Sunday, October 10, 2010




1 : to cause to be set aside
2 : to take the place or position of
3 : to displace in favor of another

I have officially reached the age at which I think most things were better the way they used to be. I prefer puppets to CGI, VHS to DVD, and am devastated at the lost opportunity to physically slam a receiver down onto the base of a telephone. We've all heard our respective elders begin some diatribe with the phrase, "In my day...," leading then into the ways in which things used to be better/simpler/more real.

Yesterday an old college friend Julie and I discussed the anxiety we experience at the thought of PowerPoint presentations. She's taking a graduate class in which these are required, and she's unfamiliar with the technology, as am I.

"What ever happened to poster boards?" I asked.
"I know! If I had to make a tri-fold foam board I'd be like, ok, I can do this."

Things like PowerPoint seem like a total joke to me. No pun intended, but what's the point? It just seems like a waste of effort. Is it really helping/advancing anyone/anything? Don't even get me started on digital books.

For the sake of myself and readers I will avoid going into a rant. Instead, I've tried to locate a word or concept for this specific process—as age increases, the willingness to accept "the new" SUPERSEDING "the old" equally decreases. This is what I have discovered on my search:

Neo-luddites: those who maintain a personal philosophy against new technology. Applicable, although doesn't only apply to the aging

Curmudgeon: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man; too gender biased. And...crusty? (this is courtesy of M-W, by the way)

A NY Times blog post titled, Does Technology Devalue Old People? Suggests that in the face of modern technology, old people have no more useful skills and can only offer wisdom of which young people are too oblivious to value in the first place. a website that offers (drum roll) old versions of various programs. The objective is to supply to those whose old computers cannot support new programs, to archive otherwise obsolete program history, and to back-up the motto, "because new is not always better."

Something called the "Three-E Strategy" implemented to divert resistance to change and technological advancement:

"First, a technology must be evident to the user as potentially useful in making his or her life easier (or more enjoyable). Second, a technology must be easy to use to avoid rousing feelings of inadequacy. Third, the technology must become essential to the user in going about his or her business. This 'Three-E Strategy,' if applied properly, has been at the core of every successful technology adoption throughout history."

Ok. Fair enough, I suppose. Although I still don't understand PowerPoint. Even the name sounds stupid to me. PowerPoint. Put the power in your point.

I don't know. I just make posters.

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