I like dinosaurs

I’m not talking about ancient reptiles, although they were pretty cool too.

Am I the only person who has an innate mistrust of new technology that is too fast, too smooth, too easy? I like things a little clunky because somehow they feel more substantial. Take cars as an example. I drive a 1996 model that is very un-fancy. When the engine turns over you can really feel it, and it vibrates a little when it’s idling. Sometimes things on the dashboard rattle when I’m driving. I like that sound. Once in a while I get the chance to drive a newer car, like the one my parents own. I drove it for about an hour during the trip home from Thanksgiving. It ran so quietly, and the rim of the steering wheel was so thin and smooth, that I felt like I could veer off the road and the car would just float. When I drive my own car there are many sensory clues to remind me that I’m inside a big, dangerous hunk of metal along with gasoline and other fun hazardous substances. In a new car I feel like I’m sitting on top of a cloud and I can’t even tell how fast it’s going until I look at the speedometer. Kind of unsettling. I still hadn’t adjusted to my parents’ car after an hour of driving.

Like my car, my desktop computer is a bit of a dinosaur. It’s five years old and runs fine most of the time, but it has a ridiculously small amount of RAM. Over the years I just got used to having a slow-running computer and considered it a luxury whenever I was able to use a fast one. That’s a dinosaur quality I don’t appreciate so much. But the point is that it’s a bulky desktop computer, and I used to think that I might as well keep it as long as possible even if I got a laptop. I’ve wanted a laptop for a long time, but somehow didn’t believe that they could do everything a desktop can (even for my limited purposes). I was in denial. Now I have a laptop, and so far the only real need I’ve had for my desktop has been to transfer files from Old Computer to New Computer. Already I’m thinking about phasing out Old Computer. The new one runs noticeably faster and comes with a bunch more features that try to make my life easier–that’s where my affinity for dinosaurs comes in. It makes me uneasy when computers try to do everything for me. Maybe that’s why the first thing I do is tweak my computer’s theme, so at least I’m not letting it dictate my wallpaper and color scheme. Maybe superficial things are the only components I really want to have control over.

I know that new cars are safer, easier to maintain, yadda yadda yadda, and someday I’ll buy one and be grateful I have it. But still I think it’ll always feel good to get behind the wheel of an older car and hear the engine running. And it might be fun to find an old Apple computer and remember the games I played on them when I was in elementary school, but I wouldn’t want to take that computer home with me.

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