Saturday, February 23, 2013

Take that, fortune tellers!

Every so often, one of my sixteen readers will ask, "Why don't you update your blog more often?"  And to them I say, "Parachutes." Because that makes as much sense as anything else I could say.
It is true that I don't write as much as I used to.  It's partly due to the fact that most of what I think has already been written and partly because I have come to the grim realization that what I write doesn't matter.
Drivers merging onto freeways don't yield (even though the sign says "Yield"), people still throw their trash everywhere and we still celebrate New Year's Day.  Life goes on in spite of my protest or angst over it.  Nothing changes.
We live in our little worlds.  It seems that the more "worldly" we become, the more our world shrinks.  We are hooked-up to the Internet via our phones, which are really tiny handheld computers, and the size of our sphere of influence extends as far as our circle of Facebook "friends" and our followers on Twitter.  Beyond that, we have no personal interaction.
We text and Tweet to the extent that we do not talk and call anymore.  Part of the fallacy of the cell phone is that it's a phone at all. What we really pay for are data plans and text messaging. 
"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.  The world will have a generation of idiots."
- Albert Einstein
I guess you don't have to be Albert Einstein to know that's coming true, and that we are living the dream.  The generation of idiots is being reared now, as the children of the cell phone generation are being bred by their parents - whether they know it or not.
All you need to do is read the comments on Facebook and Twitter pages.  The numbers of grammatical errors and spelling issues will make your head swim.  This, in a day where we all thought that we were learning math that we would never use.  How many English students said, "Why am I learning proper grammar? I'll never use it?"  None of them.  They were all algebra students learning math to their chagrin.  Where are the Mathbook posts?
I took typing classes in high school.  In 1973 I was one of a class of women who were taking typing because their career path was that of the secretary.  If they didn't know how to type, they were doomed to a life of household drudgery and failing typing tests where less than 40 words per minute meant that they were typing-illiterate.  Little did they (or I) know that those typing classes would turn into a lifetime of being able to properly type blog posts and e-mail's with our hands on the home row.  How many of you know what the home row is?
In their short-sightedness, I was chased out of "Typing II" because they felt I was misplaced.  There I was, a young man in a class of women learning how to type on Remington typewriters whose keys were so difficult to press that our wrists were over-developed from the work.  I could do 40 words per minute and was one of the slower typists in the class.  I could go faster,  but the mistakes took time off my test results.
The dopes in charge of the typing class could not foresee a day when the Undo command and spell check would make typing tests passe.
Fuck them.


Christina said...

Man, you're so smart (and such a smart-ass, he,he) - why do you keep on whining about how life was better THEN? I mean, even the Ancient Romans complained about how the youth had no proper behavior anymore and how they knew nothing about culture.
You probably know the dictum: "Panta rhei". And that's how it is.
Consequently, what we do is very important and very unimportant at the same time.
In the end, doesn't it all come down to "fuck mediocrity?"

(äxkuhs probäbl bäd spälling. Its cos german)

Anthony said...

I don't think this was a rant about "how life was better THEN," more like a rant about how our current state of communication is deteriorating and how our technology is separating us from each other.

The secondary theme was the short-sightedness of my high school teachers.

Christina said...

"... our current state of communication is deteriorating ...": Doesn't that imply communication was better in the good old days?
To me, what you have written about the world and everything so far has created an image of a sad and lonely old man who stubbornly refuses to let go of his memories.
That's sad to read because it seems like a waste of resources. Brain resources that you have, I think. Or haven't? Projections, projections...

Maybe if one doesn't have children of one's own, one loses track of time. It's what a former childless colleague of mine told me. At least, children keep throwing in one's face how unbelievably out-dated one's ideas are.
That's bad and that's good.
Just evolution.

Anthony said...

I'm not sure which part you don't understand. I thought I was clear.
We send text messages instead of calling someone. We e-mail people in the next cubicle. Face-to-face communication is the thing that is deteriorating.
IF that makes me "a sad and lonely old man," then I guess I am.

We can't change who we are, and our memories are worth something, aren't they? If not, they why do we do anything, but for the memories.

Anthony said...

How would not having children cause me to "lose track of time?" People with children don't have some powerful hold on society. If anything, my time is more valuable because I do not have children.
That's a little pompous, don't you think?

Christina said...

Yes, pompous (pump, pump, pump).

Maybe we are talking at cross-purposes but that's how all communication processes work. Everyone acts in their personal story. And that's why love relationships fail. But I'm digressing.

"Losing track of time": I once heard a dictum that went: We should all learn to live "partingly". Although the word doesn't exist, it carries the notion that nothing and therefore no concept/ belief lasts: as soon as it is born it alters.
Children as part of a new generation do carry new ideas and concepts.
I simply like the idea of an ever-evolving world. I like being surprised and intellectually challenged.