No user serviceable parts

So far this year I’ve coughed up quite a bit of money for services that I reluctantly admit I am helpless without. One chunk of cash went to my accountant and another to a plumber. Not interesting, but true.

I don’t do analogue 

These were expensive reminders that not everything in my life can be controlled by plugging in a keyboard and hacking up some code. It seems we are not – as it would appear in the pages of Wired magazine – living in a Cyberpunk novel.

I am reminded that we still need pipes to carry our water, wires to conduct our electricity, accountants and lawyers to demystify all that grey stuff, etc.. etc.. you get the picture.

But read a few ‘digital’ blogs or follow certain commentators on Twitter and you’d be forgiven for believing that the old world is all but dead. That we’re hurtling toward our high-tech future so fast that if you don’t teach your dog to write Java by next year, it’ll have to be killed for the meat you can’t afford because nobody needs plumbing now that water is wireless.

As a developer I am occasionally ‘accused’ of possessing power over people who cannot write code. So when I find myself forking out sums of money to people who understand all this crazy analogue stuff, I have to ask —

Does my digital bubble really make me special?

Those people I posses such ‘power’ over are called my clients. I need them and they need me. Just as I’d need a lawyer if one of them tried to sue me.

But we seem to treat computer technology like it’s somehow different from every other human invention – That if consumers don’t develop high-tech skills for the high-tech world, they’re basically going to have to sit out the next phase of the human race.

The way I see it is that everything evolves to a point of complexity that you can’t fully understand it unless it’s your full time job. Those who make it their full time job get to make a living. Those that set up hugely successful companies get to pretty much control it. Everyone else is a consumer.

We seem to be ok with that arrangement for pretty much everything else in life, aren’t we?