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iPad Annoyance

iPads are frustrating, especially for Boomers, those who have not grown up with the technology, not to mention those of us who never felt truly comfortable with more than pen and pencil. Perhaps that is one reason I love to draw: the sweet comfort of a piece of wood held gently against my fingers or a lovely Montblanc nestled in my hand, appreciative of its design and feel: the birthday gift of a beloved son.

This morning I push the “ reply” button on my email and the responding alphabet splits into two. I’m not sure why. In all the years I’ve commandeered the tablet, this has never occurred. Has my finger slipped? Has the tablet elf decided it’s time to add a new element or prompt the appearance of an underused feature?Are you listening to me and playing with me, machine? I feel the sheer scorn of all the Millennials and their quick- fingered ilk.

I look for a way to undo this annoyance, but the arrows that go both ways only work if I want to erase or remove entire words? I write in this irritating configuration to my husband shivering in Canada, inviting his counsel. He suggests turning the machine off and on. I move to another area of the Ipad, hoping that perhaps the dreaded overused incomprehensible machine will forget that change of alphabetic setup, return to default( does it even have a default position?),hoping this pain-in-the-ass new combination will magically disappear to allow me back to the original configuration I’ve used forever . But NO! It remains fast even having spread its infestation of trouble to other locales where I must write or communicate. I return to my email. Maybe if I jump up and down three times, wish upon a glittering star, cast omens, think pink thoughts, but it’s still there. Grrrrr.

Somehow I “ wipe” the two sections together and bravo! they coalesce but into a new formation in the middle of the page, not sitting neatly at the bottom as they once did.

When I worked at OCT and even as far back as Northern Secondary School, my colleagues suggested my

perfect job would be to make things disappear on the computer because I was really really good at that. Even my tech wizard boss would scratch his head in awe and wonder at my talent, unable to retrieve documents, programs, whatever because poof! all had vanished. I made sure I had a paper copy of my thesis, fearful that this “ skill” might unexpectedly and unbidden banish years of focused research.

What also perturbs me is the Ipad’s “ thinking” that it knows the word I intend to write, not just suggesting, but obliterating my thoughts. Sometimes it provides me with unwanted suggestions, or a variety of verbs in multiple tenses. I punch in my correct word to the sneaky little demon who would usurp my machinations, but still, it insists upon actually replacing my chosen word , causing me double effort to extricate its permutation from my own. This makes me furious. It’s as if we are playing” choose a word” and the IPad not ME is in charge, reprogramming me with some rubbish expression that has nothing to do with my context or intent. And because it’s a damn machine,I cannot yell or curse at it because some moron has programmed the first three letters of pro-, for example, to give me “protest, protesters, proactive, prototype, probable, procrastination… “whatever- that slows my thoughts and interrupts my intent.

And who too taught this jerk, this computer whiz about apostrophes, the difference between its and it’s, and that every proper name also requires an apostrophe? What lessons has the programmer forgotten from their year of failing Grade 9 English on the proper use of grammar.

And even now, having at least made those two sections come together in one swoop, I must have commandeered some other feature for as I type this, those damn bars are preventing me from seeing what I am writing . Double Grrrr.

And now – alas again-it’s a fight between me and the machine as it hides what I am writing. My only recourse is to keep typing behind the encroaching alphabet bar because it is obscuring my view, yet I refuse to stop, to bend, to give in to this annoyance, this shape shifter. I pull the bar down; it stubbornly bounces back to block my view, mocking me by refusing to move. I touch the screen gently, whispering terms of endearment, wink provocatively, suppressing the desire to smash it to smitherins ( a word with which it is unfamiliar. Only that recognizable red underline used on students forever to indicate error. Mea culpa) No improvement.

Now I notice the words, my words are emerging beneath the obscuring bar. So hello!, I see you and can make my own corrections. Brave stupid word- wherein the machine can order and rearrange my concepts, blocking or reinventing what I am trying to communicate, causing me to type and retype ( not “ restyle” the word this stupid thing just replaced, and so I must retype “ retype”).

I know I am not slick, admittedly backward in fact in technology and I acknowledge some leaps and bounds in this advance in computers and iPads afford us- from Scrabble against an invisible “intermediate” opponent , Lumosity, on line meditation and new language learning, but those are the things I trigger for myself, not the remedial restorative programs all ready living in this device sitting on my lap. I want to trigger my thoughts, not request corrections or reinterpretation from a blockhead god whose “mind” has all ready been set, set to react to a few incipient letters of a word not fully formed, prefixes of a handful of consonants and vowels. When I put something down on this ersatz paper, I don’t want it interrupted so that my consciousness must correct another’s versions of what I am going to say, arrest my flow, yes my flow of verbiage that I may decide to correct, but I want to own that privilege.

I suppose there is some way to unprogram and rebuke this expensive piece of trash that apparently knows my thoughts better than I, attempting to obliterate my writing persona. But should I turn this bad boy upside down, shake it, bang at its buttons, scream at it( totally useless), it may make everything disappear and perhaps, only perhaps I might be worse off. Of course, I could retire to my desk with luxurious pen and pencil once again, but then, aside from snail mail, how could I tell my followers about my weekly rage?

And now that we know early use and exposure to this kind of technology will in deed impede the development of young children, how too it is not raising the blood pressure of the boomers, extending a reason to delegate this invention to the closet with our old shoes and retro clothes?. A strange contraption this and yet I reluctantly admit I have become its slave as I constantly seek its company, like a friend I’ld rather drop and yet to which I am attracted by what they offer in the way of entertainment, puzzle and stimulation, enlarging my world while captivating me with its charms, an evil witch full of tricks and tribulations, bamboozling, erasing my thoughts with their own. Moving forward we are drawn back into the realm of the shamen( no Ipad, not “ shaken”), my plural for shaman. Or does no word exist for you?

More magic , less reason and razzledazzle from the creators who spawned us. What else does the future hold to control and perturb us?

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Addictive Behaviour

I openly admit that I, like my peers, am addicted. Especially as I am on my own in San Diego, I use my IPad for a plethora of things: from checking the daily weather to reading Toronto’s newspapers to playing games to checking my email continuously and even reviewing great buys. In these ways, I stay in touch when I am away, happily exiled from the brutal cold of weather of my home. The tablet is my friend, bringing me news, information and even stimulation.

This past weekend a discussion between Norman Doidge, psychiatrist and author of The Brain That Changes Itself and Jim Basillie ,CEO of Blackberry, in Ontario’s Globe and Mail reminded me of how once more, my place in the world is not as a citizen but as a mere customer to be manipulated by those whom I am allowing to use me, a pawn in the commerce of the world. Doidge and Basillie query, why do we share our private thoughts and finances on line with ubiquitous anonymous entities?

Unlike most of this generation, however, boomers were not brought up with computers and digital technology. Basillie points out,” CEOs of big tech companies are simply capitalists doing what capitalists are supposed to do: maximize…. And of course if you lobby those legislators you get rules and regulations hat help you increase profit. In an economy of intangibles, the market¬place frameworks are everything absolutely everything . These companies benefit enormously from addictions so they build it into their products wherever possible.”

And so, we willingly savour being flattered and courted and duped into addiction. Like my students long ago who missed an episode of ER or The Cosby Show, we want to belong to the greater fabric of society, speak the lingo, possess insider information, be in the know because this “ intel” puts us ahead, glamorizes us so we strive to participate in the latest trends: now overwhelmingly, social media fascinations with all its permutations, combinations and glitter- purposely engineered to suck us in.

A friend remarked likewise. We had been reading an article the week before about why we seem unable to read for long periods of time, about how our brain synapses are actually being altered by constant time spent clipping and surfing , searching for the next “ like”, or fix that will boost the chemicals in our brains, making us easily bored or unable to focus for more than a few second before flying off towards. a new site on our electronic devices. Because our brains can change themselves, altering structure and function in response to mental activities, “ neuroplastic”, Doidge explaining, “[d]igital technologies are uniquely compatible with the brain, because both are electric and also work processing at high speeds”. Along with brain alterations comes our bodies, especially necks that bend to screens, and rival the time we once swung our arms and legs in movement as opposed to being curled up with an Ipad or locked to a computer desk, all impacting badly on bodies that should be twisting, stretching, etc.

Even my son getting close to 40 who thankfully still enjoys an engaging read and born before the advent of addictive technology, years back, when given a choice to write a law exam on computers or not, he and his classmates definitely rejected the offer, weary of the pitfalls. Now I doubt there would even be a choice. And certainly his cadre would at present demonstrate preference of machine over hand written exam, cramping fingers replaced by other corporeal maladies.

Jim Basillie in the article describes the discomfort of a teenager whose parents take his device( Smartphone) away at a dinner in a restaurant , commenting on inappropriate table manners. The adolescent fidgets, squirms and Basillie observes his pain, a kind of withdrawal. No wonder fidget toys and spinners have found a market. We know through studies that young boys, even before the arrival of tablets found sitting still almost unbearable, now sadly that body unrest is exacerbated by minds that crave a fix. And how often do we notice parents providing tablets and phones to even babies at table to KEEP THEM QUIET.

Scientists note as well the role eye contact plays in a baby’s development, learning appropriate social and emotional cues by mimicking their mother’s ( or father’s) response by looking directly into their eyes. Remember “play -based” learning? How too do people complain of the lack of that eye contact of their companions as eyes across the table search for a place to land, to focus, to avoid, perhaps the gaze of another, or hunger for the blue light of the screen to satisfy a need. The Ipad exudes no judgment, just “ likes”, approvals whose goal is not your growth as a human, only as a purchaser, a source of profit.

Neuropsychologist are being paid to play into our addictive tendencies, aware of how to attract our brains through the rewards, novelties and even colours that render us as rats in the maze : our prize, the compulsion to spend money for a superfluous good that makes us believe it will satisfy, makes us feel better and happier about ourselves. And while we hunger to hold the tablet, we have no meta- awareness, only the driving desire.

Working with the concept of self, Doidge and Basillie discuss that adolescents require time for reflection, to decide, away from their peers, grow their fears, dissect their own arguments, weigh how to take a stand, defend and build a sense of self , evaluating what they believe is important :what works for them. But with the constant steam of voices readily available on the devices and the seemingly constant need to be validated, rather, than actually working out an issue, they inevitably turn to group voice, allowing the mass response to override or even negate their own. In this way, their weak and evolving sense of protest, outrage, and individuality is lost.

I’ve often worried that even knowing how to form words in print will return the population to illiteracy, lost by allowing Siri or Alexa to speak for us, voice and write down our thoughts. And then there are those strange abbreviations of eclipsed words ,OMG, WTF that not only abort language but shorten it to a few letters like grunts from animals. As we write, so we form or extrapolate our thoughts. John Polyani has described how the act of writing allows for more than what we superficially thought we know: to appear on paper, extending the thoughts we weren’t aware we had, that accumulated stream of consciousness based on experiential data that unravels and delightedly surprises us as it appears on the blank page before us.

If we simply speak our words to Siri, rather than engaging in the path that takes the thought from our head through to the fingers in our hands that holds the pen, things change. Our brains adapt differently and not only our meanings may be misinterpreted, nuance lost, but our ability to communicate as we intended will vanish as well. So too Basillie acknowledges that parents in Silicon Valley promote time away from the screen for their own offspring, encouraging Waldorf methods of being in nature, knitting, woodworking, using minds and bodies, reminiscent of John Dewey’s concept of the school where there are no barriers between the walls and the landscape wherein it is built.

Think this “addiction” is far fetched? Today’s Star Life Section entitled “Your house is going to get a lot smarter”. Rachel Tepper Paley describes how we will become more dependent on technology, more seduced ,although she seems to write with the wonder of it all, even allowing there were no refrigerators before 1913:

“[Smart time clocks will] sense when you’ve reached your sleep cycle’s lightest point and release a wake-up scent of your choice.

Once you’re up, it’s time to get dressed… with clothes you don’t just wear — they will interact with you, tracking health markers and habits. Among them: …smart gloves, which promise to detect skin temperature and provide heat accordingly. Your clothes might even change shape or colour based on your feelings, as will the Sensoree mood sweater, now available for preorder…And if you want a new wardrobe, you won’t have to even leave the house to find the best-fitting clothes: Amazon’s patented mirror will let you virtually try on outfits from the comfort of your own bedroom..”

She mentions too that your purchases will not be left at the door, but verified delivers will enter your living space, “your hub” so you need not even move from your couch where your television can effortlessly be rolled up and out of sight. Your home will be fit with numerous speakers that will control your everything from your light bulbs to your thermostat to your front door.

And dare I say it?. As we all ready know, televisions not only broadcast out, they also can spy on you in your home as those nasty Samsung ones can, garnering and collecting your life’s moments, piercing your privacy as cookies do on the internet. Nor surprising, some of us like Thoreau will want to escape to our own Waldens, eschew these devices, talk to one another, make eye contact, read and think and write down for future generations what it is was like back before technology went mad.

Interestingly not one person commented on the editorial page in The Globe after last week’s article by Doidge and Basillie.Are we so inured, so aware that this trend is coming, that we have totally accepted and normalized it?

Ageism and the Queen

Why was it that when Mic Jagger produced his last child a few months ago he was not shown in a rocking chair beset with grey hair and cane. More likely, with responses of thumbs up and “Attah boy,” gossip was impressive that an old dude was still so young.

But be a woman – of quite a lesser age! and the image that comes to mind is dowdy, frumpy, lacking in lustre. In the last year, I have been associated with this image at least twice.In not revealing my own age but describing myself in blogs and articles as a child of the 60’s I have received negative epithets that suggest I am ready for the Mosha Zakanam( Yiddish for old folks home). And it really infuriates me.

My grandparents WERE old and worn out by their 50’s, my buby Molly huffing and smoking “ special” asthma cigarettes, her stringy hair pulled back in a bun and never dyed, her short waisted body always in drab shapeless dresses, her lopsided hobble completing the resemblance to a crone. Yet the image of her lilting warm eyes remains as well. Molly’s husband ,Sam, was unsmiling, ageless, posture ramrod straight, and although he did not wear tails, one had the impression that behind his back he might have carried a pointer stick. They spent their days, before I knew them, crouched over sewing machines at Tiptop Tailors, immigrants with few choices but the weight and burden of life on their thin shoulders.

My mother’s parents, too, although seemingly better polished, also were not attached to a particular age; however, I did think of all grandparents and people taller than I as “old”. My mother’s father always cupped a half- smoked cigarette in his palm, and appeared to be coasting or dancing across the floor. My other grandmother’s scowl was timeless as well, angry from her dislocation from Europe, her cleaning and cooking for the landsmen from Poland my grandfather,Joe, trooped through their doors as unwelcomed guests. As a child, I found my grandparents all distant and cool, rarely hugged or even smiled at by them. Yet my mother adored her father, and the stories concerning special foods my father’s mother made for him out of love were endless.

But I was a baby boomer, one destined to jangle my lovebeads into grandparent hood.As well, all those my age had aged nicely, strengthening their core, exercising, consulting the latest experts on health and food choices, contemplating mindfulness training, gauging their cholesterol, finding Contemporary clothes to disguise the bag and sag of accumulated years. We moved easier( well some with knee or hip replacement), we were more knowledgeable about good heart choice meals and more veggies. We got down on the floor with our grandkiddies. We learned how to commandeer technology, computers, iPhones, IPads, that superseded typewriters, adding machines, snail mail and telephones. Some even ventured on Social media. So we moved with the times and adapted.Unlike the dinosaurs( or so I reckoned).

So last year when I had a trio of blogs accepted in a newspaper in cool California, I was pretty impressed that such a publication that appealed to a youthful culture would first, be interested and then actually, pay for my writing. The first two blogs , on my experiences in the San Diego scene, perhaps hinted at someone beyond a Millennial; however, the third concerned how I had tripped at Belmont Park, an experience I explained that had occurred from my earliest days as I am continually caught off guard by a scene, a flower, a friend and wind up with tangled feet hitting the ground hard, my head and body two separate entities, my knees permanently purple.

However the index that located the blog in the zine introduced my piece as” Old Lady Trips”. And I do not think they were punning on a Canadian connection to pot.

So infuriated was I that I emailed my contact who demurred that it was his editor who applied titles, not him.I immediately forwarded him a recent photo of me. True, it was flattering, as I did not send a picture of me in my worn nightie and rollers in my hair.He responded, “Oh my…!”. Oh my, in deed.

But just yesterday , so delighted to have an article published in a national newspaper, I could not wait to see the accompanying sketch. To my horror, the picture which did highlight the pointillism of Seurat’s Grande Jatte in the background ,displayed in the foreground a frump: the author(ME!). Upon closer examination, I noticed a purple cardigan, impressive rump and the most unshapely calves on the figure holding on to a picture frame. Her hair harked to the 20’s. Horrified , I looked closer to identify the personage as Queen Elizabeth the second- and not the one now dramatized in The Crown either. Certainly not a baby boomer.

What were they thinking? That someone who sat in a lecture hall in the 60’s was now 90? That someone who visits and discourses on art and art galleries is a decrepit soul who creeps in and out of rooms? That all this art stuff belongs to the over the hill types? The idea of the Queen being drawn into a picture frame was in deed cute, but truly, except for her horses and corgies, I have never associated her royal highness with colour, shape or form- with the exception of perhaps an interesting matching hat to her ensembles.

I wanted to scream ageism, sexism and send off a caustic comment to the paper, but my husband reminded me such a blast might prevent anything of mine being published there again should I follow the petulant like Trump model wherein he twittered about Meryl Streep’s comments at the Golden Globes. But perhaps only twerps tweet. So I took the higher ground . “Go high, “intoned Michelle Obama in my ears, and I chose to explode my outrage here in my blog.

Still, why is it that men get better with age, and women even boomers, get older?

My Father’s Daughter: Mac Rant

I could scream or cry I am so frustrated. How is it possible to be my father’s daughter and yet be so incapacitated when it comes to technology. I take my cup of tea, proceed towards my couch and am unable to manipulate the television. At first I laugh, but quickly realize how embarrassing this is-I must call my husband who tries to lead me through a variety of steps using two of the four remotes, but to no avail. He finally says, “ You must have done something”.

I did nothing.

He suggests I go upstairs because there is another television. I turn it on and great, it works. But when I fumble with the sound and touch the channel indicator, I again lose the picture. So here I sit again, feeling stupid.

Today has also been useless in trying to also drag photos to the desktop: I had planned to do a surprise photobook for my newest grandson: something I have successfully completed, believe it or not, several times previously. But again, I cannot manage it.

I decide that since a Mac- so they say- is for people like me, supposedly creative, there must be another door that will open to allow me to complete my task. So, I reread the instructions that remonstrate that I must select the photos from my desktop. I go to my photos highlight them, put them in an album but they will not move to the desktop. Grrrr. Rules of transfer, by the way, change should you use your Ipad. But doesn’t everyone know that? In the process, I somehow discover how to change my screensaver.

It is the technology that befuddles me and I do not possess a simple bone in my body or thought in my head that assists me in my travails. I overthink, I jump to step D from Step A, I attempt to outthink the computer or cogitate like a computer. I am anxious and angry at a piece of hardware that is unable to care for my assignations. Yet apparently it can anticipate my moves and correct my spelling even when its corrections do not align with my thinking. My emotions do not know whether to boil, to scream, to laugh, or to whine like a child in distress. Maybe thumb sucking would soothe.

How was it possible not to have inherited the mechanical savvy insight of my father who understood condensers, wires, pulses of electricity and connectors? Sadly my thinking was so much more like my aunt’s who also possessed no affinity for the mechanical or technical. She denigrated the trades because her intelligence did not take her there, but I am in clear awe of them, those thoughtful lay brothers and sisters of bonecrackers, and my electrician son-in-law who can figure out anything

I endeavoured to understand: to speak the logical language of my father so he might have found pleasure in my smarts. I wanted desperately to be able to communicate in a way that did not irritate. His attempts to teach me chemistry, physics or even driving always resulted in my crying and his frustration, yet with my sister there was an ease, a collegial respect and admiration that they maintained eternally. Mine was a scowl. Yet, sometimes I played along with a thin veneer of superficial nodding, pretending I had a glimmer of insight into symbols, signs or sign posts.

He musty have scratched his head in wonderment at how a girl who resembled him in demeanour and outlook might have intellectually been on Mt Kilimanjaro in problem solving, frankly clueless, lost and confused about the simplest of propositions, equations, logical solutions…

I did not know the questions to ask which might breach the limits of my unknowing, throwing open doors to meaning. Similar to teachers with whom I would later teach, he did not attempt diverse and alternated measures, strategies or pedagogies to enlighten. What was resoundingly clear and simple for him was a cave of cobwebs for me. After a while, sitting next to him on our maroon couch, I could fathom exasperation in his voice and I turned resilient. Side by side, a rock and a hard place, with me feeling disparaged by my stupidity in areas that were his passions.

When I worked at the College, they planned all day instruction sessions on computers and bravely I attended However five minutes into the presentation, I had all ready lost my way, unable to follow the instructions of the leader. Being ashamed at my ineptitude where my colleagues were happily clicking and moving things around on their screens, keeping time to the leader’s timely beat, I felt myself shrinking under the desk, hoping the instructor would not notice my incompetency, look askance beneath befuddled brows as if to suggest any child can perform this task.

With false laughter and finally revealing my exasperation to my peers, I ascertained that some people often took the same course many times over. At my work as a program officer at OCT, I had concocted powerpoints to dazzle importing photos or pictures from a variety of sources, animating words, even co-ordinating funny sounds to underline bullets. Likely, this sounds like the abc’s to most people now. And I possessed THIS knowledge before attending the seminars that nonetheless set me adrift with no lifeboat during those days of intense instruction.

What I discovered usually worked for me was learning one new task and repeating that task over and over again until I was able to move on to a second. Small successes that built basic building blocks absorbed and demonstrable.

But here I presently sit at my computer, pounding out a few sentences, gratefully knowing how to use spell check, but not much else. And yes,I did take classes reasonably priced for new Mac owners with those nerds who blankly ran on for several minutes on the workings of the computer -for which I could care less- or who provided unrequested information that only muddled my original queries. When I pondered why no capitals on first words in emails, I was told to get another program because no one had thought that all first letters in first words in sentences should appear with caps? Most strange, I reflected. And why can you not insert boxes or diagrams into emails directly, and why does Pages behave so differently to Word? And why can you not “command-tab” between Safari and Email? ( I understand they belong to different genres and are not even distant cousins? But can’t we all just get along ???? Not even in the world of computer silos!)

We purchased the Mac because it was supposed to work for so-called “ creative” types, but I have not found it any better than the clones. Although it does not pick up viruses! Many people express undying love for the machine and a friend even does something magical by linking her sewing machine to it. Even now, I’m having to separate my words as the machine ( inspite of the space bar) is slurring them together in one word unless I POUND.

Maybe it is a network thing.

Once I called Rogers repeatedly, entreating them to address a problem. I received no satisfaction, being sent to websites with loops that did not help one bit. Finally a friend arrived and he called Rogers. Maybe it had been my language or lack of lingo to express the issue because we found the problem originated with them , not me. Was the technician not listening, did not want to hear me, did not want to engage with an old bat, what? My friend is in fact a male and very conversant in computer, riding every new wave with aplomb, bravado and unending explanations as he comprehends the reasons. It is easier, of course, if you speak the language. I thought I communicated quite finely.

We are so dependent on others and when the damn internet goes down, we are medieval travellers back in the dark, banging our heads against the walls until a candle is lit and points us on our way. People like me, a boomer who possesses a penchant for the written word, the telephone, the mail are out of touch. Just yesterday, I was delighted to read an obituary in which the notice proclaimed that the deceased used only pen and paper, foregoing all technology. It made me recall a letter received from an acquaintance- on parchment- from which dried rose petals gently fell. The information was inconsequential, but the fact that someone had selected lovely paper and matching envelop and actually written a note: tactile and beautiful amulets of things past and to be cherished. Much like the handknitted sweaters from my mother, chosen materials that demonstrated a human’s touch to communicate more: each stitch a stitch of love, she would tenderly whisper.

For some, technology comes easily; for others, it is a pain, making one feel out of control, victimized by their own stupidity. Times change but not necessarily for the better. I wonder if by just TALKING to the new IPhones, we will return to the state of the Illiterati :in which we will not need to know how to write as we will speak our intent to Siri or some other robot who will record and track our requests through more “cookies”.

Schools no longer teach cursive writing, but why writing at all if we need only speak to initiate our communication via technology. Schools of the future may teach computereez, likely with no real humans in the classroom. E-learning is all ready the norm in many places. I envision control by those elite who will continue “writing” only for themselves and program what must be shown to the rest of us, the ordinary folk who will have no need for writing. Then we can be told what to do, what to think, where to go, or where to sign. Maybe we will be allowed an “x” or “o” to sign our names to computer agreements or perhaps we will return to reading pictures as people once did, now words made unnecessary.

Shakespeare in writing the seven ages of man ( All the World’s a Stage monologue) penned “ sans teeth, sans sight, sans…everything.”

How utterly true.

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