On Progress

We all shall be grateful for being part of a generation that has witnessed and actually still is witnessing the gigantic leap of technology. In two decades the prototype of a computer shrank from a garage-sized loud and rather simple calculator to those brand new high-tech portals of binary code named tablets. The phrase “It can’t be done” has been proven wrong countless times. And so far  progress has only served everyone’s interest – no distinctive downsides except obesity. And probably weapons. They are evolving too and despite the fact that alongside with other technologies powerful weapons  can protect us from all the potential doomsday scenarios they are a threat. Especially the nuclear ones. Probably one day an imbecile obsessed with power and in charge of the big red buttons that should never be pressed will decide to play a real life conquer the world game but apart from praying to postpone this insanity nothing more significant can be done. Meanwhile computer multitasking has allowed many people to focus only on the aspects of life and business that can’t be handled by software.  Less running in the wheel like a hamster and more philosophic hours spent as an owl. In most cases this is a convenient and rewarding luxury. Machines are made to ease our everyday lives. Kitchen utensils , mobile phones , photo and video taking and sharing , exploration ,  you name it. Technology has made a dramatic impact in the automotive industry. A modern car has only the wheels and the steering wheel in common with the moving boxes your father drove. You have a map that shows your current location anytime , anywhere and is leading you with gentle voice and animation to the chosen destination , a friend who is telling you how much space you have before hitting the curb when parking , a mechanic that makes full service check every time you turn the ignition key and all of that embedded in your dashboard.  Ingenious systems even make it harder to slip and crash. And it’s not just cars. All other means of transport nowadays are safer , faster , more reliable and affordable to anyone. Medicine has also hugely benefited from the progress. Life expectancy has doubled and it’s just a matter of time to overwhelm the very few still incurable deceases.  Progress has even influenced the way we entertain. People today  listen to music which would have been classified as “annoying noise” in the twentieth century. Photoshop has made everyone perfect and social medias have more devoted users than any of the television giants. Inspiration is everywhere. More and more people are paid to simply think of new improvements of goods and services.  A nostalgic glimpse to the past makes me think that we’re already near the limit. You can’t squeeze two litres of juice out of a single orange. The unimaginable has already happened. How far will this magical progress go? Well I don’t possess the required wisdom to speculate but as I started – I’m grateful for being part of this era even as an average witness.

Lazy-reader version :  Progress is the purpose of intelligence. It educates and makes life safer and easier. It’s achieved by hard work and inspiration. Scientists are exploring the unknown and deliver staggering innovations to the rest of the world. History is happening in front of our very eyes everyday. Maybe it’s just me but I’m feeling special. The opportunity to see how it all happened is something to be valued.


On Repairing

Things break. In fact this happens quite often and somehow driven by chance they break at that very moment you need them the most. That statement is probably due to the fact that I was  never thankful to the items I use everyday when they actually worked. Of course you can’t expect something to work forever , provided you never thought of preserving it. So instead of pulling your hair (if you have one) and screaming like a terrified spanish kid , facing a charging bull in Pamplona , it’s better to understand how a thing works and where can you have it rebuilt rather than using the F-word and throwing it in the bin. But the knowledge required to do so might cost some time or even a degree in mechanics. Fortunately there are people whose hobby is to understand how things are made and how they work. They’re called engineers. A handful of companies will kindly provide you with specialist usually wearing glasses that can help you out with your technical mishaps regardless the scale of the problem. Just make sure you don’t allow them to stay for coffee or you will end up in deep regret for deciding to mend the old thing. I think those people are much less popular than they should be. Maybe even the guy who made my laptop shine and purr again needs a monument. Seriously people like this bring relief to every household or company and they get in reward such an insignificant amount of money that it’s much like a charity ticket. Imagine what life would be if you had to spend the rest of time figuring out which exactly was the broken bit called “catalyzer” of your car. Many might insist on high-profile purchases , expensive items which should last at least twice longer but everything apart from jewelery is not worth it. And at the end of the day you realize it’s all been made in China. Repairing is the smart way of renewal. You will be amazed how cheap the spare part can be , in fact my microwave oven must be a cat on the verge of its existence if we count the times it needed a “specialist”.  So hereby I am encouraging you to at least read the manuals of the items you purchase. Or watch a video on youtube about screwing a bolt and hammering a nail.  That knowledge is going to pay back. Promise given. When someday you decide to change your address it”s a great way to introduce yourself to the neighbors by helping them out with some engineering magic in the shed , just don’t overcook it.

Lazy-reader version : It’s way more efficient to do some research on how you can fix something than to go and purchase a new model that you don’t actually need or care about. Results will be surprisingly good.
And a tip from me – when it comes to cars – buy one from Germany.