Dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century

When I was a kid I was afraid of telephones. We didn’t have one at home, so I never got used to using them. I still don’t like answering other people’s phones. What should I say to somebody I’ve never met and who doesn’t know me? I guess that means there are two things I don’t like; technology and social interactions. In a way they are the same fear.

The faceless men who write computer programs expect me to understand what they consider intuitive, regardless of how much cocaine they snorted before deciding on the most logical process or layout. There is no way to work out logically how to do anything on a computer. I can’t even use the help unless I know the exact term the particular program uses for what I’m trying to do. I feel that I am expected to psychoanalyze the anonymous programmers to work out what they think is logical. When I was in Uni I spent weeks trying to work out how to produce error-bar graphs. Finally somebody told me that in that program they are called mini-max graphs. Why they should be called mini-max graphs when they don’t show either the minimum or maximum possible values is quite beyond my comprehension.

I’m not on Facebook or twitter and I’ve never attempted to write a blog until now. I guess I’ve always been a very private person and I’ve always been prepared to allow other people their privacy. But the world has changed while I haven’t been watching. Recently I was accused of being arrogant for not wanting to bore the world with the inanities of my mundane existence. I’m sure that’s the opposite of what ‘arrogant’ used to mean.

I use a computer to write my books, but I don’t have any internet connection on this one. Writing is serious work and I like to avoid distractions while I’m working. We have another computer with a modem that my partner, Lynn, checks. I trust her to tell me about any emails I need to know of. It’s not a perfect system, but it saves me a lot of time. I suppose I need to change.

So I have decided to concede defeat and agreed to write a blog. If it is anything like my various attempts to keep a diary it probably won’t last very long. Diaries were always intended to be private. Reading somebody else’s diary was a serious offense, but somehow diaries have been superseded by blogs that are intended to be public. The world has turned upside down. I intend to treat this blog like a diary, full of my personal thoughts and opinions, and backed by the arrogant assumption that my opinions are valid, even if nobody else agrees with them. Then I will leave this diary open for anyone to glance through and console myself with the thought that, while anyone could read what I’ve written, most people won’t bother. Why, after all, would anyone care what I think?


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