Our world is filled with technological wonders.
I have a device that fits in my hand and pocket and contains immediate access to all the discoveries, written histories and cultural achievements in the history of humanity.
Think about that for a second. It’s staggering.
We’ve landed men on the moon and robots on Mars. Modern medicine is on the verge of curing and preventing Alzheimer’s, cancer and genetic causes of heart disease.
But my home office printer is a spaz.
I have a powerful desktop computer that will whisk me off to faraway lands to enjoy the music and dancing of foreign cultures as they are actually happening. I can learn a new language and how to build or repair a house.
I can see and talk with friends I haven’t contacted in decades.
But my printer, a mere three feet away, can’t print a single page of text without sounding alarms and screaming out error messages. Each time it does we have to do a dance, my printer and I.
A few minutes ago I set the dance into motion by rebooting the printer, as usual. It has been clicking, clunking, whirring and spitting out blank pieces of paper since I started writing this. It shakes and clatters frantically, reminding me of the flailing arms of the robot in the original Lost In Space TV series of the sixties.
“Danger, Will Robinson!”
The app in the computer that contains my text source is ready to rock and roll, but the chunk of plastic next to me – which regularly reminds me I need to buy a new yellow cartridge to continue printing black ink – is still groaning and wheezing like a garbage truck.
What the hell is it doing?
I don’t fear guns made with 3D printers but I’m not in any hurry to get a heart from one, either.