Monday, November 12, 2018


Spike Jones' popular song is pretty old now, but not dated.  "Get outta here with your (boomboomboom) and don't come back again!"  I tried to find it on YouTube but no luck.  (Lot of other old favs though!)

This link below is to an essay about the constant barrage of updates that are the equivalent of boomboomboom.  Two of the little pests are lurking in my top righthand corner right now and they have been there for weeks.  I've learned to ignore them.  Far from improving performance, they gum everything up with new features I don't need and don't want but must be fun for 14 year old boys who have nothing else in particular to do except school work.

For a while I was positively frothing over a gizmo that forces you to take a photo of your screen, theoretically when you have a problem and want to involve a techie.  Since I'm old and jerky with arthritis so that I sometimes hit keys double or forget steps or punch between keys instead of on just one, the damn thing was taking screenshot after screenshot, to the point of not being able to squeeze in any actual typing.  Then I discovered that one of the cats had pushed down the key for the feature and it was stuck.  I didn't even know there was a key for it.

The notifications often cover up something I'm looking for, like a page number.  I don't know how to shut off the feature and maybe it's blocked anyway.  PBS and my email service both send little one-sentence notifications of news breaking, but they don't leave the squib up long enough for me to read it, brief as it is.  PBS is old and fuddy-duddy like me, but the young techies at Apple urge me to get on the Dark Web.  They're all about trend, which they try to represent as being "bad" as in the slang custom of calling good things "bad" and eschewing all good things.  I was going to say, "the things their parents called good" but in the first place their parents are likely to be young and "bad" and in the second place kids these days are lucky to have even one parent, let alone two of whatever assortment among gender and legality.

I was just notified that Facebook was down for an hour but is back up now.  I consider Facebook the cyber equivalent of La Brea tarpits and would be happy if it disappeared forever.  I try to warn people I care about that it is evil but advertising has taken hold and they don't believe me.  Relatives and churches all sign up and are peeved with me for not being available there.  Even the few who pay attention to the news -- with or without alerts -- and know that Facebook sells and exploits the writing and photos, possibly altered, to enemies and foreign agents, simply block that out of their consciousness.  When Zuckerberg plays footsie with criminals because of his control of huge amounts of money, they just laugh.  The possibilities of a steady stream of messages for piggy-backing illicit information just doesn't register.

When I first began to write on the computer, I used "WriteNow", a just-right program recommended to me by a nuclear scientist at Hanford who had been part of the UU circuit.  Pretty soon Apple bought it and destroyed it, loading it up with gimmicks.  How do I get back to what worked so well?

Something similar happened to my photo program, which now tries to force me to organize by vacations, children and travel -- none of which I have.  They don't even have a category for cats, which I have.  They nag me to import or export, but I never know which is which and where the results will go.  I'm like a fourth grader trying to figure out the difference between "bring" and "take" which many adults still can't manage.

For a while I thought I had the damn schemes outwitted by keeping one computer offline so it couldn't be nagged.  This coincided with the realization that computers don't belong to their owners.  As soon as anything goes online, the line is alive with techies and their automated flying monkeys who evaluate and actively change things, worse than pop editors.  Even if the computer is off for the night, I hear it being turned on by remote control, so now I shut off the power.  The new versions of Pages won't "play" the old versions nor will the new versions play on the separate computer because so much writing is kept sequestered in "libraries" and timelines.  I could upgrade the program on the separate computer but it can only be done online.

Since the internet people have minions charged with frustrating every attempt at control or escape, they just wait until I come on first thing in the morning, then suck out everything I've done privately, and last thing at night when I turn off, they keep the machine on until they've got a copy of the day.  But what do they do with it?  It's like all the phone line monitoring and recording the spy agencies do, but never have enough time to analyze and, anyway, don't have people who can speak some of the languages.

The ordinary English (maybe) we see on our screens is an overlay, a translation, of the coded symbols that traveled over the air or cables.  In the same way as the punctuation and font signals that are controlling from underneath, who knows what other unseen markings and prompts are affecting our meanings?  I'm impressed that very often, unless I double-check, all negatives are removed.  Maybe the original intention was to control the double negatives of people who speak European languages and the feature went rogue, so now it does its thing wherever.

When I was working for the City of Portland as a clerical specialist, the fairly intelligible materials we worked with sometimes went bonkers.  There was only one among us who could go into the code behind Windows (curse Windows anyway) and find the problem.  He was an oddball geek who claimed he had a wife in Thailand where he went every vacation though he didn't speak Thai.  Remembering him is a reminder that there are many worlds on top of each other, interrupting, confusing everything, after goals one might not know exists -- sometimes wicked.

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