To Troubleshoot or to Shop

I am a geek… somewhat. So I often find myself (or get called out for) expressing real world situations with tech world jargon. Analogies such as “sending keep-alive packets (to parents)”, “i prefer synchronous to asynchronous communication” when explaining to my arts and humanities girl-friends about why i prefer if a guy just picks up the phone and calls me rather than hide behind a lame text, or “need to reboot” when I just need some down time, are all phrases that frequent my vocabulary.

But lets not confuse cause and effect. It is not because I’ve spent 15 years and change, studying and working in the tech world , that I do geek-speak, but rather, because I have spent several more decades(centuries?) observing and experiencing psychological and social patterns and realize just how much we’re all machines and how humanity is desperately trying to recreate itself via machines and collaboration. So using “machinisms” is second nature at this point.

I’ve also been “on the market”… sort of,  for sometime now, for umm… a guy, i think. At first it was just my social conditioning of wanting or needing to be with someone of the opposite gender, because lets face it, the world just expects you to and finds it really hard to fathom both energies in just one person, one body, one mind.  The world wants to see themselves in you. And its bloody hard to find others like you or that think like you or just are comfortable with your position and hence relate on a regular basis. But then, that reasoning evolved into a higher understanding of energy and love and wanting to or rather, choosing to be with another (read, taking a damned decision! 🙂 ). So yeah, back in the game for a different and more evolved reason… again for quite some time now.

The “search” for the other (or the self?) is on as I meander through life. I meet and see a range of people at various levels of awareness, of the world and of the self. For a whole host of reasons, things do not evolve or evolve the way they do, mostly due to logistics, inconvenience and egos and just a whole heck of a lot of fear (not in me! 🙂 ). (Ego is all fine and really comes in handy for some good things, but its the lack of awareness of how it plays tricks on you that can be confounding at best and debilitating at worst.  But more on that in another post. This one is really about figuring out where you are in the spectrum and how you make your choices.). So wait, is it really logistics and inconvenience and egos or is it just one’s inclination or (in)ability to dig deeper? Let me explain… in geek-speak :).

Human beings are computers. There are mainframes, PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, handhelds, microchips. Clearly a range in terms of usability, capability (software apps), processing speed, portability, size, etc. but largely similar in value. Once you’ve identified your requirements and pick a domain or category to shop in, its a matter of a) the nuances in the feature set for price point and b) look & feel. Lets say you made a purchase or have a 30-day trial period after purchase.

Life’s good when you open the package from AMZN or elsewhere, the smell of the wrapping, the sleek finish of the shiny new object, the anticipation of first use and just the overall high of having made the purchase. In fact, there’s a lot to be said about the shopping experience itself :).   Its also pretty marvelous as you discover the feature set, unravel how it makes your life easier in many ways, shows you a new way of looking at things and organizing yourself, gives you perspective and in a way opens your world up.

Then one day, there’s an app/feature that had shown promise at the time of purchase, but is one that you can’t figure out, or maybe a powerful spreadsheet application that has some features you’re just not able to work. Ok, no harm done, take the effort, read the manual, scour online forums, figure it out and boom, you’ve learnt some new capability of your acquisition and you’ve enhanced your own skill set a bit. And then another day, there’s a situation where an app just didn’t perform or gave you results you weren’t expecting, you stomp and scream with frustration, you could return the product… but decide to dig a little and realize its you that fed it insufficient data, or expected it to work differently or configured something wrong. User Error! You live, you learn… And yeah sometimes, a call to customer support is all it takes.

In short, if you’re stumped or worse, you hit a wall, there’s usually a good reason if you choose to stop and think and work on it.  Poor performance? Reduce the overload, uninstall a few apps, check for malware, reboot, do the freaking maintenance! If you have the patience you stand a better chance. If you are a hacker and just know better, you stand an even better chance. Heck, if you can write your own program, the world is at your feet! … or you could just stay at your current level of awareness yourself and get back on AMZN for the next shiny object that might be better (easier?). So the choice is really yours.

Snapping out of the analogy for a moment and getting”real”, of course, am not saying you have to live with a pile of outdated junkware that just does not meet your fundamental needs, but… you get the idea… or do you?

Once again, it all starts with knowing your requirements i.e. knowing yourself. Are you a troubleshooter or are you a shopper?