Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Internet - Is It Worth The Good It Does?

The Internet - Is It Worth The Good It Does?

I saw the beginnings of the Internet in college in 1992.  That was before web browsers and it was mainly text.  In 1993, I saw Mosaic, the first web browser, and now I could see text and pictures online.  It was slow, however, I knew if they could speed this up, it was going to take over the world!  The Internet is so vital to us today, the thought of not having it is unimaginable.  How would we all have dealt with the COVID 19 quarantines without the Internet?

Because of the Internet, many were able to telecommute, children received their schoolwork and watched instruction, streaming movies and music soothed us when we could not leave the house.  We used it to get food, groceries, other vital items delivered to our doorsteps.  And so many other things we can not live without came from the Internet.

We got our news from the Internet.  Today, we have access to so much news, it is impossible to take it all in.  A half a century ago, we received news from a newspaper or the nightly news on television.  Today, it is all from the Internet anytime you look at your cell phone.  

Social media and applications once mainly used to post photos, mainly cat photos, and things you did in your life, like what you ate today, became areas where links, news, photos, and memes from all over the world were debated.  When people just posted a million cat photos, nobody cared too much.  Today if a meme that you disagree with gets posted, it can receive thousands of comments in a few hours. 

Things you would never say to someone's face, are posted without much thought on how it may affect the person that posted.  The old saying, 'Don't say anything at all if you can't say anything nice' is long gone.  It is easy to forget that there is a human being on that account.  Someone that has people that care about them.  Someone that may be going through a rough patch in their life.  Someone that, like you, is not perfect.  

If we could live the life of someone else for just a few hours, we would better understand their responses or actions.  Hate is a strong word, I rarely use it.  I may dislike someone's actions or comments, however, I do not hate them.  

When a word is used so much, it has little effect.  When I was a kid, you never heard profanity in public.  So when you did, you looked over because something happened.  Today, I hear and see profanity so much, I do not really notice it now.  Curse words have lost their effect because they are overused today. 

Disagreements are a part of life.  We all have had different backgrounds, life experiences, education, been to different parts of the world, jobs, commutes, and so on and on.  Life is compromised.  Everyone that is in or has had a long term relationship, understands that without compromise, there is no relationship.  In a society, there is a need for compromise on things the group disagrees with.  Try to find common ground, and grow from there.  If the goal is to work on an issue, communication is more effective than not talking.  Two people can look at the same thing or event and share different experiences.  That is not wrong, that is life. 

Be the person that can study an issue, read and learn about it, then make informed decisions.  Share you research with others in a respective manner.  If they are rude to you, you can always take the high road.  Learn from all of your experiences and question why you feel and believe in the things that you do. That is growth, and growing as person makes understanding humanity easier.  With age comes wisdom.  With wisdom comes empathy. 

Remember, we are humans.  Not perfect, we have flaws, and most of the time we try to make the world a better place.  Maybe not with big gestures, maybe they are little things. Like smiling at someone that needs it. Take the time to listen to someone that needs to talk to another human being face to face.  Help someone that needs a hand.  Be that positive light that humanity needs now, more than ever with all that is going on in the world.  Not just in 2020, but for the rest of your lives. 

There is love for all of us, if you will try to see it.  Forgiving is good.  Letting things go that do not really matter a million years from now, will make today better.  Use technology for good and not for bad.  Put down your technology devices from time to time and talk to a human in real life.  Look at them, see they are not much different than you are.  Feel better?

The choice is yours.  I know what I am going do to make the world I live in a better place for the future.  I hope you will think about it, and do so too.  See you in person soon, please wave hi to me and I will do the same.


Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Unknown Road

The Unknown Road

Over the last few months, we have been traveling on the unknown road.  We did not pick it.  We would have not chosen it.  We do not want to go where it is taking us.  In life, you often do not have a choice of what happens.

Pushing yourself is to the unknown limit gives you a measuring stick on what you can handle in life.  You will never know how much you can lift, how far you can run, how much of the world falling apart you can take, until you try.  Growing up with grit means, whatever happens, you can make it.  Perhaps even thrive in it.

In the future, you will look back and judge yourself.  You are the only one qualified to do so.  We do not know what you have done, what you have gone through, only you do.  If you can be honest with yourself, will you like what you do with your life?

You can sit and watch streaming TV for weeks and months on end.  You could also work on a degree.  Learn a new trade.  Learn another language.  Learn something that will make your life better either professionally or financially.  Or just watch TV, it is your choice.

Today with technology, we have access to a boundless amount of information and knowledge.  Any subject is only a few keystrokes away from a lesson for us to view.  We only have a handful of seconds in our lives, use them wisely.


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Getting To Know Oneself During The Quarantine

Getting To Know Oneself During The Quarantine

I'm in the shadows.

The weeks have flown past us over during the quarantine.  Is it Monday or Tuesday?  Is it night or day?  When was the last time I shaved or had a haircut?

So many questions, right now, we do not have many answers.  When can we get a haircut?  Nobody knows.  There is a freedom to let it all go. 

When you do not know something, and there is no way to figure it out, you can either worry about it or let it go.  In life, there are many times when you have no control over your future, right now is one of those times.  People want to work.  People do not want to get ill.  What is the correct answer?  
Perhaps in the future, we will know more to measure it.  Maybe even to answer it.

At some point, things will go back to normal.  Will they?  Or is the future full of face masks, hand washing, social separation, and no large crowds?  Every time we go into a store will they measure our temperature?  Will, we only listen to a concert online, see art shows, and plays from a distance.  What about sports?  What jobs will remain?  Can robots help us?

There are so many questions to ask.  You can use this time to work on anything you or want or do nothing at all.  That is one thing you have control over.  That novel, piece of art, album is not going to make itself.  That room that you need to clean, yup, you have to do it yourself.   The grass outside is not stopping growing.  Your car can use a tune-up too.

The future is the undiscovered country, only this time it is undiscovered something.  We do not know what it will look like.  Is the future even bright any more?  I think it will be.

All I can say about it is that we as humans will face it and deal with it.  There is no choice.  Humanity will go on.  What we make of it, is on us.  

Humans have been on this planet for a while and before written history, have faced plagues,  disease, and many other challenges.  

I look forward to the future.  Together, we can make that future bright!  Smile, it will work itself out.  I feel it in the air.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Life After The Coronavirus

Life After The Coronavirus

After any major event in history, things are different.   The Great War, you know it as World War I, life was different after it.  After World War II, life was different.  After 9/11, the world was different.  So will life after the Coronavirus is over.

As time marches on, we will remember less and less of it.  For some, the memories will be thoughts like 'it was a drag to stay at home'.  Others may have different jobs because their old ones are gone forever.  Memories of moving to a different house or apartment will linger on in some minds.  Some may have gotten ill during the crisis.  Sadly, some will know people that will succumb to the virus.  Others may not remember anything about it. At some point, life moves on.

Will staying six feet from one another, not shaking hands, avoiding large crowds, and staying at home become the new normal?  Will there be more people that will telecommute to work?  Will our students stay at home more and learn using the wonders of the internet?  Will stores limit the number of costumers that enter and have reduced hours so they can sanitize the store? Three weeks ago most of this rarely occurred, now we are used to it.

New terms and words have entered our vocabulary.  Social distancing, stay at home, shelter in place, COVID-19, and novel coronavirus are all words we never used a few weeks ago.  Now we know them by heart.

Three weeks ago I went to two concerts.  Three weeks ago I didn't think I would be teaching remotely for the rest of the semester.  Three weeks ago I didn't think that I wouldn't be able to eat in a restaurant or go see a play for the foreseeable future.  Three weeks ago I wouldn't have thought that airlines would be empty.  Three weeks ago, I didn't see any of this happening.  Not like this. 

Life has changed so fast in less than a month.  Many don't know when they will be able to go back to work. Weddings, sports events, rock concerts are all on hold for now.  New movie releases are being pushed back and back.  Conventions are all on hold.  New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles have their streets empty of tourists.

I wish I could say everything will go back to normal.  No one can say this.  We as humans will adapt to whatever happens in the future.   Humanity will go on and on.

We all will be happy when things go back to normal.   Will they?  Or will the scars from the Coronavirus crisis remand with us for the rest of our lives?


Some Videos To Watch:
Stay-at-home, Shelter in place, Isolation, Quarantine: What Do These Terms Mean?
How To Look At Your Cabin Fever
This Is The Time For You To Be Creative!

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