A Source of Logical Operations

Within a week’s time span, life was turned for the worse by a finite piece of technology, the computer.  The computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations.  Yet in all the events that happened in this one particular week, no logic could be found.

  • After more than three months of taking possession of a new home, installation of a wireless router finally arrived at the top of the list of priorities–which is a source of embarrassment as the wireless router has been contained in its unopened package for two months.  Sometimes, it’s just easier to put off tackling a task one dreads carrying out.  Technology is either your best friend or your worst enemy.  And so the adventure began as I unwrapped the packaging and began to plug in the device.  It was not the device that was needed.  A phone call to the retail store confirmed that too much time had passed for a return, but an exchange was possible.  However, this phone call disturbed the peace of the caller and the store’s associate.  A manager became involved as well a merciful and knowledgeable sales associate.  So home I returned with my second wireless router, a router that proved to be incompatible as well.  So, a third trip to the store provided a third router.  Installation was promised to be straight forward but installation initially failed.  In frustration, I placed a call to the retail store.  The merciful and knowledgeable sales associate was not available; the manager who came to my rescue before was not as helpful over the phone as he had been in person.  With increased frustration, I shut down the computers and left my home that day when an opportunity to visit the golden-haired toddler.  Oddly enough when I returned home, the computers and the router worked brilliantly immediately upon powering up.  Even though I know the magic operation by rebooting, I do not see the logic of installation fail to installation success.  This happened on a Wednesday.
  • While visiting the golden-haired toddler (on Wednesday between the fail/success of the wireless router installation), the dashboard of my car decided to light up like it was Christmas.  The tracking light and the airbag system randomly flashed on following strange noises from under the hood.  The car was switched off for a few minutes while I sat in a driveway waiting for a passenger.  On switching on the ignition, there were no strange noises and the dashboard was not lit up.  The operation of the car’s computer did not appear to me to be a source of logical operations.
  • A day trip to my favorite retreat which is a two-and-a-half-hours’ drive was beautiful and refreshing but soon developed into another source for no logic of a computer program.  My year’s pass got me through the gates without a hitch; however purchases on the property and an attempt to renew the pass (in advance of the September expiration date) came with an alert that my pass had expired in 2012.  In fact, the record of my visits to the property indicated a significant absence.  The truth of the matter is that I had been on the property at least three times in 2012 alone after what was indicated as my last visit by the computer.  Three sales assistants, a guest service associate and a manager became involved in the mystery.  All seemed to be resolved until the guest service associate’s computer crashed repeatedly as she tried to print out a new pass.  Another visit with the manager returned my renewal cycle back to September instead of July.  No one involved in the conundrum had a logical explanation of why I (and my passholder ID) disappeared off the grid.  This happened on a Tuesday.
  • A phone call from panicked family members on Saturday afternoon revealed that they were again victims of identity theft.  The first time was in March and the three of us had made an emergency trip to the bank for damage control.  Protection programs were set in place; alerts were put in place.  Now it seemed that the perpetrators were at it again, in spite of precautions that were taken.  By Monday afternoon, more decisive measures were taken and it appears that all has been restored and security has been re-established.  How the creative gremlins were able to get past the initial measures of protection is not a logical operation to me and it is sad to see the toll this unfair intrusion has taken on these family members.  This happened on a Saturday and the following Monday.

Computer devices are your best friend or your worst enemy.  When these sources of logical operations function as designed, life is much easier.  But when the designed function fails, life will be impacted not for the better.

If truth be told, the week of computer glitches, challenges and mysteries was not about a source of logical operations.  It is easy to be carried away by the influx of details and the onslaught of difficulties.  It is easy to be carried away and let the bigger picture pass by in a blur.  Desperately grasping for the logical in any given chain of events may prove to be unproductive and altogether meaningless.  The conclusion of the matter lies in Wisdom.  Seeking to understand the source of Wisdom, and not comprehending the source of logic, will bring more resolution than conundrums, more solutions than problems, more answers than questions, more abiding joy than fleeting happiness.

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