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Technology Is Not Magic

By

Director of Corporate Communications

I hate going to museums. Not because I have any animosity toward history but because such trips leave me feeling bad about myself. As I wander around and explore the artifacts of these supposedly “primitive” cultures, I often engage in the following thought experiment: how long would I survive if I was magically transported back in time thousands of years?

At first, I am usually excited.

MagiciansSimple improved dietary habits and evolution would mean that I was bigger and stronger than my ancient counterparts. The wind comes out of this theory whenever I actually exert any of this supposed physical prowess. Yesterday, I ran a mile on the treadmill and my hamstrings felt tighter than Kate Upton’s stomach (that reference was all about search engine optimization).

People thousands of years ago were chasing down wooly mammoths not voiced by Ray Romano. They went on safaris. I read about sports using Safari. Advantage: history.

I am cheered slightly when I think of my day-to-day life. At the whims of my fingers, I am able to write words and send them instantly across time and space to people in foreign lands. I can upload videos, download music, Tweet, Google, like Facebook profiles and lots of other wonderful things. People in the Stone Age were rubbing sticks together and trying to roll stone squares. Advantage: modern man.

Yet, I don’t know how to build a computer, write a song, code or create software or clean a carburetor. If my printer doesn’t work, I turn it off and then back on and hope for the best. In the annals of history, I would be some comical magician who could talk about all of these strange powers but had no ability to conjure up any of them.

This is nobody’s fault but my own.

A few colleagues of mine went to a conference recently and the keynote address was about how the Internet is magic. Most people don’t understand how it works. Yet “Presto” and we then spend much of our lives using these tools.

In reality, it is dangerous to become dependent on things beyond your control. That is why on this blog, we try to bring you behind the curtain with us. We have some of the smartest people in the industry writing about what they do in terms we can all understand. The unknown can be intimidating, but even the mighty Oz was only a man.  So please pour through the archives and come back daily. Ancient man may have had a battle-axe but knowledge is truly the most powerful weapon.

And don’t forget: the way technology is advancing these days it may be only a matter of time before that time machine is built. We’ll want to be ready.

Adam Coughlin is the Director of Corporate Communications for Dyn, a cloud-based Internet Performance company that helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamCoughlin and @Dyn.

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