What Now?

| August 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Contemporary Crab, Take Two
by Laura Walcher

I have not complained nearly enough about my new computer, my new phone and the traumas of contemporary technology. However, I’m moderately pleased to realize that, given all the hair-tugging responses I’ve received, I know I’m not alone in the world:

Mike Jenkins: I just want those things to make a decent phone call!

Mike Kaplan: GREAT ARTICLE! I would like to forward it …but I don’t know how!

Judith Wolf Mandell: Oh…don’t get me started!

Tom Sprague: Phones are meant for making calls. Computers are meant to do what we ask them to. Where did we go wrong?

Joyce Marco: Ditto – to everything you wrote – but I though LOL was “Laughable old Lady!”

Tom Leech: Dear Ms. Easy-goin’, soft-spoken, diplomatic, would you be interested in buying an IBM typewriter, maybe a nice Red British phone station, how about a pair of gadgets on a long skinny wire? Might simplify your complicated electronic life….

Don Gullans: Your blog speaks for me..that is partially why my research into the Middle Ages is so satisfying!

Philomena Ofen: Amen! I hear ya, sister.

Barbara Metz: Boy, do I sympathize.

Michael Salkind: This technology was not meant for people born in the first half of the last century.

Joe Wollenberger:. No need for shame as your misery has company: We also thought LOL meant LOTS OF LOVE. No wonder some of our correspondents are looking at us… askance …

Jim Bliesner: Read your column. Nasty.

(Note to responders: I –not the computer – took the liberty of slightly editing your ferocious comments, for which please forgive me, since by so doing I saved your reputations – per this family-friendly publication. Not that the computer won’t further alter your comments; you know it has all the power.)

We all recently received in email a statement by Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a reasonable, rational proposal for peace in the mid-east. Good news – or what? What. Some unknown (amazingly optimistic) person apparently penned it, possibly to inspire the PM. I only tell this incident because, in addition to providing us all the information, knowledge, news in the universe, the computer shoves at us equal amounts of misinformation. As pop historian Charles Seife shows in his new book, “Virtual Unreality,” online, the lying is easy.

And, nobody is exempt. The New York Times reports that “… nearly every video, article and photo…” appearing in a Twitter promotion for Tibet (are you ready?) is a lie.

Sad stuff, when you can’t believe anything you read – even the good news!

Well, I’ve digressed, getting off the subject of how much my techno-devises hate me. A deep breath, or an indifferent pressure on a key, sends my Samsung Galaxy into never-before-seen displays: lists, un-sought news, calendars (who asked?), numerical information (why?) and, though it purports to replicate my emails, it holds on to them for dear life when I’ve told it numerous times to delete.

The really important service my phone, my computer, don’t provide is clear, clean, consistent communication. There ought to be some app for that.


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