This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
December 31st, 2007


I came across an article in the Viewpoint section of our newspaper. It was written by Dr. Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. I've admired Dr. Sowell for many years, he is well-known conservative with a wonderful sense of humor.

I had no idea until I read his recent column in our local newspaper, that his humor included a good dose of satire. Just delightful.

Seems Dr. Sowell has a problem which many of us senior citizens have. We are technology challenged. Not only do we not understand how these computerized products work, we don't even know how to turn them on.

No joke, Dr. Sowell commented that he was unable to find the 'on' button for the simplest radio a local store sold. He also observed that computer gurus seem to have something against using the words "off" and "on." Just a clue, "start" seems to have replaced "on." The word "power" can be used as a substitute for "on."

What a waste. Why can't we just have things simple, that even Mom and Dad can understand. Instruction manuals are even worse. They are not any help, you need to take a class to understand the manuals. Really.

We have a new radio in our car, one of those "pay to subscribe" deals. It of course has multiple channels. They don't call them 'stations' any more. Must have the manual to just change channels, and would you believe some channels have multiple programs. Just too much. Of course, none of the little buttons on the radio have anything to indicate what they are either.

Have you noticed with all the labor saving devices we are not laboring less? No, we are laboring more! How can that be?

Back in the good old days we could turn something off or on. That's it. Simple. As long as I'm airing my problems, I have to mention the hand-held television control thingies. We have cable and then something else, "on demand." You can order up all sorts of movies which you pay for on your monthly bill. We have enough to do we haven't ordered anything - but again, it is all just too much.

Enough already - just give me the simple life.

Oh yes, it's a 'remote,' something a long way off. Sounds good to me. ~ The LadyFisher

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