Thursday, May 26, 2011



Ludd in the Blood

When it comes to technology, I have always been slow to adopt, slow to adapt, and stubborn about letting go of the old ways. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the newfangled just because it's new. I just see a lot of technology out there, being thrust forward as a solution to problems that are actually just minor inconveniences, usually under the guise of simplifying our lives. Oftentimes, I think technology doesn't even do that, but simply trades one problem for a different one somewhere down the line. It used to take forever for me to write and draw by hand. But with a computer, I save so much time! You know, except for when it crashes and I need to recreate a piece from scratch. Or it won't open at all and I have to buy a new one. Or the fact that I now have higher electricity bills, carpal tunnel, and way less money.

But, of course, I paint a one-sided picture there. There's plenty of ways technology has enriched and even extended my life. What's more, a quick look through history will show that those who do not march forward technologically are quickly crushed under its boot. I don't want to be crushed under a boot. Or any sort of footwear, outdoor or indoor. Not even flip-flop.

So don't think of me as someone who hates the new. Think of me rather like... someone who regrets having to leave behind the old. When we upgrade our technology, we upgrade our habits. We are often so excited by the blitz of novelty and marketing that we don't consider whether it will fundamentally change our lifestyle in a negative way. We are so easily seduced by short-term pleasure, we ignore long-term pain. Yeah, my iPod lets me listen to music everywhere I go. But it also has damaged my hearing, and allowed me to avoid situations that I may find less fun, but are probably way more beneficial. Such as interacting with other human beings. Or just plain sitting in silence, and consequently, actually letting myself think. In many ways, I suspect the iPod has made my life worse. What else is having that effect? Has television really improved my life? Has my car? Videogames? The internet? I'm often tempted to give it all up.

Except for my coffee warmer. Seriously, that thing is a freaking miracle worker.

Additional Notes

Related to this article and my musings about my iPod, I recently came across the concept of the "Walkman Effect". Just thought I'd share it.

Comments on this Article

There are currently 26 comments.

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They must've been on the AT&T network


Or 911 was just like... "You know... these people shouldn't breed."


Now I know what app to make!


You're far too hard on yourself. For a robot you're doing an admirable job of living amongst us (them).


Shane - We all could use something to help us with floormat maintenance.

Kirk - What a relief! *Kill All Humans Initiative Aborted*


What a cliffhanger — did the phones make it out safely?


Almost. One, tragically, needed to be re-synced.


The true irony of the situation is if they had upgraded to one of those smokeless electronic cigarettes, this whole tragedy could have been avoided.


Haha - well done, G-wen :D

josh barkey

I'm not gonna be witty or clever or reparteeish this time, I'm just gonna come right out and accuse you of thefterizing in the first degree, on account of your comic could be an illustration for a post I wrote called "Why I Do Not Own a Cellular Telecommunications Device," or even the one I wrote three days ago entitled, "Can't Sleep... the Machines Will Get Me!"

It's not enough you've got a wiener dog and three of my pet ducklings just got eaten by my parent's demon-mutt, now you've gotta come steal my ideas?

On second thought, how about you let me steal your illustration to go with my post?

I'll link it to my name and let the readers be the judges. To court! To court! (and remember... just because yours is better, doesn't mean you get to win)


Haha - cross my heart, Josh, this came out of my personal crankiness and nowhere else. It appears you and I are riding the wave of a zeitgeist! So feel free to use the illo. The cosmos has thrown us together, and we shouldn't ignore that.

Cliener von Cleanskin

Until this site has an iPad version, I’m not going to comment.


so tru.

-Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos.

Rod Tejada

My oh my! The post and illustration is just amazing!

Now, If I only had an app to get Mojo off of my head when I have itunes, Facebook and a movie at the same time.

Those guys were lucky to have a cigarette!!


That accident occurred because the car wasn't compatible with the iphone and the ipad.

Customers are advised to use an icar. (iDrive?)


Rod - Yeah, but they all die from secondhand smoke!

Mary - Hahah - Good one :D


Well that just makes a lot of sense...


Awesome. Great comic and I completely concur with its message. Now, regarding your entry, we are on the exact same page! I also find it difficult to adapt and adopt and don't think all the new shit is beneficial.


i Diots


... not that I'm one to talk, as my iPhone serves as my cell phone, mp3 Player, alarm clock, calendar, notepad, flashlight, and 24 hr emergency Angry Birds device. Not that I expect my phone to do *everything* ... I'm just waiting for Roomba ap, that would be totally wicked!!

Daniel Black

As Church, Turing, Gödel, and Mikey (of the "He likes it!" variety) all concurred: any app up to muster would definitely win the Loebner Prize for Most Human Computer.

Daniel Black

Also, this whole pose of "not every inconvenience is a problem worth over-engineering a solution to" is not only unAmerican, but also grammatically nerve-wracking.

(That's just filler so I could tell your site to remember my contact information because I need to belong.)


That sure is a large back seat for a Volkswagen.

I would like to call to question the likelihood of a cigarette causing carpet to ignite rather than melt. The middle ember of a cigarette can reach 580°C in a steady state, while the typical point of combustion of automotive grade carpet is 600°C. Assuming the cigarette was left on its side as depicted in frame two, the carpet would only melt, as the side of a lit cigarette only reaches 400°C.

Of course, we are leaving out the physical properties of said carpet when reacting to high temperatures. (its natural tendency to melt away from a heat source as the temperature rises, thus reducing the available fuel for combustion).

Baron von Munchausen


You may have overlooked the fact that the cigarette in question is an iStick (which may cause iCancer), said to burn at an astonishing 850°C. Mr. Cornell's depiction of this iFiasco is iAccurate.


B Munch,
We must appeal to the appropriate government regulatory commission as to the new needed standard of carpet/heat tolerance.

P.S. You might possibly be placing your iStick in the wrong orifice if you are contracting iCancer. Ocular insertion will also void warranty.

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