Two years ago I bought a home, and with it, a promise of future lessons to learn. As a child of New York City, we begged and bribed our apartment’s superintendent for repairs. Now as an adult in the burbs, it’s my responsibility to repel the jungle that my lawn aspires to become. The Tarzan lifestyle ain’t my thang.
We cherish the iconic status and achievement of owning land in our culture, and landscaping is likely the prime expression of that value. My old boss really embodied that ideal:
He was British, posh, and the General Manager of a large multi-national tech company. From his Ostrich lined loafers to his Park Slope crib, he emanated the swanky smoothness of James Bond on a book smart frame. And that’s why when he said he loves riding his John Deere mower “whilst” drinking whisky out the bottle Sunday mornings on his land upstate — my brain had a critical error. This man was wealthy enough to own many homes, yet his “American dream” experience was to mow grass on the weekends. …
We love the tech nerd. They’re our heroes who unlock the locked and dole out the gadgets. From James Bond to HBO’s Silicon Valley, we celebrate the utility of technology and their creators.
At odds with that sentiment, coders/techies/hackers are frequently portrayed with poor social skills. They’re rarely the main hero of a movie. They seem so cool, but are totally not cool at the same time.
The film industry has their bag of tech nerd archetypes that they’ve popularized. Here are a few you should recognize:
Few things in life are as irritating as waiting 10 seconds for your web page to load in 2020. We aren’t cave men on dial-up internet. You’re on a 200 Mbps connection and a shiny new laptop, but that GIF of a cat petrified of a cucumber still won’t load.
The most human reaction is to blame your computer. “Stupid computer can’t load a stupid GIF. I knew I should have gotten a Mac”, while the Mac user wishes he didn’t overpay and could have had a PC for the same slow experience.
While that was a fair reaction to loading a URL a few decades ago, the hardware we have these days is so far beyond what’s necessary. Take it from a software engineer who pushes machines to their limits every day. …
If you’ve never heard of Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Superman in today’s culture, you’re so sheltered in-place that you also didn’t notice we’re in quarantine too. These are societal staples that have sparked our imagination growing up, allowing us to entertain the “what if it was real” thoughts in our day dreams, and allowing us to escape the mundane.
While we very much hold dear to our love for alternate universes and their novel super powers, it’s quite natural not to share the same admiration for skills we can develop in our own universe. So many of us will try to sleep on a long flight instead of being glued to the window in the sky. …