May 2nd, 2012


At What Cost?

I personally know those who cannot live without the latest/greatest most sleek gadget in their area of interest. I also know those who value function over form no matter what; those who view any cosmetic shell as whorish and cheap. It would be foolish to judge either party, for their convictions are akin to stereotypes - damned funny when exaggerated and unfairly applied too liberally, but nonetheless steeped in a history of truth.

Despite knowing that scantily-clad supermodels are ridiculously photoshopped and that great effort in post-processing is required prior to publication we nonethess continue to fall victim to the media onslaught that happiness can only come from bedding hot chicks and driving expensive cars. It works in part because we are programmed to acknowledge that level of exposure. I also know people who believe that shit. That nothing bad can ever come from dropping serious coin on some new gadget, that it can actually modify their personality and make other people like them. And no, I'm not talking about my 12-year old. In this case he's smarter than some adults I know.

While I am not an early-adopter, I do attempt to balance form and function. I pretty much assume sleeping with the tight 19-year old next door would be fun only once, and not a viable long-term solution to my ongoing happiness. So it is potentially with anything new and shiny. It seems prudent to weigh your options, but that's just me. I've discovered that change for change's sake is not nearly as rewarding as carefully planned and expected change. Change is going to happen regardless - you can be inflexible to it and toil away fruitlessly forever, or you can fluidly adapt and live successfully.

My work laptop, Ubuntu 10.10 has served me well. But it reached end-of-life last month. And when your company doesn't like anyone running anything but Windows even if you are a unix administrator running an operating system that no longer supports security fixes would not be a career-enhancing move. Knowing this, I began the incremental updates to current.

Everything worked.

Like a champ.

Until 12.04.

I can no longer VPN. Non-mirrored dual-monitors no longer work (and I still really, really dislike Unity). Because I am full time remote, I am attempting to make these grievous errors transparent to my employer, but at some point I will absolutely require a fully functioning system.

Perhaps consumers aren't the only ones who fall prey to sexy. Perhaps a every-six-month-upgrade roadmap is too aggressive? Perhaps the shiny, whorish exterior is attempting to cover a multitude of sins? Like the song says,

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife.

Conversely psychology has shown that "In couples where the wife is more attractive, both partners tended to be very content."

By installing 12.04 I feel like I just entered that tight 19-year old next door. Wholly exciting and frightening at the same time.

I'm going straight to hell.