Let me address, for a moment, a subject of male preoccupation: machines.
Damnable machines. The intricacies and interminglings of mechanical and electrical, the mystery and lure of esoteric knowledge, the elusive and seductive usefulness of them—such aspects evoke what the ancient ones would call the summoning of spirits. Caveman call to God with the same sticks and stones. A key turned, a button pressed, and a powerful and nigh-understood beast is yours to command. As spoken by Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Think about it. I haven’t.
Years ago American lore tells us that we men were fascinated with automobiles. We knew all the intricacies of engine parts, created mythologies (such as the ever-faulty Knuter valve), and “talked shop.” How quaint. Today these honored traditions are mostly just useless and annoying distractions. Example. Example. Example. Which of course makes them dishonored traditions. Because people have pooped on them.
Today, modern machines of manliness aren’t built from aluminum, but rather silicon wafers. By my scientific calculations the average american male knows a hefty 1.8 terabytes more in the category of “shit about computers,” as compared to the relatively clueless american female. Bear in mind this fake statistic takes no account of age and there are often pleasant exceptions. But by and large, I think you’ll agree, womenfolk have to deal with us cause it’s a man’s job to take care of the computers.
The ramifications: if you’re like me, there will be occasions when every-single-person-you-know will want you to fix their computer. Recently I had two computers break on me—the same day. The first, the PSU simply exploded… or, uh, imploded… I don’t know cause I wasn’t actually there… but am told the sparks were impressive either way. And the second? It’s PSU was momentarily temporarily disconnected. This (of course) caused catastrophic driver corruption. It’s now stricken with the condition I like to call “POS syndrome.” And, the day before, I’d picked up an old-timey laptop which needed to have everything reformatted, reinstalled, and re-gotten-working-again. Windows ME doesn’t seem to even exist on the internet.
And so, my essential caveman nature was faced with three highly sophisticated (highly busted) thinking machines. We’ve only evolved so much in 10,000 years, people. Let me assure you that only the best-placed utterings of damnation can sway a determined machine. General cursing helps, but not as much as besmirching the name of Engelbart. They hate that kind of besmirching.
How I eventually managed to fix all these problems isn’t actually important. Even though you probly’ve been lead to believe it is, by me. Although hint hint—my method did involve money and throwing. Needless to say the computer that’s mine is working again.