Posted tagged ‘internet’

Pulling the String

September 1, 2022

gloomI woke this morning in a mood.   I suppose I don’t have to specify what kind of mood it was … in a mood has acquired its own connotation of BAD.   On days like this, it is sometimes a labor to drag my old ass to our office to do what I call my Morning Practice.  A few spiritual readings, journaling, a prayer or two, and a gratitude list.   I close with poem from Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems and an impressionist painting of the day in A Year in Impressionism.  I am not a poetry guy … I’d say 35% the time I don’t really get the days poem but maybe 10% of the time, one will really move me.  Today was such a day.  The poem was Woolworth’s by Mark Irwin.  It is astring wondrously simple reminiscence about wandering into a Woolworth’s Five and Ten (that was cents, people) on a cold winter’s day.  You can read it here, if you are interested.   On those days when I find a poem, I usually spend some time Pulling the String on the web for information about the poet and to see what anyone else thinks about the poem.  Google Mark Irwin.  Google Mark Irwin’s Woolworth’s.  Google Woolworth’s. (more…)

Creepy Connections

September 6, 2014

web1By talking to friends … and friends of friends …. I’ve learned that many people my age avoid social media like the plague and look at texting as some sort of affliction that strikes adolescents and turns them into smartphone-toting zombies.  They worry about how much of their lives will be revealed when they go online and won’t order anything over the internet for fear of identity theft.   I, on the other hand, am very connected for an old goat.    I travel with a large backpack filled with electronic miscellanea … a laptop, a  8 inch tablet, and a bluetooth keyboard that allows me to connect to either my tablet or phone and blog anywhere.  I carry a wi-fi dongle that gives me internet access wherever I am.   I am a regular user of Amazon Prime … for shopping … music … books … and cloud storage.   I’m active on Facebook, posting comments and photographs, as well as publicizing Older Eyes Bud’s blog and keeping touch with friends and relatives around the country.  I have a Twitter account but find it pretty much useless. (more…)

Bubbles and Brains

November 2, 2013

bubbleI’ve been seeing the term Filter Bubble periodically on various news pages that I frequent.  It’s a term that, as far as I can tell, was coined by Eli Pariser for the title of his book.  The book’s longish slug line provides a pretty good definition of the term: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think.  We all know we’re being tracked.  I go to a website I’ve visited before and even before I log in, it says Hi, Bud up in the corner.   Of course, that’s because when I last visited, the site left a cookie on my computer that identifies me.  It also kept track of what I looked at on the website.  The same thing happens when you use search engines like Google and Yahoo.  If you have a Google account … which toys like smartphones and smart TVs encourage us to have … you may have seen videos you’ve watched on your computer show up on your YouTube history on your TV.   Of course Amazon keeps track of what I look at and buy so it can make helpful (and profitable) recommendations on future visits.  I actually like that it suggests music along the lines of what I buy … with record stores gone, it’s a great way to find new artists.  But since I’m a regular Amazon user, they do know a lot about me.  And with social media like Facebook we intentionally and inadvertently toss gobs of information about ourselves into cyberspace, where someone is carefully tracking it.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a lot more comfortable with businesses tracking me in order to sell me something than the National Security Agency tracking me for who knows what.  That’s a sad commentary on our government, but that’s perhaps a subject for another post.
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The Facts, Ma’am

May 2, 2013

britannicaWhen I was a kid … eons ago … if I had to do research for a paper, I had two choices.  Fortunately, my parents had provided us with an Encyclopedia Britannica (with annual yearbooks) which was Option One.  But if the subject was really esoteric or required more depth than Britannica provided, Option Two was a trip to the East Haven Library.  As I got older, a trip to the main library in New Haven might have been warranted.  These days, research is at my finger tips on my smartphone or my tablet or even my laptop if I’m near public wi-fi.  What I can learn about a subject in half an hour would have consumed days back in the 1960s.   And yet, with all this information at our disposal, our online experience isjust the facts populated with opinion posing as reporting, advertising for products with ludicrous claims, and hoaxes propagated as if they are real news.   Posters on Facebook and message boards are willing to take any scrap of misinformation that they find and run with it if it supports their opinion.  With all the information we have our disposal, we seem to have lost the ability … or the desire … to, as Jack Webb used to say on Dragnet, find just The Facts, Ma’am. (more…)

Being Dial-Up

December 13, 2011

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Now, there is a sound that I haven’t heard for a long time … and truthfully, hoped to never hear again.   But it wasn’t too long ago that the music of a 56K modem was THE SOUND of going on line, often followed by the familiar, You’ve Got Mail.   These days, though, if I’m hearing the Music of the Modem, it’s not good news.  There are other hints that Older Eyes has endured internet catastrophe, too.   For one, it’s 3:30 pm in Socal and there’s still no Tuesday post.  It’s Top Sites Tuesday #129 and I’ve missed the boat for the first time in a long time.  Last night at about 9:00 pm, I was working on a brilliant post titled God and Football … I’d explained my Thought Number One, that I’m rooting for Tim Tebow in spite of my aversion to his over-exuberant evangelism.  He seems like a genuinely good guy and I enjoy seeing the football pundits proven wrong.  I was is the process of posting Thought Number Two: that I don’t believe that God gets involved in football, no matter how religious the players are when … ZAPFirefox is unable to connect to the server at oldereyes.wordpress.net.   Yikes, I thought, perhaps I should reconsider Thought Number Two! (more…)