Each one of us decides how much we want technology to solve our problems and how much we want the satisfaction of solving them with our own ability.
The snowmobile didn’t put an end to skiing.
The motorcycle didn’t put an end to bicycling.
The camera didn’t put an end to drawing and painting.
You may think it backward and stupid not to embrace technology that makes everything easier, but some of us like putting our abilities to a tougher test. One consequence of ski technology making skiing easy in all conditions is that about the only way to demonstrate total mastery is to ski on the edge of killing yourself, as witnessed by outcomes in the last decade or so.
It’s interesting how many things go through a “retro” phase, trying to recapture the excitement and purity after years of progressing towards appliance-like ease and simplicity. Retro-look cars, motorcycles and cameras; videos mimicking scratchy film; digital recordings mimicking scratchy records; etc. For some of us, retro is more than fashion, it’s a whole set of hard-won skills. By now, it won’t surprise you to learn I still shoot film with a fully manual camera – no auto-exposure, no auto-focus, no auto-winder, no nothing.
Me, I draw the line with step-in bindings. No cable bindings or long thongs for me, thanks. I’m too lazy and too chicken. Guess I’m a sellout to technology…