Monday, June 7, 2010

Computer and internet - I

About a couple of years after my stroke, we bought a computer with a dial-up Internet connection. There is no doubt that my extended mind has helped me in adjusting to life
after the stroke. It has been very useful in the specific task of writing this blog.

Before starting the blog, I had made a list of topics that I could write about. I have kept adding to it since then. Whenever I remember some incident, whenever I get an idea about how to express something, whenever I saw a relevant paragraph in a book or a link, I made a note of it. Over time this initial skeleton of random jottings has fleshed out into a useful aide memoire. Before I start a new post, I look at this file and think about how to convert the inchoate jumble of ideas contained therein into something readable.I take regular back-up of this file and even keep a copy in my gmail account. (Now you know how paranoid I am.)

The cut and paste functions seem to have been made specially for me. I have used it frequently to reduce the time required for dictation. (I remember seeing a quote that if you copy from one, it's plagiarism; if you copy from many, it's research. I assure you that I was only doing research.) I wonder how Wodehouse used to write his novels. A phenomenal memory must have been part of his genius.I need to only remember a few keywords of a quote or a poem and I can find out the exact words in a few seconds of Googling.

You may have noticed that I have more links in my later posts than in my earlier ones. This is because I keep coming across links that I can use. There is also the thought that someone may get interested in a link and discover something that I may not be aware of. I have the time to waste and thereby provide links, a luxury that you may not have.

The Internet obeys Sturgeon's Law leading to fears of agnotological Armageddon. I am fairly confident of being able to separate the wheat from the chaff most of the time and while information overload is a problem, I prefer it to information drought. But I find it a problem reading long tracts online.I am the only person in the house who welcomes a power cut.The resultant discomfort due to sweating is offset by the concomitant benefit of being able to read a book without the distraction of wanting to switch on the computer and click on something.

Aside: You can find some Googlefreude here. New technology is always viewed with suspicion by the older generation.


  1. Googlefreude,Sturgeon's law...checked them out.Also checked out the meaning of agnotological Armageddon....
    As far as i am concerned,each post of yours is LEARNING without GOOGLING!!!!
    Planning our Coimbatore trip in the 1st week of Aug...Will that be Ok?

  2. Leela,
    You are welcome anytime. Just ring up the previous day to make sure that Jaya is at home.

  3. "read a book without the distraction of wanting to switch on the computer and click on something" - When was the last time I did that? Can you wait a minute for the answer, because I just thought of something to look up on the Internet?.... :-)