Have a laugh … on me!

It started out as a joke. My husband sent me an email and I thought it was funny. It made me laugh, so without worrying much about the source, the deeper truths, the verifiable facts of the matter, taking into consideration only the fact that it made me laugh, I published it.

It is called “The Man who saw the future” and you can click on it and see the source for all of this brouhaha (google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

I have been accused — me, the queen of geeks — of being anti-technology! Imagine that. A woman who owns three computers, an electronic reader, a tablet, a smart phone, three external hard drives, 4 digital cameras and Lord knows how many accessories, has DVRs and Blu-ray players all over the house … I am anti-technology? If I am not pro technology, no one is.

My laptop. Today's super little machine.

My laptop. Today’s super little machine.

But I am not in favor of letting technology replace human relationships, of instant internet searches replacing research. I’m in favor of using technology intelligently and using intelligence and creativity to define what technology is good for, not the other way around. Tools are intended for use by human beings for human pursuits.

I’m a big believer in facts. I research. I check and double-check sources even though I know that it’s impossible to completely verify any fact or statistic because the act of interpreting information alters it. Most important, I learned that not everything is equally important. I spent decades documenting and verifying … but there are things that do not need to be verified, double-checked, or confirmed. Among these things are jokes.

Not only do I like to laugh, I need to laugh. What is more, I think we all need to laugh.

So, in pursuit of brightening my own and maybe your life too,  I publish jokes which I think are funny. I do not verify the source of the joke. I do not research the origin of laughter. If it’s funny, that’s good enough for me.

Lighten up America!

It’s been a rough period. Not everything is life or death. Laughter can be a bridge over troubled waters. Nothing else, not pill, drugs, or therapy can uplift you the way laughter can.

As far as trying to prove that technology is “bad,” I love my electronic gadgets and goodies. However, you need to recognize what these things are good for and not try to use them to replace the world. Too many people, especially young people, confuse the means and the end.kindle fire

They substitute electronic communications for relationships. I watch my granddaughter and her friends sitting next to each other on the sofa texting. How do you learn to have relationships if you can’t have a conversation? If you use computers to think for you, you never learn to think, especially considering that computers can’t think. They are processors. Very fast, efficient information processors. Anyone can use a computer to collect information by the bushel, but most people can’t connect two related ideas without a flow chart and maybe, not even then.

In a society where we have to warn people not to text while driving, something is seriously wrong.

Information is not knowledge. It’s human minds and creativity that change raw data into concepts, inventions, and ideas.

Blackberry TorchInformation is not communication. You can provide all the information in the world, but if you don’t disseminate it in a form that others can understand, it’s just noise. We collect information at the speed of light. The dumbing down of society is not because of the tools we have available, it’s because we’ve forgotten they are only tools.

We have fantastic resources that we waste on drivel. Technology has not improved our ability to communicate, relate, think, or create. If anything, our dependence on them has reduced these uniquely human qualities. Without a human context, all our fancy technology will remain trivial. Time wasters. Stupid toys.

THAT is the message beneath my humor. NOT that tools are bad, but that we misuse them, fail to use them to any worthwhile end. We have come so far … and remarkably, advanced very little. Our civilization is not one bit more advanced that it was in ancient days.

I suggest that instead of analyzing my jokes to see if they contain accurate attributions, that you analyze your life and see if it’s worth living. In the meantime, have a good laugh on me.

8 comments

  1. I must admit I am a geek. It happened in a strange way, my boss, during my annual work review, claimed I wasn’t good trading bait. That meant that I was quite ordinary, without any special skills that set me apart. I set about to change that. My employer at the time was McDonald Aircraft in St. Louis, MO. It was 1978 and IBM had just released its first PC, with 2 5 1/4″ floppy drive, and 8088 processor & a whopping 256K of RAM memory. Still, it was state of the art for its time. I volunteered to be on the first task team at work challenged to learn this beast and then teach the company’s 100,000 employees. Piece of cake. except there were no courses I could take or books I could read. You needed to be an egghead to understand the manufacturer’s manual. I persevered, got a nice raise, opened my own computer business & became “valuable” to the company.

    I believe I came out into the world laughing. I was so ugly my mama had to rent a baby to take to church. :) If you’ve seen my blog you know that the captions & titles of my post are all intended to first, make you laugh. Laughter makes you look at yourself and relate. That’s why you’re laughing.

    My geek best friend, Warren, can’t believe it took me so long to buy a cellphone. It took me years after that to learn to sort of text. I don’t tweet and hate Facebook after watching the movie. I belonged for a month or so but thought all my relatives were acting like blooming idiots, posting blow by blow how they were dealing with a wasp in the house. I really, really hate text speak. My parents sacrificed a lot, coming from Germany & not speaking a word of English. They spoke only English in our home so that we could learn, what would become our native language. If you’re too damn lazy to spell Oh My God you need to swear by another name. End of rant!

    1. I have always been a writer. The first time I met a computer, it was 1978 in Israel … the big main frame at the Weizmann in Rehovot. The moment I met “cut and paste” … that was it for me. Finally, I didn’t have to retype everything for one mistake … and good bye carbon paper! From then on, I stayed in high tech until my health fell apart and I couldn’t work anymore. I love technology for what it lets me do that I used to do, but took me so much longer.

      As for Facebook, I play games on it. I post notices of my blogs, someimes with someone a happy birthday. But I don’t spend much time there. It’s a convenience, but if if went away, I’d be fine without it. I like having a phone with me when I travel, but I resent it’s intrusion. You can’t escape the phone anymore. I love when we are someplace where I have to turn it off. Blessed silence! I hate texting and instant messaging. I don’t really even like the phone anymore, but so many people I care about live so far away … we used to live all near one another, but the years have spread us all over the world. Makes it hard to keep in touch without a phone and email.

      One of the perils of age. One of the MANY perils.

      I’ve given up ranting about kids. They’ll work it out. Every generation does, somehow.

  2. Geez, Marilyn, someone really must have sent you a nasty, nasty note. One cannot survive today without laughter, at least to me anyway. Who wants to go through life as a sour puss or be around a sour puss? Keep on keeping on, my friend, I love your sense of humor!

    1. I don’t know what’s wrong with our world. I actually was getting the equivalent of hate mail because I couldn’t prove the Einstein really said that … like it matters. I don’t understand when America collectively lost her sense of humor …

  3. Laughter, for me, is a matter of survival. Dealing with the bureaucrats, lack of facts and fat cats ( both furry and not) would send me scurrying for cover, were it not for my good friends and the ability to see and laugh at the absurd in everyday life.
    Thank heavens I have you!!

    1. Laughter is survival and as life seems to get increasingly grim, it’s the only antidote I know that can take the “edge” of the pain of survival.

Comments are closed.