Ben Brooks recently wrote an article about nerds and technology:
My problem and the problem with being a nerd is: you are compelled to find the best. You know there must be something better and therefore, for that very reason, you want it. It’s not an obsession, it’s a compulsion.
This, though, is a major problem. Because being a nerd also means efficiency. And while I am efficient at many things, like any other (or every other) nerd, I’m only efficient half the time. Because the other half of the time I am busy trying to find tools and systems which will keep me efficient, or make me better.
Truthfully, I’d probably get more done if I never looked for the best tools, but thats not an option because I can’t quell the compulsion. That notion that there is something better, something faster, something more efficient waiting to reward those that search hard enough is far too compelling.
And so I, and fellow nerds, find new macros, new apps, new tools, new systems. We have a never ending need to find the best, whether that is tools, or processes we want them both. We can’t settle until we’ve reached a point where we know we’ve reached peak zen because what we own, or how we do something, is subjective seen by us as the best.
It seems stupid but many times I thought these same things. Sometimes it involves new tools, sometimes the way I organize my things or the way I work. Afterall this sense of "reach something better" is deeply rooted in all human being (thanks to God!), but it risks to be a pure distraction or, in the case of tech gadgets, a huge waste of money. However, I belive this is a fine line that we should never be afraid to cross, because the sense of improvement is the same sense that will push us beyond all limits. In our life, in our work and in our relations. Of course is better to think twice before buying a new gadget (I repeat, it's important not to waste money), but afterall the feeling that Brooks describes is common in every man: it's applicable to every nerds how wants a better software to organize his tasks and it's the same feeling of a musician who wants to compose a new symphony. It's the sense of desire that every man feels when wakes up: the real point here is to focus the desire on something important, on something that really matters and it's able to improve our life.