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am I obsolete?

Over on her blog, Claire Wolfe asked Do you sometimes feel obsolete?

It inspired an extensive answer … I’ll share here. You might want to go read her post to better understand my response: Do you sometimes feel obsolete?

I designed my home of 20 years with wood heat as the only, but thoroughly adequate, choice. I’ll get wood heat as a backup/supplement in the cabin this year.

However I love the programmable thermostat I put in before our first winter. It comes on at 0530 … inspiring me to stay in bed and possibly fall back to sleep when I undersleep, yet making noise and warming the house inviting me to get up at a reasonable hour.

It also never forgets to turn the heat down by 0900 in case we get involved in gathering gear and heading out and would otherwise forget to turn the heat down.

It warms the house up before we get home so we can take our coats off as soon as we arrive. Then it turns it down when we should go to bed. Plus the override buttons are right on the face and easy to use anytime the program needs a temporary adjustment.

How Google and the NSA could do it better is beyond me … not to mention abhorrent.

Technophobe is probably problematic or at least a handicap in today’s world. But balance in all things is always healthy. Technodependence is every bit as unhealthy.

I really like my router. Happily, I really like my block plane(s) too. Both get used. Both are a joy. Each carries its own advantages.

I was operating and intrigued with USAF computers in 1970. With nowhere else to be and nothing else to do, I became a hacker before most folks knew what a computer was. I’ve been in and out ever since. But I know for sure that dependence on them is Bad Juju. They will go down. That is the one thing you can count on.

You must always have a back up… and always be ready for a Murphy Moment … the failure at the worst possible time. You must be able to calculate without a calculator, compute without a computer, communicate without the Internet, etc. But to not use the Internet when it is the most potent anti-statist tool on the planet today .. unimaginable to me.

Smart phone, cell phone, land line, no phone … I’ve covered the gamut. Cell phone is today’s compromise, but I am under no illusions of privacy with that tool (or this). Separation is the only route to privacy in its case.

TV – the “circus” side of bread and circuses. Over 20 years absence with no regrets. The “culture” I’m missing out on cannot really qualify under several definitions of the word.


I have to laugh at my wise children thinking their Luddite old man just can’t grok tech. The website building and Linux classes I’m offering for the local adult ed classes say otherwise. The radio communications and organic gardening classes I’m offering speak of balance.

No, I feel wise enough to know which technologies to explore, which to embrace and at what level. I believe I’m just skeptical enough to choose which and how much to allow into my life. I think I’m educated enough to have at least one foot in the non-tech world of getting by without.

No, I suspect I’m more ready for the future than they are.