The following excerpt is from one of the most successful investment letter advisors in history, Harry Schultz. He confirms what I have been preaching for years about technology but views it from an investing point of view:
Daily Bell: You’ve been successful for a very long time – and you may be, indeed, the oldest active investment writer and consultant around. How has the world changed in your opinion?
Harry Schultz: It’s gotten unpleasant morally, as everyone now realizes – but it’s too late for the wakeup call. It’s gotten speedier, but not better because of speed. There is scant benefit to speed, whether by car, plane, email or market facilities. Speed has forced people to act before they can think things through. Often speed means you don’t weigh the risk/reward factors – as there doesn’t seem to be time for it. High tech makes things easier in many ways, but causes more stress, partly because it keeps breaking down. You see this with computer glitches, crashes and viruses. Also, hi-tech goads you into making fast decisions.
When big corporations must keep a full-time team of techies on-hand to fix computers that fizzle daily, then tech is not, repeat not, working. Private citizens can’t afford the cost or the time-loss to keep tech working. For every hour technology saves us, we lose 75-90 minutes. The stress is not measurable.
Typewriters don’t break down, yet we are forced to accept computers that do. Autos no longer break down. The computer nerds only want to sell them (Microsoft, Dell, etc) and promote updates (which cause new problems). They aren’t interested in making them as efficient as cars and TVs have become. They’ve had decades to get it right but have made near zero progress toward reliability.
Speed is not a worthy goal, nor is the size of the mega bites your computer can handle. Dependability should be the goal. The same goes for banking, rating agencies and derivatives. Everyone wants profits, not dependability. It’s a new form of fraud, masquerading as progress. Morality, where art thou? End of soapbox.