Friday, September 16, 2011

From the opposable: disposable.

Our thumbs and our brains (and some would say our rugged good looks) are what truly separate us from the rest of the animals. Sure, the lion is the fearsome king of the jungle, but ask one to open a jar of pickles and it’s no better than a mewling babe. Our ability to make and create is seemingly without limit.

Consider the miracle that is a glass bottle. Austere in form, robust in variety and essential to modern convenience, the glass bottle starts as desert sand (silica) and, ironically, with enough heat, becomes capable of capturing and holding water.

And that’s just a glass bottle. Cars hold people, houses hold lives and technology holds memories.

So it’s frustrating when these things fail us. And when they fail us consistently, we have a choice to make: Fix it or forget it?

My trusty scanner has been acting up lately; it won’t talk to my computer. Apparently they had a falling out when I was busy drawing an inspirational cartoon called “American Magic” of an eagle carrying a baby unicorn, because when I went to scan it in, I received an error message. It’s like I’m a coach trying to get his two star players to work together again as a team.

“Scanner, remember that time Computer commented on how nice your resolution was? And Computer, didn’t if feel good to hear that Scanner liked working with you over any other machine? Guys? Guys???”

So I brought in some outside help: I downloaded a new driver, installed it and … nothing.

Basically, the manufacturers have given up on my scanner. They’ve moved on. The last available software update was in 2005. The body is willing, but the brain is obsolete. To rejuvenate my scanner, I have to build a time machine. Go back several OSs until they are compatible again. But trapping a relationship in amber, freezing it in a perfect, crystalline moment in time, isn’t any more real than my eagle/unicorn picture (although it is pretty amazing).

Maybe the question isn’t “fix it or forget it”. Maybe it’s “accept it or reject it”?