I admire the way Cory Doctorow can write so clearly and pragmatically about technology. This is one of the best analogies I’ve encountered for what we should do in our relationships with technology.
“When I started dating, I had a lot of wonderful relationships that worked brilliantly – we were happy, in love, laughed a lot. They all failed badly, in that when we started to have problems, our responses to them exacerbated the problems rather than ameliorating them. That’s what it means to be young and inexperienced in love.
Now I’m married to a wonderful woman, and while we knew going into the marriage how to be happy together, what makes me sure that we’ll stay together is that we know how to be unhappy together, too – how to have a disagreement without hurting each other, how to move from disagreement to agreement again.
Graceful failure is so much more important than fleeting success, but it’s not a feature or a design spec. Rather, it’s a relationship that I have with the technology I use and the systems that are used to produce it.”