Friday, April 2, 2010

The world in a nutshell

I'm talking Google here, and all the other search engines. People have their preferences, Bing, Yahoo, Dog Pile; even Ask Jeeves may still be in existence.( It is. I just Googled it to find out.)

All of this information at our fingertips; is it a good or a bad thing? Well, of course, it has to be good. A thought crosses our mind or the partial memory of a song appears in our heads, go to Google. You will find all the foot note information you need to write a term paper on the thought, or retrieve the lyrics to the song, and the date it was written and which crooner sang which version, when.

When I was a little girl, my parents bought a World Book encyclopedia, from a door-to-door salesperson. It was a luxury for us. We scoured it for information. My Dad bought us an up-date volume every year. The Encyclopedia Brittanica came into our possession after Bob's father died.  Our school age children used the old World Book to cut out pictures to embellish their hand-written elementary school reports. My grandchildren have never had to research anything on paper. And my great-grandchildren already have Wikipedia. Thank heavens their good parents read to them from real books every night before bed.

Computer illiteraccy will  soon be more disabling than illiteraccy, unless it already is. Just read the blogs and comments and posts of people who know exactly how to say something on line, but whose grammer and use of language would get them a D in an English course.

My heart almost broke when those beautiful little wooden library drawers vanished.  Everything arranged alphabetically, coded by the Dewey decimal system, replaced by the computer. It was easier, and/but less brain-taxing.

I fear we, as human beings, may be squeezed out of existence by technology. There will be too little room to breathe. The machines will have taken over our world.

There are, I think, movies and TV shows with variations on this theme. I'm too lazy to Google it.


  1. Out where I live in Idaho, we often have power outages that immediately take us back a century. I get out the candles and flashlights and read. But when the power comes back on, I always check the computer to make sure a power surge didn't kill it.

    Glad to have found your blog, Mrs. Greene.

  2. It is a quandary isn't it, Phyllis? We too earned our Encyclopedia set, one volume at a time. Franny never uses the Yellow pages, newspaper movie guide and on and on. I spent one summer after college working in the library of a theological seminary converting their card catalogue from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress, hand snow-paqueing all of those cards. No one will ever risk white lung disease for that reason again.