Subjectively speaking…

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I’ve always liked subjectivity. There are some things that have to be either right or wrong, black or white, but the vast majority of the world isn’t. It’s more than just shades of gray and includes shades of every color in the rainbow. If the darkness of a shade represents it’s perceived negativity, while each color represented a different emotional state, what’s a joyous light pink for me might be a deep shade of bruised blue to you because of our differing needs, loves and life’s experiences, and that’s beautiful. My 4K display revels in the opportunity to disagree, one pixel against another, until a tapestry fills my screen with a snapshot of glorious, diverse, messy subjectivity.

It never ceases to amaze me how something so complex as high resolution video could be translated into a series of ones and zeros, being read and expressed instantaneously before my eyes as a lioness slinking towards her prey in the sideways afternoon light, her coat simultaneously gold, umber and violet as she moves in and out of the dappled sunshine. 

Ones and zeros. Pretty amazing. But what that means is that all of this extraordinary subjectivity can be translated into a series of objective answers—one or zero. 

Technology is complicated. But when you break it down, everything has an answer, and that answer can’t be subjective. If it’s still subjective, you just haven’t broken it down quite far enough. Deep down at the root of every problem, there is a question, and the answer to that question is either yes or no. That leads to the next question, and the next, and by the end, a very complex series of events unfolds in the blink of an eye, giving us the illusion of glorious subjectivity because we can’t break it down fast enough to see the magic of the simple logic behind it all.

The trick is to know what questions to ask to get to the root of a problem to find that first no that should be a yes. Do you know it? Me neither. But I have an engineer, so we’re all good.

There are a few questions I know the answer to:
No, I am not expected to know everything all by myself. No one is.
No, I do not make technical decisions for which I do not have the necessary understanding.
Yes, I do have someone I can call with my questions.
Yes, I feel confident that my engineer will prevent or solve my technical issues, and
Yes, I just do my job without thinking about the magic behind the scenes that make my screen so pretty. 

If you aren’t the kind of person who feels confident that you could successfully build a digital storage system from components, design it to meet your company’s needs in the immediate as well as your estimated growth without over-investing in the technology, maximize workflow and maintain the system in such a way that the data is protected as well as accessible to multiple workstations simultaneously, that’s ok. That’s everyone with the exception of a handful of people who fall into one of two categories: highly skilled engineers, and people who are wrong. When we’re called because there was a crisis, we get to meet some really nice people who felt confident before they crashed, but since you can’t know what you don’t know, they hd no idea how close they were to tragedy until it was too late.

We only hire highly skilled engineers who not only feel confident that they are up to the challenge, but who have the talent and training to support their confidence. In the end, it may seem complicated, but you really just have to ask yourself: Do you have a maintenance contract with an engineer who can keep your system running efficiently and protect your content?

Are you a one or a zero?

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