Every year I head off into the woods for at least a week of hunting as a way to kind of unplug from technology and society in general. The past few years however I haven’t made the trip like usual due to changing jobs, last minute disasters that needed my attention, etc. This is the first time I have went hunting since I got my first smart phone a few years back and I was horrified to find that I had passable 3g service even in the middle of national forest!
In previous years the most advanced technology we had at deer camp was a battery powered FM radio and a few lights run from 12v batteries charged from a solar panel made before the word “green” was ever even considered hip. Now we have world wide internet access, decent cell coverage and I bet with a good antenna you could even get TV up there now. All this has led me to wonder if it is even possible to escape technology anymore without going to extraneous lengths?
We have smart phones to link us to work, computers to sate our endless craving for entertainment and stimulation, cars that practically drive themselves and 24x7x365 shopping and advertisements thanks to online retail stores, but where can you truly escape that all now without risking life and limb in the process? Once upon a time for me that escape was hunting, now? Now I am not so sure.
What the hell is this bullshit? Stores opening at 8pm thanksgiving day before the turkey induced coma has even run its course? Its absurd that the greedy fuckstains can’t even wait the four hours to start hawking their wares and feigning surprise when store goers are trampled in the haste of deal-fueled madness.
Today’s random thought is on the concept of the home lab (from the IT worker perspective, not the Walter-White-Meth-Lab view).
I know several people at work who have home networks setup specifically for testing and learning, some are network labs with stacks of switches and routers while others have full blown SAN environments for use with ESX virtualization. In my case my lab is neither elegant nor particularly impressive, it consists of two machines: a jumphost running Ubuntu and a KVM virtualization server built on CentOS. This got me thinking about how some of my co-workers and others outside of the office that I have spoken to have no lab equipment at home what so ever, in fact some don’t even have a home computer to speak of.
How do people keep their skills sharp and more importantly learn new things if they don’t even have lab equipment at home. It doesn’t even have to be fancy (like the previously mentioned SAN setup) but just something to get by doing light testing or even practicing for certification exams, yet there are people who don’t have anything. I wonder if its due to having been in the field for far too long that they have decided they just don’t care to stay competitive anymore? My home setup has even been useful for issues directly relating to work; currently its helped me build out a new and improved remediation script that will hopefully see production in the not-so-distant future.
So I have finally started on the path to the unthinkable, removing all social media from my life. Over the course of two days I waded through help page after help page regarding how to delete my accounts and finally I can say they are all gone!
What led me to this started as a drunken rampage on Facebook, I was so annoyed at the gloating and backslapping that I deleted the first comment I saw proclaiming the joys of having voted for the giant douche as opposed to the turd sandwich. That first delete felt damn good, so I picked another victim from the seemingly endless list of those who came to Facebook to essentially troll and shove their pseudo-victory in everyone else’s face. Two deleted people quickly turned into six or seven and my level of intoxication rose in accordance as I swilled bourbon between blindingly righteous clicks.
The following morning I woke up and checked the list of people I had deleted; several of them were otherwise people I liked except for their seemingly blinding political stupidity. I sat there pondering the growling in my stomach and the fact that I realized I really didn’t give a fuck anymore what other people did or thought or felt, I no longer wanted that interaction with them that I once did when I first got my feet wet with Facebook. In the past two months I had deleted no less than 10 people for disagreements stemming directly from politics and every time I was left with an elevated pulse and other obvious signs of stress that shouldn’t be triggered by a website, then it dawned on me that I had been putting off doing what I knew I should have done ages ago: delete all the shit and just leave it behind.
Its been two days so far since I began the process and I must admit that I find it harder to give up than smoking ever was (haven’t smoked since the 19th of September), when bored I would pull out my phone and check Facebook, then Twitter and sometimes even Google+. Its amazing how much of a habit it can be and now I realize that not only did I use social media mostly out of boredom but I smoked for the very same reason. Going forward I have no clue what I’m going to do to fill all this empty time that I seem to be gaining by cutting out pointless shit from my life, I can only hope that it will be something positive that will help to counteract all the bad that I had been taking part in for many years.