Happy Hiccups of Progress

YouToo by Gideon Wright (CC BY)

YouToo by Gideon Wright (CC BY)

In the old days, writers used to sit in front of a typewriter and stare out of the window. Nowadays, because of the marvels of convergent technology, the thing you type on and the window you stare out of are now the same thing.
―Douglas Adams
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
―Sydney J. Harris


Once upon a time, when dial-up connections plagued me, I consoled myself that long-distance messages once took a man, a horse, and several months to deliver. Since then broadband and wifi have spoiled me further. Now buffering lags―just a fraction of dial-up delays―are irritating.

But today, watching the progress bar crawl nearly backward across my screen, I realize we’ll soon live entirely online, with no reconnection trouble because we’ll never disconnect. Suddenly I’m grateful for the lapsed images and staggered movies in this small battle for seamless connection. Like the occasional red traffic light the delay makes me pause for breath. It’s a technology time-out when unplugged moments are increasingly rare.

There will always be a few purists who protect small pockets of unplugged peace, but most people revel in the ether and it’s closing in fast. I’ll try to be more careful what I impatiently wish for, even enjoy these current hiccups of progress. Because these technology time-outs will soon be sorted, but breathers are always welcome.


  1. Went to the ballet today. The opening to a highly anticipated piece was to be a digital introduction. Due to ‘technical difficulties,’ it was not to be. After two attempts to overcome the problems, the ballet company proceeded with an uncompromisingly exquisite presentation. The ‘hiccup of progress’ was perhaps a blessing in disguise, as evidenced by the standing ovation for the breathtaking, non-technological artistry of the dance.

  2. I used to crouch by the path waiting for the buck to prance by. I had been there only half the sun’s crossing the great heavens. I was hungry as I knew my tribe was too…time is not in my vocabulary…the need to eat and the drive to quell its demands is.

    Thoughts of a 10 year old hunter at the pre-dawn of the digital age…

    Joe is calm today, he needs a loaf of bread too. Mom is looking for the cinnamon and I will get that too. I am riding by wheels by the store, drive chain is due for maintenance in 46 hours. No other needs-data evident. An efficient trip is continuing…

    Thoughts of a 10 year old hunter at the pre-dawn of the Borg…

    Thanks for the reminder to savor every moment we can.

What do you think?