Monday, January 18, 2021

Gen Z and technology

Some applications cannot tolerate pauses while updates are downloaded and installed

Belladonna gives me crap about my "tech illiteracy" on a regular basis.

I ask her if she ever programed in FORTRAN or would recognize a phase diagram or T-T-T diagram for iron-carbon alloys.

She is absolutely sure that everything new is better in every way than everything old. To her, "technology" is identically-the-same as the latest Apple smartphone release.

I am not a total Luddite. There are some technologies I embrace but technology for the sake of technology leaves me cold. Technology is a multiplier but zero times anything is still zero.

Jerry Warren, an electrician I used to work with, once told me that the difference between a PLC and a computer is that a PLC services the process first while a computer services its own operating system first.

I am firmly in the camp of preferring technologies that service my needs first.


  1. Most children who think they know technology instead know how to play with electronic toys. Programming with assembler or Fortran, writing device drivers, fabricating devices from structural steel, building an engine or a house or a structural concrete slab, those are signs of technical literacy. I'm older than your Bella, so I don't expect she's done all those yet, but she's done several of them, right?

    1. She took a class in Python so she can bumble her way through some of that.

      She is a scary-good cook, fishes, hunts and field-dresses her own game.

      She can change her own tires, does brakes and perform an oil change.

      Her construction skills involve making several batches of muffins and then batting her big, brown eyes at guys who enjoy doing those things.

    2. That is a good start for a young'un.

  2. When those discussions get aimed at me I ask them if they can sharpen a cross cut saw and pull a breach birth calf. ---ken

  3. Or replace the seals on a water pump on a JD 4020, tune a PID control loop, replace the knives on a sickle bar of a mower conditioner, understand truncation error, set the tension on the belts of a NH bale thrower, solve differential equations using finite difference methods, sight in a rifle for 300 yds when you only have a 100yd range, understand truncation error, field dress a rabbit without a knife, know the practical implications of higher explosive limits (HEL) and lower explosive limits (LEL), castrate a calf, ...


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.