Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday & Sundry

I'm even further out of the loop than I'd imagined - I'm no longer even part of "the older generation" - said to be inhabitants of Facebook (I'm not!) I must be way out there, well past where the buses don't run! From: Why the Modern World Is Bad for Your Brain - How our addiction to technology is making us less efficient, by Daniel J. Levitin (The Guardian)
"Now of course email is approaching obsolescence as a communicative medium. Most people under the age of 30 think of email as an outdated mode of communication used only by “old people”. In its place they text, and some still post to Facebook. They attach documents, photos, videos, and links to their text messages and Facebook posts the way people over 30 do with email. Many people under 20 now see Facebook as a medium for the older generation."

My predicament reminds me of something Douglas Adams once wrote:
1) Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.”

26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence

The universe, man… THE UNIVERSE.

Hmmm - and that reminds me of something else Douglas Adams once wrote:
If life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.

Some "portmanteau" words we might have assumed came fully-fledged from some technical textbook or other are really just a combination of two other words:
In 1969, pixel, a blend of pictures — or rather, the abbreviation pix—and element, only referred to televised images.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, meld likely came from a combination of melt and weld in the 1930s. Vulcan mind-melding came along some 30 years later.

The concept of the bit, or binary digit, has been around since the late 1940s.

In 1975, the term endorphin was created from the French word endogène and morphine to describe those opiate-like peptides that kick in just when you're about to give up jogging altogether.
More at Mental floss HERE

And...what did Douglas Adams have to say on wordy or alphabetical matters?
The only moral it is possible to draw from this story is that one should never throw the letter Q into a privet bush, but unfortunately there are times when it is unavoidable. -"The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,"

Did you know that Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster M45, or "The Seven Sisters" (one of which tradition says is invisible - hence only six stars in the car company's Subaru logo), which in turn inspires the logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create Fuji Heavy Industries?

More interesting origins of car company and car model names in this video:

Mr Adams must have had a few words to say about cars?
On Earth - when there had been an Earth, before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass - the problem had been cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had safely been hidden out of harm's way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another - particularly when the place you arrived at had probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e. covered with tar, full of smoke and short of fish.
"The Restaurant at the End of the Universe".

Best one of all!

Concluding words of wisdom from Douglas Adams:

The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied.


Kaleymorris said...

Coincidence: I am listening to the audiobook of HHGG. Actually, it is a live recitation of various parts of the different books, read by DNA himself! He starts in classic Adams style, announcing that he has changed the reading order without telling the staff and notes they are probably scrambling behind the scenes to catch up.
A thought about technology: Though he found it befuddling from time to time, Douglas loved it and embraced it.

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~ LOL! He would have to do that wouldn't he?! :-)

I guess he'd have still been keen to try all the "new stuff" too, and tell us wry tales about it - if he were still with us. He died a few months before I first wandered onto the internet via my first home computer.

mike said...

Yes, an extroverted Pisces, he was...with an unfortunate expiration date. He lived in Santa Barbara, CA, just up the road from me in Ventura at that time, when he departed.

I often think of my grandparents when discussions of technology arise. They saw massive technological changes, maybe not as glittery and hypnotic, but very radical transformations from rural life with horses for transportation to urban settings with automobiles, electricity, "rapid" communication of the telegraph, then telephone, radio & TV, refrigeration, sewage, and water, travel to the moon, and antibiotics, to name a few. One of my grandmothers was born 1897 and lived until 1982...she saw a lot! The evolution of those advancements has been our later generations' concerns...more like the sparkly sprinkles on the cupcake frosting.

I don't even seem to fit-in amongst my peers! I'm suspicious they view my eccentricities as a throwback to "when time stood still"...LOL. I do have a computer connected to the internet, an email account, but that is about it. I just recently found the pleasures of streaming via Roku.

No, I didn't know Subaru's interpretation to English. Hhm...there must be some conspiracy blogs indicating the company is backed by alien reptiles.

I'm fascinated more with the actual word portmanteau! I came across it by accident about a year ago, not knowing the meaning. Originally, French for luggage or American for coat rack.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Pisces with Uranus close to his ascendant - the ultimate in quirk. :-)

Grandparents of your generation, and mine, saw amazing changes, though they did somehow seem more gradual than those we experience. That's all down to computerisation and the internet I guess. For most of my own life, making a phone call, if away from the home phone, meant seeking out a call box, finding the right change to insert. Now that a call is no further away than one's pocket - I have nobody left to call! (Wailing violins in the distance).

I'm in my own little pocket between time waves - and here I'll probably stay, making use of what is actually useful to me from the "new stuff", and ignoring the rest.

I didn't know an American coat rack was a portmanteau. Ah well...back to Douglas Adams: “You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”

mike (again) said...

The good ol' days, when shirts cost the equivalent of $3500.00:

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Good article!
We've got it made in 2015 haven't we!?
I had to smile at the mention of a
Dark Ages Recreation site - what next - a Bubonic Plague video game? ;-)