Natural Luddite-ism. A Rant.

Lud·dite

ˈlədˌīt/

noun

  1. a member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, that they believed was threatening their jobs (1811–16).
    • a person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology.

“a small-minded Luddite resisting progress”

A luddite, in colloquial terms, is a person who rails against new technology. You know the type – the stereotype of the older person squinting out at you from under their sun visors, ranting about them Good Ol’ Days ™, as personified by this guy in the Nest commercials, or by the titular character of Longmire, or my mother on a bad day.

Generally, I don’t think I am seen as much of a luddite myself. How can someone with a blog, a smart phone and a hybrid, who listens to podcasts, pays bills online and skypes with her grandmother so she can learn how to jar pears a luddite? That seems to be contraductiroy to the tenants of luddite-ism, to say the very least.

I mean – I (usually) know how to do such things as answer my phone when it is ringing and operate my smart tv so I can watch old British detective dramas on Natflix. So, I couldn’t be a luddite, right?

But ah, I also seem to have the worst luck on the planet when it comes to technology. Let me explain: Over the last ten years of my adulthood, I have owned 3 computers. My first computer I bought when I was 18. It was a clunky old desktop, and within four months of my having bought it, the graphics card broke in it and a bunch of other things happened, and lo and behold – it wouldn’t turn on any more.

Lucky for me, I had a Boyfriend (The Boy, yes we’ve been dating for a long time) at the time who knew computers and popped down to Chinatown the day before New Year’s Eve, and returned in an hour with a lot of colourful bits and bobs that he fit into my computer with some assurances to me that it was going to be fine, and then my computer worked again. For better or worse, it worked until I was halfway through my first year of law school, where it promptly and loudly bit the dust in what I can only describe as a final glory – by taking all my pictures with it. Which is why, unfortunately, I have very little pictures (digitally) from 2004 to 2008.

After that, I got an HP laptop. It worked great! For two weeks. Then the mouse pad broke and I had to send it back to HP to repair, and that left me computer-less for a month. I got it back and the mouse pad worked great! But, of course, the video card … not so much. And on it went. Eventually, the Boy looked at it, tinkered a bit and came back with a resounding “Meh, it will do – it’s not the best thing though.” And I thought to myself, Well, It’s better than nothing.

Then it crashed. Like, hardcore crashed. Taking all my work with it – and before you yell at me, yes, I back up my work, but only every week, and as it turns out, my previous two months’ worth of backups weren’t … actually … back uped. Why? Well, I am getting to that.

This was just before we moved to LA. Once here, I decided to buy a new laptop – the one I am currently writing on. I bought it September 2013. Since then, it has been reformatted twice due to silly things like failing to boot, and freezing for unknown reasons, and crashing (taking everything with it). It also refuses to connect to certain types of internet (5G band or something or other), doesn’t recognize my password or connect to skype the first time I try it, and will actively try and prevent me from posting on my blog by thwarting my every effort to boot up Firefox … or Chrome.

Then there are my phones – I have had 3 smartphones in my life, starting at the end of lawschool until now. 2 Samsungs and a Blackberry. All of them have inexplicably done weird things. Like freeze randomly, start ringing crazily, take random pictures of the ceiling while on the nightstand, etc. Also, the one Apple product I have owned was doomed from the start – literally – the start button or home button or whatever it’s called, was manufactured wrong and was stuck. That is, it was useless. Unfortunately the Geniuses at the Apple Genius Bar broke my iTouch when trying to repair it, thus making me forever an anti-Apple activist. Nevermind the fact that the only ereader that has ever worked for me is the extremely low-tech original Kobo reader – a thing so old and low-tech that the border officer that was pawing through my bags at Pearson back in May demanded to know what the hell it was.

Yep. You’re seeing a pattern here, right?

Added to all this damning evidence: When I was working at the tech start up a few years ago, I had a state of the art lap top. One morning, I came into work, flipped it open and turned it on … to nothing. Like, a blank, blue screen with the windows logo. No box to put my username and password, no error message … nothing. I called IT and they came and looked at it … and then after a few hours, returned my laptop to me, telling me first, that they have no idea what the hell was wrong with it that morning, but by noon it was booting fine, and that I obviously had bad juju and I should never go into their department again, for fear of infecting the rest of the technology.

And that incident, more than anything else, got me thinking: I am a natural luddite.

But what exactly is a natural luddite?

Well, it’s a term I coined to explain all this craziness. See, I have honestly begun to believe that I emit some sort of weird radio frequency that just screws with technology. I have passed this theory by my friend Alton who, given the myriad of evidence, is inclined to agree with me. Our joint theory is actually that I am the first, or at least representative of the first, of a new evolution of people who can’t exist with technology and will one day be sequestered in whatever forests and such remain on this planet so that we don’t interfere with the steady evolution of technology with our weirdness. It can totally be a thing. Think ultra-hipster without the Apple products.

All this is a long way to say that: I haven’t posted in a while because my computer decided it was done with me and refused to allow me to open up Word. And when I attempted to thwart it by writing in Google on my browser – one upped its game and began freezing Chrome until I just gave up, backed up my files on the external harddrive, handed the laptop to The Boy and told him to do whatever it took. It has taken me the better part of a week to get all my programs back up on this computer – and even today, Word crashed so that I lost the original layout of this post, ironically enough. But now my computer is working better (if not as seamless as everyone else’s) and I feel optimistic that I can get back on track!

That being said … man is this frustrating.

And given everything else going on in my life – I could do with a little less of frustrating things, you know?

Anyways, my apologies for not posting lately and I really hope my anti-technology aura doesn’t mess with my posting in future – stay tuned for books reviews of The Crossfire Series, Amy Peohler’s book and some short stories, some Xmas recipes and a few thoughts on my upcoming wedding reception – which is a whole other load on my mind these days.

Thanks for your patience and let me know what you think of my natural luddite theory!

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