In The Beginning....
So many times at school it was "No boy! If you cannot understand it it's your fault, " So I grew up with the belief that if I did not quite see something or understand something then it was my fault rather than it actually being nonsense. I wonder how many of us feel the same. The ruling classes (and I say this unpoliticaly neologism because those that rule are indeed a class apart) the ruling classes with their vast wealth tell us to consume, that it is good for the economy and therefore good for us. They tell us that possessions equal happiness. If we have our possessions and are depressed they tell us it is because we have the wrong attitude.If we become addicted to drugs or alcohol it is because we are weak. if we protest we are troublemakers or radicals or liberals (omg am I showing my age? lol). Each time the fault is put squarely on our shoulders. Having been brought up as a working class English boy I grew up with the idea of not questioning my "betters". This has pervaded my being. Apologies for being "first person" but I think I am not alone. This is so old it nearly forbids use but
"Is it me? Or is The King naked?"
Lets make this all a little more real.
"What browser are you using?"
"Yes but which version?" .....goes on gets the clients version
"Oh you need 4.10.23 I updated mine 20 minutes ago. I suppose you haven't got auto update turned on?"
Our betters. Not all tech support are like this however they have the presumption that technology works. It works for them because they always have auto update running and are online 24/7. I have spoken about second life in my previous Hub. I left three years ago because they said they would never support Windows 7. They were The Organisation I was only an individual. My first reaction was "Is it me?" I thought not, a fight ensued and i lost so rather than stay and fight more I left. How many individuals have said "This is wrong" only to end up leaving society in despair? How many have said "It must be me" and done nothing. I would say the majority.
Many people have a fear of machines. A story told by Carl Sagan in his eulogy for Douglas Adams said Douglas was told by a man that a TV must have lots of little men inside the box running around getting the pictures up. Tirelessly Douglas explained the inner workings of a TV at the end of it the man said he understood but surely there was still space for one or two little men. To many a computer is a magic box that needs a wizard to tinker with it. Beyond the realm of mortals. I meet a lot of people online and quite frankly the level of literacy is appalling. The number of times I have heard "Is it me? But....."
Here's what I do. "Is it me? But....." and outline the problem. I follow the advice given step by step. If it doesn't work I do it 4 or 5 times. It must be me, my browser...NO! I try a different route. I try ALL the routes. When none of them work I get mad. If I do not get satisfaction I go higher then go public. What happens? Mostly nothing. BUT I will not have Tech Support tell me computers, browser etc etc are infallible. It would be much simpler to accept "Its me" and reach for the whiskey bottle Millions do. A "drunken" society does not affect change..
It is said we have free will. This is a fiction. Our conditioning is deeply rooted in our psyche and has been imprinted over our entire lives. On a physical level when we are young neural pathways some call them nets are created and these if reinforced enough will become very resistant to change (omg hes a Behaviorist!). Couple this with an emotional response , "You stupid boy" then with natural mistakes and you will have an "Its me" psyche. This will be further augmented by a society that is dominated by "betters". Very simplified but you get my drift. We have no free will. We have freedom of choice. Another myth. Most of us in society shop in a very similar market place, with similar goods. A very good example is that of computer operating systems. Many many people run Microsoft Windows. They have bought and paid for it in the general market place. Microsoft is very rich. You should also buy and pay for Microsoft Office, the biggest selling business software in the world. Most other software is designed to work with Windows and its big business. So you buy it. Why? Because it is the accepted thing to do and its shiny. You might have to upgrade your computer but... really you have no choice. You are conditioned in thinking Microsoft is computing.
Linux and Apache run the Internet. No Linux no Internet. Linux has a desktop operating system that is far superior to Windows, ten times faster and will run on a low spec machine. I use Ubuntu. It has four full sized desktops I can switch between with a click. All the main browsers run it and it has a free version of Office that is equally as good and comes ready installed. I can run Windows as well. It updates itself daily. It has thousands of programmers working on it daily. It is free. The programmers work for nothing because they get satisfaction that money cannot buy. Why aren't you using it? Its available free to download. You have the choice.
What are you afraid of?
I have two degrees and I've been around the block a few times. Yet I have spoken to a single mother and I have been humbled. Working as a UK Probation Officer I encountered horror stories, again a bit humbling how "ordinary" human beings have actually been very remarkable. I concluded that everyone has their story. As do I. Adopting the "Is it me?" is safe because it does not involve challenge. Without challenging the status quo we will end up with more of the same. Our planet is broken and unless something happens it will get worse. It is time for us to be less accepting; to stop taking the blame for something that is not our fault but theirs! Like me you will still probably say "Is it me?" but perhaps after thought and some soul searching you may say "Its not me! Its you!"
When I was on student work placement I was in a UK government building. We were designing computer systems for public access. I was with my boss waiting for the lift. When it came the doors opened and I stepped aside saying "I must make way for my superior" The guy in the lift looked at me sternly and said : "He's not your superior! He's your senior"