My oldest brother was in the Army Signal Corps. My second oldest brother repaired TV’s and then became an engineer for a big radio station. My third oldest brother had a degree in electronics and a master’s in math. He designed computers. It only made sense that I would become involved in electronics.
Unfortunately, I was somewhat dyslexic, though I was never diagnosed with it. By definition, dyslexia is not caused by trauma. Because I had two traumatic events in my early childhood, I might not be dyslexic, even if I meet the criterion otherwise.
That eliminated college. I am prone to mistakes when I write and I can’t type. I simply cannot complete a term paper. Also, I would have never been able to complete college English. I have this problem with homonyms. I know the difference between there and their, but, for some unexplained reason, I occasionally use the wrong one. Worse yet, I have a problem with spelling.
Nowadays, we have word processors that help somewhat. Still, even after checking and rechecking my work, mistakes get by me.
Still, I did get into electronics. I went into the Marines and completed a 16 week electronics course in thirteen weeks. I graduated second in the class. (I think the other guy cheated)
The last week of the course was on computers. In 1969, computers were still somewhat new. Many banks just began using them. Most TVs used vacuum tubes and transistor radios had just come into their own.
So, at that time, there was little time spent on computers in the school. However, and this is the whole point of my post, the instructor said something about computers that I still remember, “The only reason for computers is to save time.”
Though one of my brothers designed computers, the thought really surprised me. Over the years, I thought about the statement many times. To some degree, the statement is still true. However, today we have at least three more reasons for computers, graphics, entertainment and saving space.
I don’t think I need to explain the first two, but saving space might not be so obvious. We used to use fiche. Now we use disks. A few optical disks can replace thousands fiche. Besides, going back to the first reason for the computer, the disk is much faster.
Unfortunately, some have found another reason for computers, keeping track of employees… or citizens. Today, computers are being used for the BIG BROTHER effect. Instead of the computers being used to help the employees work more efficiently, they are being used to keep a thumb on the employees to make sure they don’t make too many keystrokes on their keyboards (for example).
For a person who studied computers from my youth, it is a great disappointment. Instead of being an aid, it allows the boss to spy over the employees shoulder. It allows the governments to track its citizenry.
Today I am disappointed in the way computers are used. They are used for games. All right. I admit it. I do play more solitaire than I should. Still, we have simply overdone it. Pseudo football games are played on which people gamble, by the millions. Some are addicted to the games to the point they ignore everything else.
Then, of course, there are those who use the computers to steal. Some folks have lost their homes to those who know how to use the computer for this purpose. Then, when the deed is done, almost nothing can be done to make it right.
I have seen the good that computers have done and I have seen the bad that they have done. Like any other tool, they can be used for good and they can be used for bad. Seeing the bad I find it very disappointing. No one seems to care, not even a little.
If I am a computer salesman, I don’t sell to the employee. He doesn’t control the purse strings of the company. So, if I hope to sell the computer, I need to show the CEO how the computer the benefits management.
Now, which will have the most successful outcome? If I explain how I can help the employee or if how easy it makes it to spy on the employees. And so it is that the computer is abused and will continue to be abused. I see no way to stop it.
So, just color me disappointed. Instead of the computer helping to free men, they have been used to enslave them.
Now, as near as I can tell, the communists seem to have discovered computers can be used in taking over a country. It can be used for finding the individualist.
By the way. How can I forget one of the most obnoxious abuses of computers… Robocalls!