Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Check your (Internet) privilege

...the reason you haven't seen a post in weeks.

A few years back, I pulled into the invisible outskirts of Port Arthur, TX on a coal-carrying bulk ship called MV Mary Ann Hudson. The ship was 35 years young, and needless to say, had no internet connection. I had my first IPhone with me, but it wouldn't turn on. I asked fellow crewmembers for advice, but none had fancy high tech phones like mine. I took the phone to the local Verizon store, and they showed me the answer- I just had to hold the power buttons longer. Apple doesn't put out print user's manuals- they assume their customers have internet privilege.

Two years later, I was at a Capitol Hill brief with the USMMA's Board of Visitors. One topic was how to save the humanities curriculum. One member of Congress asked if students could do digital courses at sea. Rep. Grimm from Staten Island had the best expression when he learned that Internet service at sea is unpredictable, but largely non-existent.

Today, many businesses have "improved" their websites with data- heavy features like pictures and automatic reload. Too much for a simple satellite connection to handle. As they attempt to get more business, they get less of mine. Simple is better in my world.

We've gotten to the point where Internet has become a necessity. To complete the backside things professionals needto do on their own time, like license updates, requires Internet and a printer. I finally figured out how to get what I need some- go to a hip new place known as a shared workspace.