Change Is Good

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Lao Tzu
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill

I’ve been thinking ’bout catching a train
Leave my phone machine by the radar range
Hello, it’s me, I’m not at home
If you’d like to reach me then leave me alone.
It is fairly well known by now that Socrates hated, hated the alphabet and its portent of change. “…for this discovery of yours [writing] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves… You give your disciples not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing,” Plato wrote, of Socrates talking to Phaedrus. Since Socrates refused to write things down, we rely on Plato as his scribe. Change is good.

On a much smaller scale, I had occasion to back a pickup truck onto a trailer tongue the other day. I’ve always preferred to do that as a two-person job, one driving the truck and Rufus making obscure hand gestures whilst standing on the tongue. The truck I used had an optional backup camera with video that swivels and points and even has range lines to guide you on far better than watching the expressions on Rufus’ face. Change is good.

Once upon a time, I wished for a (convenient) VCR for radio. See I liked to listen to Car Talk but it aired on Saturday mornings and I was often interrupted by a dump run, so I missed many of those episodes. Change is good. In 1993, Carl Malamud launched his Internet Talk Radio as the “first computer-radio talk show.” Computer users could download his audio files each week and listen at their convenience. Today I can choose from more than 115,000 English-language podcasts including reruns of Car Talk.

Change is good. Except when it isn’t.

My crew chief (not Rufus) munged the Camaro shift linkage one fine summer day and sent me out on the track with 1st gear down and to the right where 4th gear should be, 2nd in place of 3rd, but 3rd up there where 1st should be, and 4th next to 1st taking the proper 2nd slot (this was loooooong before paddle shifters). Just try going up through those gears and back down again at full chat with a horde of other pony cars around you.

“You’re the driver,” my crew chief said. “You’re supposed to be able to adapt to these little changes.”

Um, no. I have better things to do than try to learn a new shift pattern at 160 mph.

I got a new crew chief. That change bit him.

Firefox ScreenshotAnother change. Firefox decided to redo all my taskbars this morning and tell me to upgrade from version 22 (released last month) to version 25 (released the other day). It was not a clean change. I had to rebuild some of the add-ons, fix the task and menu bars, and so on. And for whatever reason the page zoom is no longer “sticky.” Page magnification used to be sticky. In addition to the UI issues, it has also fried all my protected cookies, the tab options, and some other stuff I probably haven’t found yet. Gmail, Facebook, Pandora, my credit card site, and a couple of others all thought I was logging in from a new computer. It loaded my home button page because it no longer differentiates between that and the home page and TVGuide thinks I’m in Fargo, ND, despite the fact that Cookie Culler shows explicitly that I have my location, provider, and favorite channels set. This is one of the least satisfactory single app upgrades I’ve done yet.

I told Firefox that this version may be the worst browser ever, simply because I’m spending so much more time trying to fix it than browsing.

I have better things to do than try to learn a new shift pattern or new browser tricks when I’m already trying to figure out what Facebook has screwed up this week.

I got a new crew chief. I can get a new browser.

And I managed to get through this rant without once mentioning the guy who promised to turn our world upside down and ended up simply stealing our world.

It’s past time for a change there, too. Change is good.


5 thoughts on “Change Is Good

  1. I have only changed underwear twice. First time was in military when they made me wear Gov Issue ; and Second was when I got married, and Mrs George prefers I wear Jockey Brief style. I’ve stuck with that.

    — George

Comments are closed.