Creatures of Ink and Technology

 

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is a perspective piece from Paul. Please let us know what you think.

I recently watched a television program about Hackers on our local PBS channel and while being a tad scared about the prospect of my blogs/emails being hacked, I was still intrigued about the entire concept of coding. You see my first experience with the computer was when I was working in a bank. My supervisor informed me that my entire department’s records were going onto a computer disk ( we were using typewriters and files then). I supervised the transfer while being taught code and have respected the science ever since.

’til next time,

Sallie

Creatures of Ink and Technology

Our thoughts these days are of ink and technology. Printed words and emails, text messages and pictures, and music and movies downloaded from iPods and computers fill our minds perpetually, to an extent that we do not realize until we stop and reflect on it. As far as print, these black enthralling words are counters and symbols, which pass from lip to lip, from brain to brain, until they are worn and rubbed thin and shiny and lose their real significance, if they ever had any. Technology has led to many major changes professionally and personally, and for better or for worse. Computers are used in homes, businesses, cars, schools, and in our hands while we walk, exercise, drive, or travel. communicating, socializing, researching, working, and shopping have been made easier for consumers via the internet and with the click of a mouse or the tough of a screen.
Our theories of life come to us through ink. We are affected by the work of editors, reporters, compositors, website designers, and technicians. A few centuries ago, even after the invention of printing, the domain of books was limited. Only a few could read at all (for example, the monks translated and copied the Bible), and those few read but seldom. The majority depended on others to read to them, or a town crier to spread local news, or an oral tradition, where stories were told and handed down from one generation to another.
Ink did not saturate these ancient people’s brains. Now newspapers, magazines, brochures, and advertisements like billboards along highways, and laptops and cell phones govern us, big and little, local and regional, national and international, wise and unwise, rich and poor. They flourish us all with our religion, our politics, our current events, and our sociology. They set our fashions, frame our manners, and dictate our amusements and other interests.
Technology has taken the printed word to an advanced level, which makes it convenient for one person to communicate with another near or far and at any time of the day, seven days a week. It has become a necessity for those in the working world, those attending school, those looking for a mate, and those looking for fun and leisure as they search the Internet. Tons of information once stored in books, files and archives is now available at the click of a button online.
What was the world like before written words and computers were known, when men and women thought in terms of pictures, or of sounds, and did not smother facts in words, or spend countless hours searching the web with eyes staring at a screen? Yet, there were great deeds then, even, if all tales be true, some great speech uttered, which reverberates in all our hearts today. And along after writing and printing were invented, men relied upon them very little.
Spoken words made the communication of life, words spoken from the pulpit, from the stage, round the hearth, on the front porch with neighbors, at the corner of the street, by the water cooler at work, or in public places. Emails, text messages, websites, DVD players, video games as well as Xbox and PlayStation, and cell phones have taken the written word into a different dimension. These new forms of communication have not only brought people closer, but have left many vulnerable to computer viruses, hackers, identity theft, predators with devious and dangerous intentions, accidents and disasters, and addiction to mindless games and idle chatter. Now ink and technology have usurped it all; the world is drowned in a torrent of a dependency on impersonal ink and computers, and the invasion of privacy.
Some day there may come a rebellion, but it is difficult to see how. Instead, it seems for the present that the tyranny of print and technology over us has grown daily greater, more crushing and less responsible, less intelligently guided, while simultaneously remaining a dire necessity. Meantime, let us individually oppose the dominion of ink and technology wherever and whenever we can. When we do need to use them, we must remember to use them productively and wisely. Also, let us think for ourselves, to live for ourselves, and not be altogether creatures of ink and technology.
Let us keep our eyes open, our hearts open always, the fingers of our souls stretched wide to help others, teach the younger generations, smell the roses, commune with nature, feel the warmth of sunshine, appreciate our blessings including family and friends, smile and laugh more often than frowning and crying, and be determined to move forward in a positive and collaborative fashion. But most of all, let us not let the black veil of printed matter or a large or small screen cut us off from the reality of life and the wonderful people and special gifts that fill our lives.
Paul

 

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The Power of Words

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Another though-provoking piece from G.

~Sallie

Isn’t it truly amazing the incredible POWER of words?! Doesn’t matter if they are written or spoken, every one of us has had the experience of words either exhilarating us, or destroying us! Chances are, no matter which was the case, it had a profound impact on us.

 

Words are the method by which we learn, teach, and acknowledge. We communicate, inspire, and defend with them. They are the sole expression of our thoughts. Words really do almost everything in our lives. I can think of few things they don’t do in fact!

 

Some one famous (I can’t remember who) once said: Words are like arrows. Loose them thoughtfully, because once loosed, they can never be recalled! Boy do I wish that I had remembered that more often. All too often I have said things in anger that I wish I had never said. I bet you have too. And usually to people that we care about most. Oh, if we only could recall those loosed arrows!  But they found their mark, and the damage was done.

 

So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to do my best to remember always the incredible POWER of words.

 

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