Yuba is a weekly column exploring the Law of Unintended Consequences. (Yes, I know laws were made to be broken, but just try to break this one!)

Yuba isn't commentary, it's fiction. So you don't get just one point of view, you get a different one each week. Different situations, different perspectives, and a new cast of characters each time.

Just like life.

Since the Stone Age humans have been inventing new ways to make their lives better and more fulfilling. In the United States, this human trait is especially evident, with Americans of each successive century proclaiming theirs to be the Age of Enlightenment, with waves of technological discovery washing away the established order and making way for a lifetime of wonder.

And it's worked. Our lives are filled with technological wonders, from cars to airplanes to computers to telephones to microwave ovens. All of these make our lives easier and richer.

But even though we have spent most of our lives around these marvels we still don't seem to have figured out exactly what to do with them.

It should be obvious. Put food in a microwave, set the timer, wait five minutes, put it on the table and eat it.

But you can't do that with eggs (or at least, you shouldn't do that with eggs). Or live animals. Or baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. Yet every day, somebody tries to do just that.

I'm not suggesting you try it yourself. And if you do, do not use live animals.

After all, there are better ways to get your jollies. Like reading about the things other people have done with some of the marvels of the twentieth century. Like digital cameras, voice pads, day planners, cable modems, email, exercise equipment, TV ads, paper currency, T-shirts, computer viruses .....

Check out:

  • The latest Yuba column online
    UPS for Real Critical Apps

  • The archive of recent Yuba columns
    The four previous Yuba columns

  • The Yuba FAQ
    The origins of Yuba and this Web site

  • How to find Yuba Offline
    Yuba in the analog world

  • Catharsis
    Why did we turn out this way?

Copyright 1996, J. Hall, all rights reserved