I care because I want people to have a more utopian perspective on what technology can do whilst being aware of the dystopian possibilities if we don’t use it well. I care because I want technology to fit its purpose. Put plainly, it’s purpose it to make our lives easier. Sometimes, I find that when technology isn’t working properly it causes us pain and frustration.
Providing people with the ability to fix things themselves or me fixing it for them makes the technological tools become useful again and the frustration goes away. Not only does the frustration go away but the actual task at hand becomes easier. This brings me great joy.
A small change can, what I’m going to call a “fix factor coefficient” can drastically improve someone’s life, and at scale, many people’s lives. Essentially, this small change results in something greater than the work put into its initial parts.
Fixing someone’s car? They can get to work now. Their ability to do that work helps make the company money. With that money the company makes, it can be spent on employees wages, raises, bonuses, and, equipment and services from other companies. This in turn allows those involved to provide shelter, food, clean water, and entertainment for our loved ones and ourselves. Essentially, economic stimulation. This helps all of us but long term and in a macroeconomic way.
Fixing someone’s computer, they can get more work done in less time or enjoy their favorite game or videos online to provide happiness and mental relief.
No one including myself is entirely altruistic however. Providing value to a community in a niche that the community has a need for, the community then gives back in some way. This “trade” mentality keeps us feeling even and demonstrates thanks and appreciation. In essence, it provides fairness.
When people think of technology they usually immediately think of computers, cell phones, cars, or the internet. However, there may be some things that you might not consider are technology but actually are.
From the first inclined plane (yes a hill) this is one of the first machines and is considered technology. Your fork, shovel, soap, and alcohol are technology. The fork helps you lift, pry, and keep your hands clean. The shovel prevents the need to kneel and dig with your hands as well as move more than your hands. Soap provides you the ability to more easily clean yourself with less abrasion and time. Alcohol can be used to clean wounds of infection. In essence, they are all tools because they improve our quality of life and that makes it technology.
One of my biggest challenges include the comfortability of society embracing technology as a useful tool in their daily lives. Mostly this is due to previous paradigms that have already gone through the uncomfortable stages and now works well for those that have learned how to use them. The paradigm itself is another tool or technology.
Firstly, understanding paradigms in technology and dogma is important for me to explain.
From my experience people become familiar and accustomed to one and since it works feel no need for it to change. Many adopt a “If it works why fix it?” mentality. I’ll tell you why. Whatever we’re doing now, we can do it better than before. That doesn’t mean that it won’t have its challenges though. It also doesn’t mean that we won’t have huge breakthroughs and when we do the world can benefit. Also, It doesn’t mean that we should throw away a good thing if it provides some differentiated value as a new option becomes available.
If we never try, we never fail, and if we never fail we never learn.
Paradigms in technology consist of a set of protocols. A protocol is nothing more than a common accepted standard of a way of doing something. A stringed series of these protocols creates a paradigm. In other words, a method. This makes a model for the way of doing something with the constituent parts being the protocols.
For example, news delivery before the internet was primarily by newspaper. Not that newspapers don’t still exist but much more news is consumed electronically now than before. Even if they were consumed at the exact same rate one provides a value the other doesn’t. One doesn’t require electricity and the other can send data across the world in milliseconds. The special different features or contrast between the two are called a dichotomy. This dichotomy represents that paradigms value when a similar one becomes available.
This shows that there is a new paradigm for news delivery. The old paradigm “newspaper” delivery and the new one “web blogs” for example. An even older paradigm was verbal storytelling around a fire. They all accomplish the same task but in different ways. Some have certain features the other don’t and that makes them valuable. Storytelling might feel more personable, whereas newspaper, and web blogs provide quick world-wide access to stories but they might not feel as personable as an in-person story.
If we are used to reading the newspaper and the web blog comes out as a reading option one may prudently tip-toe out of their comfort zone to see what all the fuss is about. If there is something that they’re giving up by using the new paradigm they may retreat to the familiar one until ready to venture out again.
Using a pre-existing paradigm is considered dogma or “an old way of thinking” about something. In my terms, a previous method of doing something such as past paradigms.
If I want to sell something I’ll post it on Facebook marketplace. My grandmother might take out a newspaper ad.
Both of these options provide the same function but not in the same way. They have different benefits such as a different audience.
If I could get my grandmother to post something on Facebook Marketplace or she showed me how to take out a newspaper ad we would be trading paradigms. This would be greatly beneficial to all of us to know more ways of doing something. There is an old adage that goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat”.
From my experience is that when someone has become familiar with a way of doing something that works they stick with that and do not seek out new methods other than in the prudential tip-toe fashion.
This toe-in-the-water prudential tip-toe is my opportunity to provide value when delivering a new paradigm by providing an easy pre-digested guide of how to interact with a particular technology such that it can benefit them most. This is how I provide value.
To prevent from having to deal with all of the forks in the road or to save time if we just want to achieve our goal we can enlist a guide and ask for help. As a social species asking for help is how we leverage our differences in a community to benefit ourselves. In essence, it’s how we function. Do you have a medical issue? You see a doctor. You need groceries, you visit your grocer. Need education, you go to school to get trained by a teacher.
We want this guide to be the person who knows what to look out for and what to treasure. Someone who’s been down this path before. Someone who knows what they’re doing. We sometimes might call this person an expert. I would prefer to say guide as I feel that the term “expert” places our need for help too high on a pedestal and we may lionize the guide into thinking that they need to know more than they do to provide us with value that we’re actually looking for. This is exemplified by clickbait titles like “top 10 tips to …” vs “2 years of technical college”. We would rather have just the tidbit-style highlight reel than getting certified training more often than not.
What I hope to achieve is to be the guide providing those top 10 tips and tricks and to use the opportunity for a person’s technological exploration whether they are prudent or all-in interested such that they can reap the benefits of the struggle, pain, and testing that I’ve gone through such that they don’t need to. I provide this value by taking information and aggregating, concatenating, filtering, encapsulating and testing concepts in practice to determine the viability and then share my experience. This is how I provide value to others in the community. My hope is that providing this value with a fair exchange of value that it can bring them joy, ease their frustration, and in turn provide joy for myself.