Just because you can


Just because you can

Robyn got a new car. It’s a Mini Cooper.

Back in the day, I drove a Mini Cooper. In the UK. I could barely fit into it. It was like a clown car at the circus. It had an engine, four wheels, and seats for four, but two of the four had to be under five years old to fit. It got you where you wanted to go.

This new Mini Cooper is a wonder of modern technology. It took me ten minutes to figure out how to get it into reverse. There are displays on the dash that provide information about things I have no clue what they do. If you leave the display alone, it automatically becomes a clock face that is about 10 inches across. I’m sure you can set it to become whatever you want, but I can guarantee you it will remain an analog clock on this one.

We have studied the users manual but still can’t find the buttons that are supposed to be synced to the garage door opener. They absolutely are not where they say they are supposed to be, dammit.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a fun car to drive and certainly has enough zip to get you where you want to go (it’s a turbo, don’t you know). Robyn really likes it.

The point is, that much of the technology on board is there because someone in Germany (Its owned by BMW now) decided that it was good to have tech. So we have tech. My problem is that when there is more there, there is more to go wrong. And of course, who can fix it when it breaks. Probably the 14 year old kid down the street who hacks into the Pentagon in his spare time.

Granted this is the first new car we have purchased in over decade so I’m certain that the tech revolution isn’t only in the Mini. Every new car is consumed with it. Even my 17 year old Lexus has to be connected to a computer so the service tech can see what’s wrong and then attempt to fix it.

By the way, the car was most likely built in the Netherlands, but maybe in a factory in Oxford, England.

I pulled the Mini into the garage one evening and got out. I looked down at my feet and saw a three foot long Mini logo projected on the ground. After a few seconds, it faded away.

What was that all about?


There is a billboard down the street that says: “Inspired in Silicon Valley, Built in Germany” Its for Audi. Tech, Tech, Tech.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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