Do You Know How Technology Works?
Let’s think of something for a moment.
I am sitting here in Maui, a Hawaiian island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Desolate. The most isolated island chain in all of the Pacific Ocean. Yet, I am sitting at my computer typing this blog post and in fifteen minutes it will be posted on the web for anyone in the world with access to the web to read (in fact, only about a hundred people will read this – I’m going on averages here). This got my feeble mind thinking How in the hell does that all work? If the world were to be blown into tiny bits tomorrow and I was the leader of some survivor colony (You know I would be the leader, I’m too charming not to be) would we be able to replicate the technologies of today, from scratch, tomorrow? It is an interesting question. Would I be able to figure out how to generate power? To build communication systems, water systems, waste removal systems, build a simple computer. Hell, could I build a simple structure right now if I had to? The answer here is no, I could not. (OK, maybe I would make a bad leader) But maybe I should know this. Maybe knowing these things should be part of the general curriculum for students in America. Maybe we should be teaching each other in the USA how to build, how to create, and how to think. Yes, we have engineers who do a great job of all of this and are paid quite well. But shouldn’t every person in this country be given a hands on opportunity to learn these skills? I’m not talking trade school, I’m talking 7th grade science should just be about a periodic table and memorizing useless shit that kids can look up on their computers (that won’t exist after our global collapse), but functional information they can use in daily life. Because I am so far ignorant as to how so much of what I use on a daily basis WORKS. I simple don’t know, because I was never taught and moreover, never bothered to learn because the computer was just there. The elevator was there. The TV was there. The DVD player was there (how the hell do we get high def from a disc?) Live events were simply broadcast. The radio turned on. The car was in the driveway.
I have known a few people in my life who I can confidently say know how to build or understand the inner workings of the technologies we use daily. I have thought of them as brilliant. It should not be that way, more Americans should know how their iPhone’s work because one day we won’t be able to ask Suri how to generate electricity in the case of a nationwide blackout.
Right now, if all of the lights turned off, I would be fucked. How would you do?
(Quick aside – I don’t know how I would do without spell check. Maybe I would actually have to learn how to spell.)