Today is the ‘information age’ – or so I’ve been told at least. Technology is advancing like crazy, and in more fields than could have been previously imagined. I remember record players… barely, but I seem to recall us having one when I was a kid. Pretty simple really, you take a record and put it on the turny table thing, put the needle on it at the beginning, and the needle somehow figures out what all of the little bumps on the record mean and turn that into music. Not exactly simple, but if you knew your electronics and some basic other stuff, you could probably fix it if something went wrong.
Tapes were a bit more advanced, but still not too bad. A little harder to fix if something went wrong (anyone remember trying to re-wind a tape after it got stuck?). Then the CD and the CD player. Now we’re talking lazers. How the heck do those work? If it broke, it’s pretty much garbage (or back to the manufacturer if it was a high end one). Now most music is on mp3 players and computers. Good luck ever fixing one of those yourself if it breaks.
I do have a point here. It seems to me that things are getting harder to fix. As technology advances, common knowledge of handy skills is used less and less in fixing the things we use on a regular basis. I don’t ever remember working on a car when I was a teenager because they were just too complicated with all of the new technologies to be a hobby. Sure, some people devote their lives to it, but I’ve got a feeling there are less and less people in the world who just know how to fix everything on newer cars.
I just finished bleeding the brakes on my new bike – some Avid Juicy 5’s on a 06 Norco Shore 2 for those who care. They’re pretty cool, and I actually feel a great sense of accomplishment after not screwing it up or making them feel more mushy or spilling Dot 5.1 fluid everywhere. I wish I could do that with more things, and I’m going to keep trying to learn new things about how to maintain and fix the things that I have, but I know with the way that things are advancing that I’ll most often have to take it to an expert. I hope I can keep enough basic (or even obsolete) technology around that I can keep fixing things myself!