Menosophical [men-oh-soffy-cul]; the condition of waxing introspective - an occasional series on the more deep and meaningful.


Like what?

Well, like, does blogging make you go blind?

Menocle notwithstanding, the old eyesight is noticeably worsening.  No matter which pair of goggles I put on Voo-voo's screen is a blur.  Many factors are involved I suppose but right now I don't want to put my medical head on.  This is a place of experience and process.  Part of my process is to adjust to aging of the physical part of the unit called YAM.  Part of the process is to be a bit obsessed with the process.  This gives rise to behaviours such as blogging.

A solitary activity yet with far-reaching effects. (Hello to visitors from Russia, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Canada, USA, China, Singapore and lets not forget OZ, UK and India!)  Whether to believe all that is seen is the question though.

Blogger stats will say there have been no visits from OZ when I know for a fact there has been.  Or it will say there have been 47 hits in Germany.  Unlikely… or a time to worry.

It is gratifying to find that there are folk who, without knowing what they're getting into, are willing to visit this crazy little nook of Blogland.   In turn I have stretched my boundaries and entered the territory of others.  This is big stuff for little me.  For you see, I have to admit that until some 6 months ago, I really wasn't one to venture this way.  There's a history to that…  Are you sitting comfortably?  It's Sunday after all, what else are you going to do?

In an earlier part of this life I was a computer professional.  Analyst/programmer was the title given.  This was in the era of room-sized mainframe computers and at the advent of personal computers.  Languages were Binary,  Basic, Hexadecimal, Fortran and Cobol.  These words used to be common place.  Now only geeks hard-core users recall them.  So called 'natural' language programming entered the scene along with the desk-based equipments and yours truly got a bit left behind.  However, for a good while there was still demand for those who knew how to flick switches and crank turbines. (I jest not… before setting off on this career I was clerical officer at an Edinburgh Uni department where I had to prepare input for EMAC on a punch card machine!  One of, if not THE, last of its kind.  I have no recall as to what EMAC stood for - possibly Edinburgh's Machine Ate Cards...)

It was this skill which saw me transfer to Australia (programming, not card-punching).  This is not my resume.  What matters in the scope of this piece is that it was only a matter of time before it became clear that (apart from deeply entrenched establishments) my kind was running out of popularity.  What I needed to do was upgrade to internetting and fibre-opticalising….  And as the 60 hour weeks I was putting in at that stage of the game were close to killing me, the decision to change directions presented itself.

A key reason was that all this 'open air' networking worried me.  Heaps.  All too prone to misuse and abuse of folks privacy.  To prove my argument, Sydney went through a spate of ATM thefts of funds via electronic fiddling, (Russian mafia gang was caught and duly seen to in that instance, but they're not the only ones at it). It was the first of many and increasingly more sophisticated methods of invasion and larceny.  During my seven year stint in banking I saw more than I care to of how it can all go wrong. What amazes actually, is how so much of it goes right.  When internet banking came online I was nearly suffocating from the knowing that there would be trouble.  Which of course there was.  The naïveté of such institutions that some how they would be immune from the Shysters and Artful Dodger's of the world was astounding.

I continually said, what could be programmed could be hacked unprogrammed and often was reprimanded by my seniors for not promoting the new wonder product.  It was, after all, intended to save money and pay my salary.  (Never mind de-populate branch staffing.)  A few things have been learned in the dozen+ years of internet banking and now it's nearly as difficult for a customer to operate through that as it is to locate basic teller services in the branch near you.

YAM! Kya? What has all this to do with going blind?

Ah. Long story short, from the stance of the troglodyte programmer, blogging looked to be somehow…  ...unclean.  Who on Earth really wanted to go around airing their dirty linen?  Never mind that, who wanted to look at it?  It appeared, to me, to be the land of the voyeuristic and exhibitionist, the narcissist and flagellationist.   In it's infancy, it was still coming out of Geekland, therefore inclined to be populated with fringe-dwellers.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm a deep Sci-fi fan.  I could see the potential.  As always, though, I sat back and watched; and waited.  Waited some more.  Then kinda lost focus. Didn't even look in that direction.  Too many real-life things to be getting on with . 

Last year, due to constraints, I was putting together all  my 'gumph' in an AllNewsLetter (ANL) and emailing it to all and sundry on a semi-regular basis.  There was one feedback comment that stuck.  "This is blog fodder".  So when I, by sheer accident I promise, following up on an e-book connection, landed on a blog page and found myself enjoying it, I was left wondering.  That was the 6 month-ago moment.  From that blog I began to follow my nose.  Tentatively, mark you.  There was still the lurking concern of hitting upon the gutter-tripe stuff I feared was predominant.

My intentions were pure however and I think that ensured I found lots of positive and worthwhile content out there.  Before I knew it I was following one or two.  Then five or sixteen…  All the reading from the screen is affecting me though.  I love all this different and varied reading and viewing material.  It's all clean.

But I think it's sending me blind…

More thoughts on blogging in the next edition of menosophical.

3 comments:

  1. I enjoy your blogs, as they are well written. Look forward to my daily read and mandala fix. Though I must admit no time to go through others writings, due to lack of time, or focus on playing scrabble, house work, or vedanta reading, writing etc. In relation to the eyes I find that when I am very tired, I cannot focus on reading well. Perhaps to do with meno again. As for my blog long time coming. To put I mildly cannot be bothered.

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  2. I'm relatively new to blogging too (2 years for me) and adore it. I've met so many lovely people this way and my life has been hugely enriched by their posts and comments.

    When I was at library school back in 1973-73, my DH insisted I should do the optional course on Computers and Libraries - all punch-cards and the computer languages you mention. I then worked for 24 years for a library service that didn't actually computerise anything until several years after I left. Sigh.... Now of course, I love being able to reserve books and handle my loans online.

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  3. Hari OM
    Mahal - so glad they are bringing some entertain...err enlightenment to you...hrrrmpppph. You may have hit the nail on the head with the tiredness versus focal adjustment and of course, we are forced to utilise tube-lighting here. Yuk...

    Perpetua - WOW! My key submission for my BSc was a revamp of the campus Library system! I opted for analysis and design, but had to leave for OZ before I could see the programming through. My very dear friend 'Aitch' is an archivist and when it comes to these modern systems I think she is better than me at finding her way round. Often points me in the right direction.

    At this stage I need all the help I can get! &~> YAM

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