Monday, October 13, 2008

I love tech. I am a geek, I freely admit that, but I am a tech geek to be specific. I am drawn to electronics like a moth to a high intensity LED array surrounded by a wire mesh conducting extreme amperage. If it flashes I want it. More than wanting, though, I also understand. I can do my own coding and assemble my own computers. I say all of this to make it clear that I am not about to attack technology lightly.

Technology, as awesome as it is, is a feeble crutch at best. If you rely on electronics to do everything you will be in a world of hurt when it doesn't work right. What is worse is that the more you need a given piece of tech to work, the more likely it will fail at the worst possible time. This is typically called "Murphy's Law of …" For example, Murphy's Law of printing dictates that the likelihood of printer error increases exponentially the closer to your deadline you are. In other words, if you are doing your printing a couple of weeks before your deadline the printer will work perfectly, but if you are only one week out you have a 20% chance of failure while the day before is an 80% chance of failure and an all night printing party results in a 99% likely hood of the printer breaking halfway through the job.

This also applies to other areas of technology. I can't tell you the number of times that I had media for a sermon that worked perfectly the 5 times I tested it prior to actually preaching, but the moment of truth resulted in audio without video, visa versa, or neither.

I find that by preparing for electronic failure I am more able to recover when disaster hits, and the catastrophic happens far less frequently. I try to do common math in my head instead of using calculators, I backup to multiple locations, I do my papers early and print them early, and I have backup illustrations for when media fails to run properly.

I think my basic assumption that technology will fail is why I can love it so much. I am prepared for the worst case and so when things don't work it isn't a total loss.

I encourage you to learn how to use tech correctly, and I'll talk about some of these things in the future. I also encourage you to accept that if you embrace electronics you will experience heartache and frustration. This is like any relationship, and like any relationship the effort to push past the heartache and frustration is well worth it.