The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Complexity in the Modern World

If there is any person on earth who can claim to be a bona fide television expert, it’s me, having logged in something like 80,000 hours of TV watching in my lifetime. So trust me when I say this...

Digital television sucks, compared to the old analog television that I’ve watched most of my life. Especially High Definition television.

Ever since I got HDTV for my home, I’ve encountered numerous incidents of picture corruption (decoding glitches that lead to visual artifacts) and sometimes total blackout from a HD channel. A very frequent problem is that a HD channel would fail to broadcast a HD program in 16:9 format, forcing me to watch the show in 4:3 aspect ratio.

When I used to watch analog, I would experience broadcast difficulties maybe half a dozen times a year, typically due to bad weather conditions. But with digital and HD, I see problems and glitches every f*cking day!!

This merely reinforces my belief that computer high tech is to blame. Computers are used everywhere in our world today, and wherever computers are embedded, glitches ensue. It all boils down to one thing: sloppy engineering and the failure to manage complexity.

This is the bane of the modern world. We have to live with it because we cannot go backward. But it saddens me that we shall all be saddled with endless glitches from now till the end of time...


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