The end is closer than you think

Some regular visitors to this blog will have noticed that a week or so ago, it was off-line for several days. Here’s what happened. One evening I was looking at the comments on my latest post, then I went to bed. In the morning, I went to look at my blog and it wasn’t working. That’s it.

I had done nothing to it, it simply stopped working. What followed was an intense, unpleasant experience of many telephone calls, software upgrades, software uninstall’s, database backups, Google searches, studies of code etc.

At one stage I was prepared to give up. The entire process was too complex to remedy. It would need an expert to fix it and I may have lost all my data. So then I had the idea of starting again from scratch, a brand new blog. This was a strangely thrilling idea. It’s like the idea of owning nothing; at first the thought is terrifying, but then you realise that you would be free of any responsibility and you have the opportunity to start again.

In the end, with the help of various people volunteering advice, I was able to reinstate the blog but there was one comment from a call centre employee of the service provider I use, that made an impression on me. He said, “You are not obliged to upgrade.” He was right, and totally wrong. Of course I could still be using floppy discs if I wanted to but the rest of the world wouldn’t let me. I’m guessing that my blog stopped working because the service provider changed something at their end. My old version of WordPress probably couldn’t handle it. The world moves on, and what worked yesterday, may not work today. The speed of change is exponential. That means it will soon overtake our ability to cope with it.

Here’s the other lesson I was reminded of. If the blog can suddenly stop working, what else can? Well, everything, of course. Imagine waking up in the morning and discovering that you had no power in your house. Could you fix it? Remember, you can’t Google the problem, you have no power.

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