Technology! I will (selectively) ignore thee…

Warning: This is a rant. It’s not meant to make sense so if it doesn’t, don’t ask me. Also, it’s possible that you might loose your sanity reading this. If that happens, I take no responsibility.

For quite some time now, I’ve been successfully containing a brain explosion. This post probably is just a way to for my brain to let loose some of the pressure. What’s the pressure is about? Well, it’s technology! This is a very exciting time to live in. There is so much going on in the world of technology that there isn’t enough time to comprehend it. And that’s why my brain is going to explode!

Everyday, I set sail on the high seas of the internets and wander aimlessly following links that demand clicks through text that seems so alluring. There on different shifting sands of text and moving pictures I see electric cars, talking glass and stranger things. Visions beyond my dreams. Sometimes I wonder, am I awake or in a dream, for the world seems clothed with artificial lights. When will the sun dawn? When will the night end?

But then, I know that I’m not dreaming. How? Don’t ask. I’m not dreaming and I’m not mad! But the world doesn’t make sense. Take me to Google and show me how simple it is seek out the secret of a gleaming star. But, how can I know that by which I know? How does Google work? That is the mystery. Held in secrecy. Incomprehensible. Not because it’s too difficult or secret, but because it’s too big! This arcane piece of engineering serves millions daily. Of these millions, I am one. And recently, at Google I/O there was more mana added into that mystic soup that makes Google tick.

That reminded me of this: “Look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?” That’s what comes to mind when I look at Google.

Of course, many people use Google’s services daily and don’t think about it. And that’s alright. Nothing wrong with it. But I can’t do it because that’s my field. I need to know about the happenings of the industry I work. (Although the option remains to grow a long beard, take up lisp programming and become a hermit) The industry is growing way too fast.

There is low level system programming and then there are giant pieces of arcanum like google search. All programmers work somewhere between this spectrum. Nowadays new programmers begin their journey for enlightenment somewhere between these two extremes. Supposing that all the technologies of present can be conceived as a giant pole of which one end is low level system programming and highest being the cutting edge research and things that google does, a programmer’s job is something like rope walking using our hypothetical pole as a balance pole.

But the problem is, this particular pole is shrinking at one end and rapidly growing at the other. Low level system programming is very slowly being eaten by the hardware beneath it and on the other hand new technologies come about in existence with the violence and swiftness of a wildfire. So, a programmer not only has to walk a tight rope, but he also has to constantly change the place at which he grips the pole to keep it balanced. And not to mention, with the length increase, the weight also increases…

But enough about senseless metaphors that make no sense whatsoever. Bottom line is, way too many things are happening in the world of technology that it’s not feasible to keep track of all of it. And reaching this conclusion is difficult for me because I’m an eat it all kinda guy. I want to know it all.. but it seems that I no longer have time. Not here. Not now. So, I’m going to listen to the old adage “Ignorance is a bliss” and ignore what’s not important and focus on what is.