Had a Moment of Clarity about Computers/Life Skills

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Ok, I was just remembering something. In 1987, I was a senior in high school. That was the first year I ever got to use a computer. Our school got a computer LAB and everyone was sooooo excited! They were black screens, orange text, word processing only. Dot matrix printers. We were not allowed to touch the printers at all.

As we are sitting there at our COMPUTERS (God, the excitement was PALPABLE), the instructor told us, in very very somber tones, that at the end of this century, anyone who was not completely computer literate would be LOST. LOST, do you hear me? LOST LOST LOST. We all nodded our heads quietly, letting it sink in.

That made an indelible impression on me, and in college the next year, I proceeded to learn all I possibly could about computers, despite being an English major. I dated a Computer Science major and made out with him so he would tell me what he knew about Assembly languages. I took Instructional Technology. Not required by my major and my dad made me pay for it myself. Not confident enough to just change my major. I was the first of anyone I knew to discover "relay" at my university's scary basement computer lab. Talking to STRANGERS!!! In other countries, no less! With an alias! It was truly amazing. My daughter is named after the first alias/handle I ever came up with. What a DORK!

Well, here it is the end of the century. And as I was learning to do yet another thing in a low-tech way, just in case, something struck me. What if, not only was that instructor wrong, he was 180 degrees wrong? As in, IT WILL BE THOSE WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN ALL THOSE SKILLS OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS HAD TO KNOW TO LIVE WHO WILL BE LOST?

Complete opposite. Hmmmmm......................has this struck anyone else? Now it is the end of the century and I am scrambling to recover long lost knowledge.

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 12, 1999


Read over my post and wanted to clarify something: I did NOT date the Computer Science major JUST to learn about Assembly languages. He also liked Monty Python as much as I did and was great in bed. Just to clarify.

(BTW, coulda learned about that stuff from the same texts he was learning it from, but they were expensive, I was broke just buying my own books, and it is not something you can just read while standing in the university book store.)


-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 12, 1999.

been working out-praying-cutting wood-lots and lots of cooking out of my iron skillet-peeling potatoes-drinking water instead of coke- walking 45min. a day-getting used to the cold-etc.

-- d----- (dciinc@aol.com), December 12, 1999.

Worth a song to me!turn on the speakers

-- hachacha (music@home.com), December 12, 1999.


How did you do that? Damn!! Scared the hell out of me!!

-- Familyman (prepare@home.com), December 12, 1999.

hachacha: What song is that?

I have given up caffeine (Ok, still in the process but down to only a tiny bit per day and no more headaches!), junk food, fast food (completely!), delivered pizza (WAH!!!!), been preparing simple spartan meals, walking long distances, haven't run the heat ONCE yet this year! (Not too hard, as we live in N. Texas, but it still is quite chilly in here...having to sleep in a full sweatsuit), trying to work out, haven't practiced using the hidden outdoor latrine yet...

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 12, 1999.


-- hacachs (q@m.m), December 12, 1999.

Dearest Preparing:

I also am a huge fan of Monty Python. PLUS, I know all the stuff your parents and grandparents knew. You don't even have to know how to mudwrestle to get along with me.



-- monty (monty@knowitall.com), December 12, 1999.

So sorry, Monty, you sound scrummy, but about 8 years ago, I married one of the original GI's (Army guy) who also likes Monty Python (BTW, I don't really like them much anymore) can survive almost any situation, AND is good in bed! ;-)

Thanks, though.

And I prefer chocolate pudding wrestling to mud wrestling.

Is this KOS?

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 12, 1999.

Absolutely! I have no idea how to make a shirt, even with a room full of cotton. There are many things, that even in 1900, people had that we won't. So many skills and way to do things we've all never known about.

A friend was fixing an old Singer sewing machine (for leather and heavy stuff) the other day. Just threading it would take me a couple of days to figure out! Oh, that little tray is supposed to hold grease? I would never have known that. Where do you get that kind of grease? Where do you get the thread?

It's endless. Really, our only hope is that things will be much better than they look.

I often feel that even though we've prepared, maybe we mice just scooted under the bench a little farther, and the "cat" will get us later instead of sooner.

-- Gregg (g.abbott@starting-point.com), December 12, 1999.


I'm of the opinion that both are necessary.
Trying to regain the skills lost by a culture
speeding headlong into technology and honing
techno-skills is the best way to live in these
times without becoming a victim to the ravages
of change.

By the way, don't take advice from a stranger.

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), December 12, 1999.

End center

-- spider (spider@usa.net), December 12, 1999.

Dearest Preparing,

"Scrummy?" I looked it up in my Websters. No such word. But there's scrumptious: adj., delightful, excellent.

Could that be . . . and I too love pudding.


-- monty (monty@knowitall.com), December 12, 1999.

Scrummy in preparing's dictionary is a kind of modern deviation of the word scrumptious.

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 12, 1999.

maybe we mice just scooted under the bench a little farther, and the "cat" will get us later instead of sooner.

Did someone say CAT? I'm hungry!!


-- (arf-arf@bow-wow.com), December 12, 1999.

I'm in the midst of both trying to fix my crappy HTML skills (and maybe get a better program to use if we don't go to hell in a hand basket -- hmmm, wonder how one makes a handbasket), and OTOH absorb some of the stuff like making fire with sticks from the Blankenship's _Earthknack: Stone Age skills for the 21st century_.

Glad to hear that Himself not only GI but is GIB (that does not stand for Gets It Bigtime). At the risk of mixing business with pleasure [discreet cough], I should remind our readers that mine is probably the only Y2k website shop that carries not only depressing books on grubbing up slimy muddy little roots and berries from the floor of the forest to keep yourself alive, but realizes that you need something better than that for your soul. And thus I carry a line of condoms, a pack that includes Kama Sutra Oil, pregnancy tests, and midwifery and nursing information.

Perhaps I should see if there are any suppliers who carry institutional size packages of chocolate pudding mix.

-- Firemouse (firemouse@fcmail.com), December 12, 1999.

I work as a handyman and am amazed at peoples lack of ability to do even the most simple task. I have changed lite bulbs for people, adjusted thermostats, have one guy, computer type, right now doesn't comprehend that he can burn the pile of debris in his yard, wants me to haul it away and on and on.

On the other hand I know just enough about computers to post this. However I was able to build a web page, did it for fun, never put it up. It was easier than I thought it would be.

Looking forward to PEACE ON EARTH!

INMO it would do the USA a lot of good if people had to get in the dirt a bit more. I love the comforts this world supplies but seems to me there is a point of diminishing returns.

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), December 13, 1999.

A point of diminishing returns? Congratulations, Mark, I have NEVER heard it put so succinctly. True true true.

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), December 13, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ