SFcrowsnest

Editorial – Sept 2017: Information indigestion.

Hello everyone

How good are you at remembering things you’ve read on the Internet? Every day we read or probably just glance at a lot of material on the Net but how much do we really remember? Any website that classifies as Favourites you save to menu so you don’t even have to remember where you saw something although unless you create multiple directories, tracking them all down is problematic. You might even use a certain newsletter to pick out what you want to look at. As we’re very much prose orientated, we don’t use so many big photos to keep your attention. Then again, SFC tends to attract, I hope, the literate amongst you. Even so, I bet digital amnesia affects us all in some way and I include myself in this and I have a weird strong memory.

It only really dawned on me after reading a book written in bullet format last month and how it resembled the paragraph settings on-line is that although we accept such things but it doesn’t make remembering things any easier. In fact, I couldn’t recall anything from it after a week and I’m the kind of person who can draw up information from years back if a particular memory hits me. Hence the nature of this month’s editorial.

HTML surely needs a minor rethink because if we can’t recall information, then it’s not doing its job correctly. It doesn’t even need much adjustment initially. Just enough to cut the space between paragraphs so it looks like the correct paper format which we’ve grown up with and how we process information in our heads. Putting information on site here and it automatically drops a line per paragraph with no control. It might also explain why people are turning away from ebooks. How can you be satisfied with a story that you can barely remember after reading it? Do we really want to turn into a people who can barely remember our names?

To rely solely on software to tell us things is going to turn us into a stupid nation. Indeed, a potentially stupid world. At least for those who are connected on the Internet, that is. Even then, as with locating any information, you have to know what you’re looking for and identifying the right words. Even Net AIs starting to take over doing this and thank the Illuminatii they still get it wrong. Dominate AIs won’t have much trouble taking over the world. They don’t even have to be smarter than mankind. They just need to be the providers of information and have ready access and not tell you about any other options that are available.

Some of these search engines actually don’t tell you about information from other parts of the world. You would think that was restricted to places like China and Russia but some of the American search engines do actually have similar restrictions which is kind of scary. After all, it sort of goes against the idea that the Internet is world-wide and most information is free for all. If you don’t know these things, you aren’t likely to recognise anything different. If you’ve ever come across restrictions that won’t show you a picture because you’re on the wrong side of the Atlantic then you’ve encountered this.

Of course, this needs a lot more analysis when it comes to reading. We’ve also gotten used to scan reading as well and the information beyond surface detail isn’t stored in our heads because it was replaced by something else equally quick. Even those of you who surf the Net for information aren’t going to remember that much. If anything, we’re getting far too much information and, contradictory, we’re remembering less.

Is it just me or do you think there is something wrong here? It’s almost as though we have information indigestion and not committing enough of it to our long term memory. Then again, I suspect a lot of it isn’t really worth remembering but, unfortunately, it also wipes any of the good stuff as well.

Even if we sort out the way we perceive paragraphs, we’re still absorbing far too much information and forgetting it just as quick. Much of it useless. Did I say that? It wouldn’t be so bad if much of it was worthwhile but so much is about celebrity/showbiz than what is really going on outside of the weather disasters and wars. It’s almost as though the entertainment news is the new safety blanket. But in the dangerous world we live in today, is that such a good idea? Reality might be dangerous and we might not be able to affect it outside of a community vote to kick politicians but I’d like to know where the threat is coming from.

If ever there was an argument for not spending so much time on the Internet, then that’s something else to be added to the list. I think the real problem is not reading more thoroughly. The only thing is, you might not remember what you’ve read here today. Now that is a worry. Forgotten what you’re read already? Then you need to read from the top again.

Thank you, take care, good night and what was that did I just wrote?

Geoff Willmetts

editor: SFCrowsnest.org.uk

A Zen thought: Life is a fleeting glimpse into the future.

What Qualities Does A Super-Geek Have: Not to be dominated by the Internet.

Observation: A bane of my life is Windows 10 and a couple of the earlier versions no longer having short-cuts for copy and paste.

Although it’s not shown, either ‘Ctrl’ button with ‘C’ will give the Copy shortcut.

Likewise, although it’s not shown, either ‘Ctrl’ button with ‘V’ will give the Paste shortcut. Quite why examples on the Net stress only one ‘Ctrl’ button beats me as they are both linked together.

Observation: Any of you people had any problems with having a black screen and no access to Windows having left your laptop in sleep mode and have to reboot to get your computer working?

Thankfully, the likes of Word will at least keep a safe file copy and Internet Explorer will note where you’ve been, but it’s still a pain.

What you have to do is go into Power Options and change the option for closed lid from ‘Sleep’ to ‘Hibernate’. You will have to press the power button to turn the computer back on and wait about half a minute but at least you won’t have to reboot.

Observation: If you want to remove the Focus and Other options in Outlook/Hot Mail, select the Filter option and deselect ‘Show Focused Inbox’ and that combines them both together.

Observation: With the Starfleet starship Discovery for the new ‘Star Trek’ TV or whatever series, has none of their production staff heard of a certain famous interplanetary spaceship from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’?

Observation: I wonder if the Inhuman Black Bolt has ever had a toothache or even hi-cups?

Feeling Stressed: GULP!