I’ll be the first to admit I’m a bit of a Luddite. Well, not “admit,” per se. More like “brag.” I don’t much care for computers, I loathe the timesuck that is television, and I think video game playing should cease and desist after the age of 18 (But then, I believe the same thing about guys wearing Abercrombie and Fitch clothes.). I honestly believe I was born 50 – 100 years too late. I’m upset I never got to sit by a radio the size of a Laz-E-Boy and listen to “The Shadow.” I think we should all ditch electric rail and go back to steam engines. I miss rotary phones.
However, I’m forced to live in the 21st century, and using modern technology is fast becoming, or has already become, more of a necessity than a luxury. Yet I still resist, and as part of my passive aggressive resistance, I refuse to learn tech terms. I hear them bantered around all the time in the office, or online, or in commercials for various technology-related services and occasionally think, “I should learn what that is.” Then my other voice yells “Don’t do it, brother! Stand firm!” Then my other voices say things like “I’m hungry,” or “We should burn that,” at which point I try to take a nap until they shut up.
Below are the top 10 tech terms/concepts I just don’t get:
1. Cloud-based storage: Whaaa? Makes me think there are little Google cherubs up there, constantly copying stuff onto floppies and storing them in big filing cabinets labeled “Rhoda’s Chili Recipes,” “Hector’s Cutesy-Precious Cat Pictures,” and “Ted’s Vietnamese Porn.”
2. RSS feed: I know it’s some sort of alert system for new posts on blogs and websites and stuff, but for some reason I always picture it as a guy sitting at a telegraph machine tapping out dots and dashes to tell peoplewww.guyswholooklikekennyrogers.com has a new post, or that Brett Favre is texting inappropriate pictures to more butterfaces.
3. Dongle: I’m not even going to say what this makes me wish it hadn’t made me think of.
4. BitTorrent: This doesn’t sound like a good thing at all. Why would I do this to my poor computer? Sounds like a raging funnel cloud of zeros and ones coming to destroy your trailer. Run, Cletus! Run!
Seriously, though, I have no idea who or what that is.
5. “internet” vs. “world wide web”: Is this a toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe thing, or is there a real difference? When I steal the latest Justin Bieber song off Limewire because I don’t want it to show up in iTunes for my wife to see and subsequently mock, am I doing it off the internet or off the “www?”
6. mailer-daemon: Holy wiz-shnizzle, demons deliver email? I always suspected as much, but couldn’t prove it. See, this is exactly why I don’t like technology. You can’t even send a note to yer Meemaw without Cromafugees, demon of sodomy, witchcraft, and returning digital missives to sender, popping up and telling you her mailbox is full.
7. WAP: I’m not sure how the racial slur for Italians became an accepted tech term, but you can be sure I’m ‘bout to give that Steve Gates an earful.
8. Viral Marketing: I imagine this has something to do with secret corporate laboratories and men in black suits walking around on crowded streets, poking people with hypodermic needles secreted in the tips of their umbrellas/walking sticks. In my world, bird flu is a horribly-gone-awry step in Chick-fil-A’s master plan to get people to “eat mor chikin.”
9. Ethernet: This is where the storage angels live. Right?
10. “Meta” anything: I was halfway through Meta-Heuristics: Advances and Trends in Local Search Paradigms for Optimization by Ibrahim H. Osman before I realized it had nothing to do with how pictures of Scarlett Johansson’s boobs make their way from the paparazzi’s camera to my laptop.
Anyway, I’m still not sure of what to make of all this. Maybe I’ll figure it all out eventually, maybe I’ll decide I really don’t care and give up. Probably that second thing. In the meantime, someone should set up a fight between the storage angels and the mailer demons. If that happens, someone please BitTorrent it to my RSS feed so I can go on the world wide internets and access it from my cloud-based storage. (Just don’t invite the WAP’s.)