving a copyright is still in-force or that it expired. No copyright holder should be denied their rights, but maybe litigation is the only way to resolve the intersection of ownership and public usage?

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Top Ten Most Stressful Professions. I can completely agree that IT is a stressful position. I still feel that employers need to provide competent training to employees if they want to obtain the most productivity for their business. When technology training is absent, costs go up, productivity and moral goes down. Employers are reluctant to offer effective training to employees for a variety of reasons. None of those reasons make sense to me. In my entire computer consulting career, only one company allowed effective training to take place. They made progress as a result and productivity improved. The downside is that the executive management didn't like their employees having increased knowledge about the business, so the political process took over to negate the progress made.

In the 1980's, personal computer technology was just being introduced into the workplace. Businesses that had previously used time-share computing held power over who could have access to the time-share account for their information needs. Managers soon learned to take their work home to analyze and worked on with their personal computers using Lotus 1-2-3 and then prepare new ideas for streamlining their departments.

At first this was thought to be a good idea and condoned by upper management. As the years rolled by, those departmental "islands of data" became a problem when the company wanted to centralize and consolidate all corporate information and bring it back into the domain of executive management. Too many companies found out it was too late to put the "Genie" back into the bottle.

People working in IT staffs fought many of those "information wars" in the late 1980's and 1990's. It was during that same period of time and remains true today that many in management want people to be "controlled" instead of being free to think. Many executives believe employees work better when they are under someone's thumb. They surely are only fooling themselves, because I know thousands of people who feel otherwise at work. They find relief in their own way.

Don


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