Technology has left me way behind. Yes, I have a cell phone, but it is left on my dresser 95 percent of the time and even when I carry it, I often do not have it on so I tell folks not to try to call me. It took me six months before I managed to be able to press the right buttons to even find out what my phone number is. Some family members now know the number, but they have all been warned. I believe I also have the cheapest plan - no monthly fees. I just have to buy one of those little cards that gives me days of usage and minutes of use and the minutes of use that I have keeps increasing from card to card as I use the phone so little even when I do have it on.
My usage is primarily for emergency. Sometimes if I need to call the plumber and I leave the house before business hours, I will use that phone, but that, fortunately, is seldom. They say I can enter certain numbers in my phone rather than having to use my own memory or write the number on a note to carry with me, but I have not reached that level of sophistication.
Alex Trebec interviewed one of the contestants on Jeopardy the other day who announced that he had no cell phone. Aha! I am not alone.
I am almost used to not responding when I hear someone close to me saying something like, "And how are you doing today?" Ordinarily I might have started to respond with a, "Pretty good - and you?" but nine times out of 10 I have discovered that I am merely hearing someone on his/her cell phone.
For many years now I have never worn a watch as there are usually clocks around almost everywhere. I have, however, lately turned my cell phone on when traveling and staying at a motel where the clock is not easily seen. I do love that feature that the face lights up when I open the cell phone and I can plainly see the time which even corrects itself when I cross a time zone.
I recently read an article about time zones indicating how foolish they really are. Most of us think that there are 24 time zones in the world, so, for example, if you travel half-way around the world you would be exactly 12 hours different than your home. I experienced that 12-hour difference by going to Thailand a couple of years ago. However, there are more than 24 time zones as several places change not by an hour, but by a half-hour. The Cocos Islands, which are in the Indian Ocean south of India, are a half-hour off from India's time as is Bangladesh. The difference in time from Kathmandu, Nepal, to New Delhi, India, is just 15 minutes - then to Pakistan is 30 minutes difference and Afghanistan is another 30 minutes. Oh, Fiddlesticks!
The article I read maintained that it would be much simpler to have a world time so that the entire world had the same time always. The difference would then be that some places might find themselves getting up in the morning at 7 a.m. whereas other places might be getting up at 4 p.m. Or, to use the 24 military time, some get up at Oh Seven Hundred Hours and others get up at Sixteen Hundred Hours. Do I need to say, Oh, Fiddlesticks! again?
Most of my readers know that I taught mathematics for many years and so will certainly believe that I have been accused of being too literal (exacting) which in reading can also be translated to being a linear reader. The linear reader is one who reads each word going left to right and top to bottom of a page. A non-linear reader is one who may do some skipping around or over (skimming) some words.
Obviously, the non-linear reader will likely be classified as a fast reader while the linear reader tends to ponder over meanings of each word and phrase.
In the magazine, The Week, a brief report on a New Yorker column indicated that online readers (Kindle, Nook, etc.) tend to be more non-linear. It was a report based on some research by a San Jose State University professor.
Being a linear reader as I stated, I wondered what the advantages might be to non-linear reading. I do indeed do some non-linear reading primarily if I am reading a novel and particularly if the novel is not terribly interesting and I only want to know whether the hero lives or dies; succeeds or fails; wins the mate of his/her dreams or not.
My conclusion is that there is probably a little more creativity by non-linear reading where the reader is left to fill in the blanks of the material over which he/she has skimmed.
There seems to be a close analogy to the thinking process. I suspect that in thinking once again I tend to be closer to the linear thinking which is closely identified with deduction. The problem with linear thinking seems to be that it requires a certain starting point and once that point has been made then everything follows from it, but what if the initial point is flawed or the wrong place to start?
The non-linear thinker is again thought to be more creative and such thinkers may not have a single starting point but jump from one starting position to another thus providing with a greater range of conclusions.
I hope you aren't as confused as I am.
Until next time: Oh, Fiddlesticks!