The iPhone 6 uses an Apple-designed 64 bit Cortex A8 ARM architecture composed of approximately 1.6 billion transistors. It operates at 1.4 GHZ and can process instructions at a rate of approximately 1.2 instructions every cycle in each of its 2 cores. That’s 3.36 billion instructions per second. Put simply, the iPhone 6’s clock is 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and could perform instructions 120,000,000 times faster. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying an iPhone could be used to guide 120,000,000 Apollo era spacecraft to the moon, all at the same time.
– From the article, “Your smartphone is millions of times more powerful
than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969.” Zmescience.com
So, the other night I was very angry with the Spectrum TV app on my iPad Pro. Unbelievably, that app only runs in horizontal mode.
Almost all apps on the iPad turn to suit you when you turn your tablet; but every now and then you’ll find an app that stays stuck in place when you turn the device on, and that really drives me crazy because I prefer to use my tablet in portrait mode – certainly not in landscape mode as Spectrum was heavy-handedly forcing me to do.
So I was justifiably upset. I was sooooo mad at these thoughtless app makers who were making my life a living h –
– And then I stopped cold turkey.
It hit me like a bolt of lightening that somewhere along the line in the last 20 or 25 years, I had become totally spoiled rotten. It must have happened slowly because I didn’t notice it, but somehow I had turned into a total child of entitlement.
I mean, in a nutshell, when you think about it, what was I complaining about? This: The portable device with the crystal-clear high-resolution display that instantly at no charge puts at my fingertips the entire catalog of knowledge in the known universe – down to the last infinitesimally small bit of information – didn’t, in one rare instance, adjust to my preferred way of viewing it.
I decided to try this thought experiment and I invite you to follow along with me. If, 30 years ago, a genie had come to you and said, “How would you like a magic device, about the same weight and size of a legal pad, that, wherever you were, anytime of the day or night, would answer any question in the world, no matter what it was?”
And what if the genie then said, “Oh, and by the way, this magical device will also be a camera, hi-def video recorder, calculator, stereo that can play any song instantly, a flashlight, an on-demand movie theater, a television screen and a compass. Oh, and when you are at the movie theater watching a movie it will also tell you the best time to go to the bathroom.” (And yes, there is an app for that.)
“But,” the genie would add, “I must warn you there’s a dire catch.”
And I would be like, “Aha, I knew it!” (Because with genies there’s always a catch – which, by the way, is why, if you don’t know, you should always stop after two wishes with genies.)
“The catch is this,” the genie would say. “Every once in a blue moon, when you turn the device sideways, it won’t adjust to the angle of your liking. It will still work fine and do everything I’ve promised – but you will have to hold it sideways. Now, you must choose whether you want this device or not?”
And, coming at it from that perspective, I would be, like, “Well, that doesn’t sound so bad. Yes, yes, I want it.”
And I would be wildly grateful to have it.
But cut to today. I do have that magical device – exactly like the genie described – but I almost smashed it to pieces without thinking about it because I couldn’t turn it the way I wanted in one instance.
And it hit me that it’s not just me; it’s you too. No matter how great we have it, we pick out the one bad thing and focus on that. We are all spoiled rotten like an apple that’s been sitting on the ground in hot weather for a week. Spoiled rotten. I mean, to the core. And it’s the entire society.
We now have in our hands, in our iPhones and iPads, more computing power than all the computers on the Apollo space craft that went to the moon and in all the computers in those long banks of computers in the NASA control room combined. But instead of being grateful for that, we are immensely upset because our screen won’t turn the right way or because we can’t get 4G data speeds at a certain spot north of Colfax.
Even when we are on vacation, we’re the exact same way – spoiled rotten. Listen, you are lucky to be on vacation in the first place in some resort or wherever, but I recently saw a list of real complaints from dissatisfied customers listed by the English travel agency Thomas Cook Holidays.
Here’s one that makes my point …
“It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons,” one traveler wrote. “I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
Yes, exactly. I don’t even know why those lazy people even let tourists into their country if they’re just going to thoughtlessly close their shops in the middle of the day.
Or this one, “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
No egg slicer!? What the %$#??? That’s not a hotel room, that’s a torture chamber.
One traveler wrote to the company: “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”
That is extremely unfair. Why should people in England be forced to fly further? That makes no sense whatsoever. That sounds like a cut and dried case of outright discrimination to me.
And then there’s this one: “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”
You should be happy about being on vacation even if there is no egg slicer and the shops are closed for siesta or you get bitten by a mosquito.
I’m sure that by now you have heard the phrase “first world problems.” That’s the type of problems that you and I have. But here’s the thing about first world problems: They aren’t really problems. We just think they are because we are spoiled rotten.
Comedian Louis C.K. makes this point very well: “Americans don’t really know how to deal with problems because we don’t have them. People in other countries have real problems. Like, “Oh [deleted], they’re cutting off all our heads today. Things like that.”
Just look at what people complain about on the internet and you will find plenty of first world problems like, “There’s not enough tissues in the box to weigh the box down while I pull one out,” or “Good lord, the Mercedes dealer moved my driver’s seat out of the position I like when they cleaned my car.”
We are always complaining about everything but we don’t remember how good we have it. Not that many years ago, when you saw an actor in a movie who was familiar but you couldn’t place, it was like three days of mental anguish. You’d walk around all day long thinking, “What other movie was that guy in? What was it? No, that wasn’t it …”
Now you would just Google it, but back then it would drive you crazy for days. Sometimes you never got your answer.
And you know what music on demand used to be? You had to call up the radio station and then sit by the radio for two hours to see if they played your song.
And if there was a movie you wanted to watch but you missed it at the theater, you waited a year for it come on TV and then you would have to watch it on a 20-inch cathode ray screen with commercials and new idiotic dialogue dubbed in in place of the cool things they actually said in the real movie.
But look, here’s the best example I can think of: You complain because your parents got you the silver iPhone 6 instead of the rose gold iPhone 7 you wanted, but let me tell you how it was when I was growing up. Forget about the fact that you didn’t have a cell phone. I’m not even talking about the fact that all phones stayed in place. I’m a talking about this …
You had one phone for the entire family.
You think the romance game is tough now? Well, imagine if every time you got a call from your hot friend that you were trying to impress, your mother got five minutes of conversation with them first. I’m not making that up. That was what we had to deal with.
(“Oh, you must be Susan – he’ll be so glad that you called. You are all he talks about to his friends! Why, just a few minutes ago I saw him staring dreamily at your picture. Let me tell you about the funny thing he did when he was 4 …)
So you know what that means? Right. No one would ever be remotely interested in you romantically. People think that back then there was less sex among teens because morality was stricter but that’s not it at all: It’s just that it’s virtually impossible to get with anyone if your mother is your opening act.
The only prayer you ever had was to scream out every time the phone rang, “I’ll get it!!” and try to shove everyone out of the way as they all tried to do the same. Now that’s a real problem.
So stop being so spoiled, people! Stop your whining and just be grateful you have it so good. You don’t know how good you have it.