Solutions looking for problems

Just because something CAN be done, doesn’t mean that it SHOULD be done.

You could ride a unicycle backwards in the nude from Paris to London – and maybe someone actually HAS done that, but it’s not an achievement most of us would be desperate to have on our CVs.

Someone recently crawled up Snowdon – a mountain in Wales (or, for our Swiss readers, a hill in Wales) – while pushing a pea in front of him with his nose.  Possible – but why would anyone WANT to do that?

And now, in the electronic and internet age,  we are seeing all around us the most amazing technologies that enable us to do the most incredible things – if we choose to do them.

Some of these things are quite useful – we recently subscribed to an app which enables us to control our domestic central heating and hot water from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. No more worrying about running up excessive bills while we are on holiday, having forgotten to switch off in the mad rush before leaving for the airport – we can control it all from the beach!

More importantly, we can switch on the hot water as we arrive back at the airport, ensuring a hot shower will be awaiting us.

We’re thinking of installing it in my mother’s house so we can make sure she has the heating on in winter, rather than worrying about her trying to economise by sitting in a cold room.  Great!  Yippee for technology!

A friend of mine has an app which allows him to pull the curtains and switch on and off the lights at home from his iPad. (He’s  bit paranoid and worries about burglars when he’s travelling – but the only thing he has that’s worth stealing is his iPad, so he’s in a bit of an infinite loop there!)

But that’s about as far as it goes for me.

Now he tells me that he has another app with which he can switch TV channels. WHY? What’s wrong with the remote control?

(BTW – I’m old enough to member having to get up off the sofa and turn a knob on the TV – and then bang it on the top – if we wanted to watch the ONE other channel available!)

Of course, as well as changing the channel using his iPad from the sofa, he can also change channels with his iPad from the other side of the world. WHY would he want to do that – other than to annoy his wife?

We have the ability to reproduce our species without ever seeing the other person – even without being ALIVE at the same time as the other person, which is wonderful, if that’s what you need or want….. but I enjoyed doing it the traditional way and have no plans to change the habits of a lifetime. Sometimes the old ways are simply the best. But each to his or her own.

So – there we have it! Technology is just A-MAZ-ING. It enables us to accomplish wonderful things in transport, healthcare, entertainment, education….. but I reckon some things are just best left alone.

Meanwhile, my buddy with the iPad remote control might soon have annoyed his wife so much by switching TV channels from the other side of the world, that he’ll be needing a good divorce lawyer.

Fortunately, the same new technology that got him into the fix will help him out of it again.  He’ll be able to download the “Find me a Divorce Lawyer” app on his iPad. And there are already lots of “Find me a New Wife” apps out there, so he can be up and running again before long.


Sam Baird

Whitehill Media Ltd

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About Sam Baird 1 Article
Sam has been in the telecoms space for more than fifteen years, as Publisher of Telecommunications International and Total Telecom, and now runs his own media sales company. Sam has probably visited more trade-shows in more countries than any living person. With a passion for languages, Sam likes to see the funny side of things and has amassed a collection of badly translated signs and menus.


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