Technology and Philosophy

old fashioned tv
photo by Sylvia

All of my computer files are gone.

This is not a poem, or my usual thoughts to 70’s music on an afternoon drive. My computer died and the files are gone.

The main lesson here is that my usual way of dealing with technology, which is not dealing with technology, is not a good idea (apparently I needed a catastrophic incident to actually understand this). After running through the sequence of disbelief, anger, remorse, and sorrow upon learning that all of my work of the past 6 years is gone, I am left with an existential lesson of impermanence.

I am left wondering, so what?

My work for my clients can (mostly) be recreated. My writing, for the blog and otherwise, can also be recreated if not exactly as it was, in a new and maybe even a better way. The writing is not for posterity after all, it is for the experience, for the visual pairing of photos with words; the release of creativity set free into the world.

Photos that my son took in Cambodia, in Nova Scotia, Canada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, are all gone. Those photos can’t be recreated exactly, but again, the lesson of all that is fluidly impermanent rattles our reality.

So I am forced to look at this dilemma through philosophical eyes:
Everyone makes mistakes and all is temporary after all.

48 thoughts on “Technology and Philosophy”

  1. I like your perspective on this, Sylvia. I would be very angry!! All of my stuff is backed up on Dropbox and a small external hard drive here. Gotta start doing daily backups, it’s simple.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. So sorry to hear! I back up everything from both my computers, the work one and this one that I use for personal stuff. I bought a portable hard drive and every 2 weeks I run a backup. We can’t trust to keep our data in one device only.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I have been there. There are recovery programs out there that you can run to try to get some back and if it is a hard drive failure where your computer will not start, you could also remount the hard drive in a case and use it like a portable drive thru USB to try to get files back onto a new computer. Both of these worked for me with some success. Good luck. Allan

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Oh, ouch! Impressive comeback however. Choosing to see the impermance of life and how we are NOT our things is a big step. I can almost see how in a way, it might be freeing. Lightening life’s baggage. I think I’ll go back up my files now. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Oh I’m so sorry to hear this! We all think – I’ll back that up Tomorrow – and then the computer dies!
    As you say though, there is nothing to be done except accept it.
    Life is an experience and will be stored in your memory. In this respect, philosophy wins! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Take the computer in to a place that can retrieve the data. Then learn how to backup your files each week to external hard drives. I use beyond compare. I hear of sad stories like yours often as I do tech support.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I admire your acceptance. I had the same thing happen years back and after some moments of grief it was like, oh well, back to the drawing board. Always a shame about the precious family photos though. Now I back up all my important stuff on USB keys in case the laptop or phone goes again. If you can ask around for a better price to have someone check the drive, you may be able to retrieve at least some files. Good luck, and stay creative X

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Sorry for the loss of your computer files. It happens, unfortunately.

    It says so much about the impermanence of the digital age. We love the convenience it affords. Yet, the most perishable part is when its memory fails and we loose everything we’ve tried to preserve … or the blasted thing doesn’t start. Had personal experience in that regard. Fortunately I had performed an extensive backup days before.

    When you hadn’t written for a few days, I thought may be “Sylvia must be out collecting new memories.” In many ways, you were … plus trying to save a lot of lost memories. Perhaps, you can encourage your son to write a few memories of his travels. In Cambodia, I suppose he traveled to Angkor Watt. I’ve been there once before, in my previous life in the military, but far from Angkor Watt.

    I do hope you’re able to recover some of the lost photos.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Isn’t that interesting how we understand the rhythms of people we know electronically? I wonder also what’s “happened” to people when they don’t post the way they normally do. I find this concept interesting.
      I would love for my son to write about his experience, alas he is not “into” writing. I do hope that we can recover the files one way or another. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.


  9. Very sorry about that. Now, if you have a PC, normally what dies is the motherboard. Happened to me once. The hard drive is a separate part, that can be removed, opening the computer. And there are simple interfaces that can reconnect your hard drive to another computer. I did it successfully. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up the computer, take it to any shop, I would say there’s a 70% chance you can retrieve most of your files.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have heard extensively from my husband, “if I had a pc”…which I don’t, I work on a Mac because I’m a graphic designer and that’s what my industry uses. Sigh. We were quoted a rather high price to retrieve the files. Last I checked, my husband was still investigating our options. Thank you for your advice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t mention it. I did switch to PC to “Full Apple” from Mac (several) , Iphone, and Ipad and I don’t regret it. PC’s are just too damn slow. BUT, the hard drive is easy to retrieve… Well. Think about the value of your files. And get 2 other quotes. 😉 You never know
        Take care.


  10. This is the most positive outlook I have ever heard from someone who lost all of their files. You seem like a very calm and mindful person.
    Sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s such a nice compliment and I would love to tell you that I’m very calm and mindful. I don’t think I’m either of those two things. However, there was and is nothing I could do to change that situation. And, it was my own fault, I could blame no one. So I just accepted it. I don’t think of it as mindful as much as I think my mr. Magoo personality keeps driving over bridges and other bridges appear in order to continue driving.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Technology and Philosophy — spanishwoods – Rexton digital

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