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Doris Lessing, one of post-modern literature's most gifted masters of narrative, most prescient pilgrims navigating the maze of 20th. century social movements, traveling from colonialism through Marxism, to feminism, to Sufism, and science-fiction, constantly defying all stereotypes, has died at age 94 [^].
We are in a fragmenting culture, where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women, who have had years of education, to know nothing of the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computers.
What has happened to us is an amazing invention -- computers and the internet and TV. It is a revolution. This is not the first revolution the human race has dealt with. The printing revolution, which did not take place in a matter of a few decades, but took much longer, transformed our minds and ways of thinking. A foolhardy lot, we accepted it all, as we always do, never asked, What is going to happen to us now, with this invention of print? In the same way, we never thought to ask, How will our lives, our way of thinking, be changed by this internet, which has seduced a whole generation with its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging etc.
Very recently, anyone even mildly educated would respect learning, education, and our great store of literature. Of course, we all know that when this happy state was with us, people would pretend to read, would pretend respect for learning. But it is on record that working men and women longed for books, and this is evidenced by the founding of working men's libraries and institutes, the colleges of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Reading, books, used to be part of a general education.
Older people, talking to young ones, must understand just how much of an education reading was, because the young ones know so much less. And if children cannot read, it is because they have not read.
We all know this sad story.
But we do not know the end of it.
"What Turing gave us for the first time (and without Turing you just couldn't do any of this) is he gave us a way of thinking about and taking seriously and thinking in a disciplined way about phenomena that have, as I like to say, trillions of moving parts.
Until the late 20th century, nobody knew how to take seriously a machine with a trillion moving parts. It's just mind-boggling." Daniel C. Dennett
We're re-racking a bunch of servers and upgrading some of the power bars (I know - co-hosting - how quaint!) so there may be a few minor outages of a couple of minutes here and there over the course of the morning.
Clearly quite well - he isn't responding so it is possibly one of these:
1) He was arrested and they took his tablet away,
2) He is still drunk and can't turn the tablet / PC on,
3) He is still so drunk he can't type (scary thought, having seen his "drunken posts" before),
4) Michelle has killed him and disposed of the remains,
5) He is so badly hung over he can't type because his fingers are too loud.
The only instant messaging I do involves my middle finger.
English doesn't borrow from other languages.
English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.
A week since the car accident and two interesting things have presented themselves.
Firstly, according to my wife, I no longer snore. I have snored loudly since childhood, even had an unsuccessful operation to improve it once.
Secondly I can no longer cook. Everything I have tried since has gone wrong, and I can't work out why. First time timings were all wrong, some bits burnt, others practically raw. Other times things have tasted wrong.
Obviously the second is far more pressing and serious than the first.
“I believe that there is an equality to all humanity. We all suck.” Bill Hicks