Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday's Stray Thought

Once I was a computer.

Not only me - millions of others too. We all were computers! Those of us who worked mainly in office environments were creating card indexes; indexing writers' texts; keeping ledgers, and adding up very long columns of figures therein - mentally; adding together the prices of multiple purchases - mentally; filing; keeping records of bookings and appointments in apple pie order; checking spelling using a dictionary; punching cards (I didn't ever do that)...and so on. Other work environments had their own list of essential duties to be carried out by flesh and blood computers. Most of those tasks are now managed by our techno-counterparts, at the press of a few keys. We humans still press the keys though - for now!

Vintage Everyday website has a good set of vintage photographs of office workers in the 1920s - they were computers too, of course. 

22 comments:

Sonny G said...



I too was a computer at the phone company.
I sat with a headset in front of a board with up to 90 Possible, flashing lights over plug in connections and I had to know where every call was from and where it was going..
Luckily only about 50 ever lit up at one time and that was during the holidays.
It certainly kept my mind sharp.
Had it not been for feeling so pinned in I would have stayed longer than 3 years, as I did love the actual work and speaking to people all over the world.

mike said...

A friend and I were just discussing the "old days" of typing on a manual typewriter. The art of erasing without ripping through the paper, then the advent of WhiteOut liquid, which turned into correction-ribbons inside the typewriter and correcting with a backspace. Not to mention making carbon copies. Making mimeograph copies before copy machines (I loved the smell of mimeograph transfer fluid!)...could only make so many legible mimeo copies, then it all became blurry.

I remember when personal computers first came-out and we all had them on our desks. Previously, we had a departmental secretary that transcribed and typed our research papers and correspondence. In very short order, we all became our own secretaries. Secretarial positions were soon extinct, particularly when answering machines arrived, and we each had our own. The office assistant had arrived...someone to order stationery supplies and organize birthday-holiday parties.

I've viewed several documentaries regarding the history of computers. The first computer chips were used in Otis elevators, displacing the elevator operators. No one could find a use for computers until a fellow developed the spreadsheet software...then it all took-off.

I can't imagine how large companies could ever manage their businesses manually in this era. We've come a very long way on the intellectual evolutionary path...not sure if that's good or bad, but here, none-the-less. I've often wondered what leaps of intelligence could have been made had Newton, Einstein, or the like had access to computers.

=============
I'm so sorry to hear you are bottoming-out with your health. I think you are on too many oral anti-microbials. Each of the three pills you mentioned have deleterious side-effects, so the combination is potentially horrid, as you know. Perhaps you or anyjazz can discuss this with your doctor today, before you take a worse turn. This may be a case of the treatment causing greater problems than the original problem...it happens often in the medical world.

LB said...

Twilight ~ How I miss real people answering the phone! Everywhere.

And phone booths. If we still had them now, I'm not sure I'd have a cell phone. Love my answering machine - wish it had been invented a little earlier in my life, back when I was still dating.

I don't miss my typewriter though, or correction tape.

One of the many dark sides to all this is (and there are many), is that a lot of talented, intelligent, capable folks have become obsolete by popular standards.

Neither my husband or myself are techies, so our ability to find jobs or earn descent wages has been seriously affected. We're not alone.:(

*************************

Been thinking about you all morning Twilight, how your symptoms don't seem like the kinds of 'side-effects' one should expect to have when taking something to help you heal.

Anyway, I found this link on the dangers of Diflican (Fluconazole):

http://www.livestrong.com/article/175371-side-effects-of-taking-diflucan/

http://www.tocureayeastinfection.com/diflucan-is-dangerous-what-you-might-not-know-about-diflucan-fluconazole/

Bactrim is another drug that can have dangerous side effects:

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/PreventiveCare/28976

When I was a very young woman, I was once prescribed an antibiotic that made me sick to my stomach (one of the listed side effects). It was way before I understood how for-profit, allopathic medicine works, or its relationship with Big Pharma. So like you I tried to tough it out, trusting I was in good hands.

Eventually (and thankfully!) another doctor recognized my symptoms for what they were and warned me to never take that drug again.

In keeping with the spirit of today's post, one of the blessings associated with technology, is that as consumers many of us now have greater access to health and drug information.

Hope your next update brings us good news, Twilight!

LB said...

mike ~ Secretaries, administrative assistants and other office staff do far more than type or take messages.

Having managed a very busy, very stressful school office (one that also taught computers) for 20 years, I can tell you I actively stretched and used my brain every day in a variety of ways.:)

I was also the school's benefits manager. After the parent school closed (but another school remained open) and I was let go, I heard the accountant had been complaining that I hadn't *trained* the school's executive director (a computer expert) how to do what I'd always done.

Guess I did more than they thought.:)

mike (again) said...

LB - You stated, "Secretaries, administrative assistants and other office staff do far more than type or take messages."

Hey, I said they order office supplies, too...LOL. And very few do type or take messages now, unless it's something very specific for THEIR position. In the positions I've held in biotech, we scientists eventually did our own typing and never again went back to having some other person type for us. Ditto for answering our received calls.

Back in the old days, we had one secretary for about every five to ten scientists...when I left the field in 2001, it was one office assistant for every forty or fifty.

Sonny G said...



yes, in case it doesnt show in my chart, I'm a natural born worrywort lol..

Annie, are you ok?? thinking of you.

mike (again) said...

A happy and spooky All Hallows Eve to one and all!

Twilight, you ARE spooking me. I sure hope you are on the mend soon. Lots of "feel better" to you.

mike (again) said...

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15397/3-buddhist-beliefs-that-will-rock-your-world-and-make-you-much-happier.html

"1. Dukkha: Life is painful and causes suffering.

Many people might say that Buddhism is pessimistic or negative. This is a common result of learning that one of the Noble Truths is translated as "Life is suffering." But there's more to this statement. It's not just telling us, "Life is tough, so deal with it." So what is it telling us?

We actually can create more suffering in our lives by trying to avoid or suppress difficult emotions. Yes, our lives are inevitably punctuated with various unpleasant feelings: loss, sadness, fatigue, boredom, anxiety appear and reappear during our lives.

But attaching or clinging to particular expectations, material items, and states of being is often a cause for acute frustration, disappointment, and other forms of pain. So rather than fear our suffering or seek an ultimate resolution to it (and become frustrated by our lack of finding one), we can learn simply to recognize our suffering.

How we can use this belief every day: Try not to buy into the idea that you're broken. Expect that death, aging, sickness, suffering, and loss are part of life. Practice acceptance in the face of strife. Stop attaching to the idea that life should be easy and pain free, both emotionally and physically. This is a misconception made popular by the fashion, beauty, and pharmaceutical industries.

Illness, heartbreak, loss, disappointment, and frustration are parts of life that can be mitigated by practicing "non-attachment." Try to embrace imperfection, to let go of this belief that life should be a certain way. Open your heart to uncertainty."

mike (again) said...

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15397/3-buddhist-beliefs-that-will-rock-your-world-and-make-you-much-happier.html

"2. Anitya: Life is in constant flux.

Anitya or "impermanence" means that life as we know it is in constant flux. We can never access the moment that just passed, nor can we ever replicate it. As each day passes, our cells are different, our thoughts develop, the temperature and air quality shifts. Everything around us is different. Always.

When we are feeling especially uncomfortable, the concept of impermanence can be, paradoxically, comforting. In other words: if nothing is permanent, we know our pain will pass. But when we are experiencing joy, the idea of impermanence can be incredibly fear-inducing.

If we accept the idea of impermanence at face-value, it can be incredibly liberating. In the West, about 100 years after the Buddha expressed this idea, Greek philosopher Heraclitus mirrored the belief when he famously said, "You can never step in the same river twice." All we have is the present moment."

mike (again) said...

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15397/3-buddhist-beliefs-that-will-rock-your-world-and-make-you-much-happier.html

"3. Anatma: The self is always changing.

When I ask clients what they want to get out of therapy, they commonly answer, "I want to find myself." Our culture has led us to believe there's a concrete, constant "self" tucked away somewhere in us. Is it between our heart and liver? Or somewhere unknown in our brain? Who knows!

Buddhism, however, assumes there is no fixed, stable "self." In line with Anitya (impermanence), our cells, memories, thoughts, and personal narratives — all of the "matter" that ultimately comprises our identities — change over time.

Sure, we all have personalities (though they can change over time). We have names, and jobs, and other titles that we use to identify ourselves, to feel a sense of "self."

But the idea of a constant self is yet another story our culture has told us. It is a story we can change, and thereby accept the idea that we ourselves can change — at any time, in any place. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, "Thanks to impermanence, anything is possible."

How we can use it in our everyday life: Instead of focusing on "finding ourselves," we ought to focus on creating the self we wish to be at every moment. It's possible for us to be, and feel, different today than we were and felt yesterday. Being depressed today doesn't mean we'll be depressed forever. We can forgive others. We can forgive ourselves.

Once we let go of our attachment to the idea of the constant "self," we can rest more comfortably with the constant change present in all of life. In each new moment, we ourselves are new."

Sonny G said...


what you posted makes sense , Mike.
thanks for sharing that.

if it rains on my parade, I frown
if it rains on my garden, I smile.
Rain was and is consistent, only my thoughts of it changed.

mike (again) said...

Sonny - LOL your rain! Thought I'd attempt to fill the silence here. When is your appointment with Michael Lutin? He's somewhere here in TX right now, according to his website.

Sonny G said...


nov 4th at 5 pm Mike.

I know you said you did'nt know about prices- so I hope it's ok to say- its 250.00 , just in case anyone else is interested.
I just asked for a reading and he took down my birth info.

I'm very excited.
I need to look at his birth info lol.. will kinda tell me a little about him also. H sounded very nice..
I was wondering though how I'll post what all he said to me- as doing here on Annie's site doesnt seem right.
I have wanted to say this since my 3rd comment here- about 2 years ago I think..
I feel like I know you, somehow.. just a odd feeling I might be having and yet- it feels real.

After I get my reading from Micheal I want to see if I can also find someone within driving distance to do aa past life regression for me..
what's your take on that? past life regressions I mean.

RS Gold said...

Yes, I am now at the computer.


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mike (again) said...

Sonny - Yes, it does seem like you, LB, Twilight, and I should all meet around the block for dinner or something..."like we always have", it seems. LOL! You are about six weeks younger than I, so we share some of the same astrology, mainly the slower moving planets.

$250 is very reasonable. I thought it might be twice that. Most astrologers charge $100-$200. Lutin is one of the best known...a bit of a celebrity in the astrology world. He has terrific credentials. Poke around his website to get a feel for his personality. His November monthly horoscopes are up now, I see.

He wrote the monthly astrology page for Vanity Fair magazine for years. He was allowed to write an essay for VF that caused alarm amongst the more conservative readers. He eventually lost his job over that essay...BUT it was right on target. It was published December, 2006, well before NSA and the financial collapse. Read it here:
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2006/12/lutin200612

I have never had a past life regression. I used to think that I would LUV it, but not so sure now. I'm not sure how I would integrate knowing past lives. Be very careful that you find an honest, reputable individual to regress you...it involves hypnosis.

LB might have some knowledge of PL regression. She likes evolutionary astrology, which has similarity.

LB said...

All I know about hypnotic past life regression is from TV or books. I've never gone to see anyone since I (unintentionally and naturally) regress during sleep.

Recently there have been a couple of good reality shows about reincarnation, "The Ghost Inside My Child" (terrible name) and "Reincarnated: Past Lives", featuring a licensed hypnotherapist who regresses clients and then follows up with research based on the details they provide.

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
― Albert Einstein

Maybe next life we'll all be neighbors and remember one another.:)

Sonny G said...


saturday morn about 9 am and still no word from Annie.

getting a bit More concerned.
sending healing light, love and positive energy to you Annie.

****************
we surely must have some connection- Mike Annie and LB..
many followers on the sidebar and yet 99% of the time is just us commenting, visiting everyday.
***************
I am thinking of adding a seperate blog page to my blog- for just the 4 of us. That way my ramblings about various subjects/issues wont interfere with Annie's blog posts.
only problem with that is I need to be able to send you an invitation , so only we can SEE and comment there.
I'll go look into how to start a Private blog and let you know what I find out..

Sonny G said...



I went to the link you posted Mike.
I read it twice and could not find any reason why he would have lost his job because of it.
I can say I did think half way through if he said capricorn/cancer and 20 more years of it, I might freak out.. But I didnt and after the 2nd read I felt rather encouraged and hopeful.. To me it was something that said- stop being so wasteful and unaware and instead be grateful and look at what we already have in a new light and find joy in that...
ps-if I read it wrong- dont tell me lol
this might sound a bit snarrky but geez, somehow folks will just have to grieve about not having their morning starbucks-- their weekly pedicure or lap dance and possibly just having to wear good sturdy shoes versus their prada's which are for show anyway.
It sounds like a time to KNOW what matters and share it. Love, laughter, compassion, memories, life stories- can all be enjoyed for free.
Maybe we can help each other instead of trying to ease our issues with retail therapy or One Upping each other.
in the end it will be the love we shared and NOTHING else so why not just share that now and not wait for this or any other transit to demand it- force us into it.
I saw light and truth and real hope in the article he wrote. am I wrong? has the pollyanna portion of my brain taken over? did I miss or misinterpret the message. ok, I know I said dont tell me but I didnt mean it :) please do tell me.

mike (again) said...

Sonny - He wrote that in late 2006 when the economy was up, up, up, and there wasn't much discussion about privacy or NSA or monitoring...and it was unAmerican to talk smack about the Bush administration. Neither Lutin nor Vanity Fair discussed Lutin's demise shortly after the essay appeared in VF. It was rumored that the essay did not set well with some conservatives. Many VF subscribers did not renew their subscriptions, because of Lutin's disappearance from VF.

I think that Lutin predicted the effects of Pluto into Capricorn (and the Uranus in Aries square) very accurately, now that we are in the middle of it. Lutin wrote his VF essay several years prior and many people didn't like Lutin's forecast, as it seemed doom-and-gloom and maybe too outrageous, though it has come to pass.

Sonny G said...


Hi,
still sending good wishes to Annie.
I hope she checks in soon..
Mike, if you or LB hear anything please let me know. I'm not on facebook or twitter..
here's my email addy::
copy paste it cause the ONE is a small L..

l55dreamlane@aol.com

just put your name in the subject line in case it goes to my spam folder..
thanks

mike (again) said...

"FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance

Agency requests rule change but civil liberties groups say ‘extremely invasive’ technique amounts to unconstitutional power grab:

The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.

Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would ride roughshod over strict limits to searches and seizures laid out under the fourth amendment of the US constitution, as well as violate first amendment privacy rights. They have protested that the FBI is seeking to transform its cyber capabilities with minimal public debate and with no congressional oversight."

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/29/fbi-powers-hacking-computers-surveillance

Sabina said...

So sorry to learn you are unwell, Twilight. I sincerely wish you a speedy return to good health.