Saturday, January 26, 2013

Just click the start button

I am of that generation missing some fundamental knowledge. I am too young to have learned how to diagram a sentence or to have memorized a historical presentation piece. (I don't see how the diagram below is helpful. On the other hand, I've written more than my share of poorly constructed sentences. Maybe I should learn how to diagram, or at least how to use a comma properly.)

I am too old to have grown up being a techno-aficionado. Remember when computers were called a typewriter, the library, a set of encyclopedias, the six o’clock news, whatever trivia your parents knew and a pack of actual playing cards?

As an added bonus, I didn’t learn any measurement quantities in school because, “By the time you kids grow up everything will be metric.” That worked out well for me.

I called my dad the other day. (I will preface this by saying my dad is no dummy. He is a recently retired MD, just finished a semester as a visiting professor to Cornell and he wrote a book explaining the combination of physics and religion.)

Anyway, he is staying out of state, setting up a medical practice for a newly graduated MD.  The cable doesn’t work in the apartment he is living in so he is trying to find alternative entertainment until it can be fixed.

I have been trying to talk him into Netflix for a few years. Made desperate by lack of entertainment, he finally agrees to give it a try. So a few quick steps with a tiny bit of phone help from his daughter and the viewing options are being accessed.

He is very happy when he finds out he can stream Nova, National Geographic, The History Channel and a million other documentaries. A whole bunch of immediately accessible nerdy stuff.

In the heady wake, he decides to sign up for the audio book program! A few more steps and he is downloading a just released mystery.

Hooray for expanded horizons!

When I’m 73, I hope my kids, well really my grandkids, will help me access the automated food dispenser and the 24 hour a day, holographic function of my pod's wall panel.

“I am convinced that grandkids are inherently evil people who tell their grandparents to "just go to the library and open up an e-mail account - it's free and so simple.” Scott Douglas

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