’tis a mystery…

I don’t know about other people my age and older, but I suspect they are of a similar mindset.

*an aside…i now this is my second post today, but the laundry is churning and plants are watered and i am NOT feeling the vacuum cleaner…not at all. /end aside

*another aside…there is a brace on my right hand which makes certain typing tasks awkward, so if there are letters uncapitalized that should be, you’ll live. /end another aside

Where was I? Oh yeah, other old people and mindsets.

I was surfing around on the computer this morning, reading news and checking weather and so on. It occurred to me what a mystery it is, how computers work. How is it I can slide my finger around on this little bit at the bottom (the touchpad) and this arrow goes around and when it hits a box briefly describing something I can click a button and the image changes to a more detailed version of that brief description? How does it know? How is it I can type something- ok I can kind of understand typing things and having those words appear on the screen, coming from the age of the word processor, then move that mysterious arrow over to a little box that says ‘publish’ and suddenly the entire world has access to it? Have you ever sat down and really thought about how flamin’ amazing that is?

Just this morning, I was looking at email (INCREDIBLE!) and in popped 3 notices that apparently some people in Prague read one of my blog posts and liked it! In PRAGUE! Flamin’ Czech Republic! WHAT?! (hi y’all, if you’re reading this- I’m glad you liked it) Has it ever occurred to you how incredible all this is? My kids totally take it for granted. 2 of them even completely understand how it works, the same way I can look at an item of clothing and know exactly how it’s put together, or taste food and know what’s in it.

So, on a small scale, within the finite box of my laptop computer, there’s all sorts of incomprehensible things going on. There’s things zipping around, apparently little molecule sized machines and silicon thingies..stuff I might understand if I tried hard enough. Then the whole thing is connected to something apparently they’re calling a “cloud” now, that’s the whole global interwebs and I’m connected to Prague and Melbourne and Los Angeles all at the same time and able to communicate almost instantly with them. Have you ever had a facebook chat with someone 3000 miles away in Northern California? I have. Swapped recipes with someone in Brisbane, Australia, instantly? *raises hand*
Do you remember not being able to do these things, and thinking nothing of it because the very idea was science fiction Star Trek stuff? *nods*
I can understand and relate to mechanical devices. I can watch my washing machine, and know about the pumps and pulleys and belts that make it go. It makes sense. I can drive a car, and know how the internal combustion engine works, and the gears in a transmission and the hydraulics of the brake lines, all that makes sense. But this business of ‘cloud’ and fiber optics and silicon is all very mysterious. I feel a little bit like people must have felt 300 years ago, when scientists were just discovering bacteria and that whole other world microscopy revealed. I can kind of understand why people had issues with accepting it. I have accepted the world of computers, microprocessors, and clouds. But I sure don’t understand it.

I do,however, understand that basil is delicious with tomatoes,and that you don’t make pants out of white eyelet.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
This entry was posted in Sometimes she thinks too much, things that make you go hmmmmm. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ’tis a mystery…

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I understand basil. I get the eyelet statement. I still haven’t figured out how light bulbs work so imagine my wondering about computers. * laugh* I just marvel and enjoy.

  2. Have the T-shirt says:

    I understand computers and I’ve done programming, so I totally GET that the computer is just following ‘instructions’, what is over my head is the internet. HOW does that work? I’ve actually read about the internet, from it’s humble beginnings, when no one could predict how it would change our lives, but I still didn’t understand how it works. And so FAST! It’s mind boggling.

  3. Bella Rum says:

    Television still boggles my mind. I’ll never understand computers and it amazes me how quickly we can communicate with folks on the other side of the world.

    What really gets me is where this is all going. I won’t be here to see it but my grandchildren will.

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