I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like using the telephone. I do all the time, because everybody else does, or at least everyone my age. Young people more and more just use texting, and I suspect some of that comes from the same telephone reluctance I have.
I’m not sure why more people I know don’t use the technology that makes telephone reluctance a non-issue: video chatting via computer or smart phone. I mean, the technology is everywhere, and it’s almost like being together in person. Not quite, and I still prefer face-to-face visits. But video chatting is the next best thing, and in some ways, it’s better.
If I am my camera right, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up the whole house before a visit. Plus, video chat only carries sight and sound–no odors so far.
Friends and family are now scattered everywhere. I’d rather visit in person, but I can’t. Things like appear.in, Hangouts, Skype are better than phone calls, emails, letters, etc.
Technology is great! I love it! But it can overshadow things that are more important.
The very word implies that technologies are tools. They help you accomplish things, but they don’t tell you what to accomplish or help you evaluate what’s most important to accomplish. Continue reading
A participant in a recent program on “PowerPoint CPR” asked me how I prepare for equipment failure. Irma Perry, a former Toastmasters International Director, put it this way: “I wondered if you come prepared with ‘extra’ equipment, in the event of equipment failure — been there done that, but used ‘paper handouts’ as I didn’t have extra equipment.”
Good question, because it’s bound to happen, isn’t it? My wife hates it when I talk about Murphy’s Law, but I consider it a positive thing: if you recognize the reality of Murphy’s Law, you plan to overcome its effects.
My definitive answer: it depends. Continue reading
One of the great things about parody, of course, is that it is all at once funny and not-funny-because-it’s-too-true. Robert Lanham has produced a syllabus for a course called Internet-Age Writing, and it makes me laugh and cry, just like those people I heard about in a student’s speech who named their dog “Fungus.” What worries me is the number of people who will not get the cultural references on either side of this thing. Note: if you skim it instead of read it, you are already Too Far Gone.
Computer programmer from Finland has lost finger replaced with USB drive – Telegraph. OK, I’m not sure what to think of this one, but I suppose it’s the ultimate in having information right at the tip of … I can’t say it.
NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday featured Michael Demers, a geography professor at New Mexico State University, talking about how he uses Second Life to help his students learn more effectively. You can listen to the segment online.
Of course, so far I haven’t been able to get it to play myself. [sigh] Your luck may be better.
Update: I managed to get it to play. Worth listening to!
You may know about this already from its original site, which was reportedly taken down because of bandwidth and hosting issues. It is available again, thanks to TechRepublic. The article is called “Computer bloopers and blunders from the technically clueless.”