Monday, November 12, 2007

Watching The Twenty-First Century Obeah Man


Young people growing up with computers seem to deal with the concept of "programs" with no problem, but my brain just never functioned in a logical fashion. My mind jumps from A to perhaps D, or even Q at times, with no consideration of the intermediate steps. It's all intuitive, it just happens, and it was a huge problem when I was a youngster in school. The teachers all thought that I must be cheating at math! The answers were correct but there was no long column of calculations to show how I arrived at the answers.

Hell, I didn't know how I arrived at the answers either. What I did know was that I considered it too damned tedious to go through, and write down, all those calculations. It was pretty much the same with English class. I'd organize things in my head and thought that the concept of writing a "first draft" was a waste of valuable daydreaming time.

Then came computers! They want you to go through programs step by step, although some of these that you use on a regular basis can be automated I'm told. I've had a computer for five or six years now and can't seem to get past basic web surfing and using the email. Once in awhile the computer decides to do its own thing and only a logical mind can figure out what's going wrong. I really think that evil spirits, duppies the Jamaicans call them, lurk in computers these days. They've adapted, exchanging desk tops for the traditional trees in the forest to use as homes in this new world dominated by technology.

Those of us who came of age in the days when intuitive thought processes were the best shortcuts seem to have a bit of trouble keeping the duppies at bay as we try our hand at navigating through all those damned programs. Fortunately the North Miami Public Library has classes on Wednesday morning where the Obeah Man instructs us older folks in the proper rituals to perform and incantations to mutter as we try to master these foreign concepts. I really suspect that a few good tokes on a spliff would speed up the process!

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