WordStar. Wordstar 2000. WordPerfect. Word. Lotus 1-2-3. Quattro Pro. Excel. Those are just a few of the PC productivity applications (word processing and spreadsheets) I have used over the years. There were, no doubt, many others. And, I am sure, many others based on Apple operating systems have evolved over time. Though I have never had an interest in video games, those applications also grew more sophisticated and capable over the years. The basic stuff evolved, too; for example, word processing’s cousins—page makeup software—came on the scene with Adobe PageMaker and QuarkXPress and InDesign. They, too, evolved. They became more sophisticated and simpler to use, leading to products like CorelDraw and MS Publisher. I learned enough, on my own, about how to use and apply all of the products so I could claim at least moderate skills. While never reaching the level of expert with any of the products, I became proficient with several. Because of so many new iterations (and, especially, with each new integrated suite of products), I have devoted enough do-it-yourself training to keep my skills from becoming unusably rusty. But I question the extent to which keeping moderately up-to-date on all this legacy software is worth the efforts—especially now that artificial intelligence (AI) is getting so firmly entrenched in so many aspects of our lives. I do not have the inclination nor the interest in learning more about AI than the bare essentials. Instead, I wan to simply master enough to take advantage of what AI can do for me. Teaching software to learn how to do what I would rather not do has no appeal to me. Is this attitude of mine a naturally-occurring phenomenon that accompanies aging? Does one’s brain simply get tired, over the years, of being forced to take in and comprehend more and more new information, just to keep up? I feel sure I have the ability to keep up with new information and new technologies and new software, etc.; but I am not at all sure I want to invest my time and energy in those endeavors. I suspect the dullness of this overcast, rainy afternoon is contributing to my somewhat sullen mood. I am alone in the house, except for a needy and narcissistic cat who sometimes demands love but refuses to give it in return; but she does, occasionally.


Rain, again. Lots and lots and lots of rain. Days and days of rain. Though I rarely enjoy walking (or driving) in the rain, I enjoy watching it and listening to it and smelling the air just before a Spring shower. Too much rain, though, can causes floods. Too much can weaken trees’ hold on the ground, causing them to topple. As much as we sometimes seem to think they do, meteorologists do not control the weather; they cannot be held responsible and accountable for the rain. Give them a break, please.


The day largely has slipped away. My attempt to blog, early this morning, got derailed by obligations. Later, nothing seemed sufficiently interesting to give me reason to write. Later, still, I wrote but then abandoned the effort in disgust and self-loathing. I then considered writing about my intellectual and emotional reactions to Trump being found guilty on all 34 counts; my opinions on the matter are irrelevant, so I dropped that idea. Finally, I wrote the paragraphs above. And then I watched Ken Burns’ keynote address to the 2024 graduating class of Brandeis University. It was brilliantly written; everyone in the U.S. should watch and listen.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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