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I don’t have to have the latest toys. In fact, I am happy to stay with what I have as long as it works. I’ve been a frugal lad all my life. The increasing demands of technology worry me. Nobody has to tell me that I keep odd hours. Waking up between 3:00 and 3:30 is hardly normal. Since I post on this blog before I go to work, I get up and turn on the computer, ready to write. As I learned three laptops ago, if you don’t keep your updates updated, you soon find yourself unable to do anything on the web. With my last laptop, whenever an update notice came, I immediately acquiesced. “What humble work I have to do, sir, pales in comparison to your mighty plans.” Now updates begin automatically. Most often I have no say in the matter. In fact, the first thing I saw when I started up my most recent computer was a message saying that a software update was ready to install. So what does all this have to do with my insomniac habits?

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Computer companies assume nobody is getting up and working at 3 a.m. While we’re sleeping our computers are making their electronic deals and sending out their electronic handshakes. We mortals need our slumber. I don’t even know what half this software on my computer does. I know that if it’s out of date, problems are sure to arise. So when I awake to find my computer’s too busy to accommodate me, I wonder how to post on my blog. Some updates politely run in the background, but others necessitate that I turn off the software I actually know how to use until it’s done updating. By the time it’s finished, I’ve forgotten what I was going to write. The computer now determines what might be expressed. When something goes wrong, we’re forced to learn its language. We’re in its country now. Technology is its national language, by law.

Once I was told that travel faster than the speed of light was impossible because of navigation. If you can’t see what’s in front of you because you’re traveling as fast as anything can, how do you know you won’t run into a planet, comet, or software update? You have no means of getting feedback in time to react. It strikes me that we’re already traveling well beyond the speed of light. I grew up writing without a typewriter. I wrote stories and articles on paper with lines, using a pen or pencil. Now I rely on my devices to store my ideas, but they’ve got other plans. I have to wait until they’re done to do my work. Of course, we must conform. At 3:30, human, you should be in bed. My advice to you, dear reader, is this: don’t wake your machine at the witching hour. You might not like what you find.

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