Sunday, September 20, 2009


Born To Kvetch

My entertainment has always included an addiction to information, no doubt starting with 35 and 50-cent paperbacks when I was a teenager and, of course, a lot of books from the library. Even before computers and the Internet, I used to keep a lot of notes on things that I would look up later, when I got the chance to use a dictionary or other reference book. Once I had access to the Internet at my local library--I didn't have access at home for a good long while after that--I'd copy info off the Web and mail it to my email address. I could retrieve the info once I was home by using the old slow dial-up email system I had at first that didn't even include any Internet time--a weird configuration, hey? But not weirder than 35-cent paperback books! Nowadays, paperbacks are so costly than I don't even bother to look at them any more!

With various computers that I've owned over the past 20 years, I stored information on many files, the info sometimes lasting through one computer to another, sometimes not. It's gotten to where more and more of it means less to me. I think the omnipresence of the Internet has erased my old-fashioned sense of possession or the desire to possess the info. If I forget it, I can just look it up again--even easier in most cases than owning all the reference books!

But most of all, I don't think I care any more about what I know or how much I know. Enough of the old self survives that it's nice not to be completely ignorant, but I nonetheless find myself to be very ignorant. I wish it wasn't so, but I can't get excited about it.

For instance, my new laptop has both a new OS and a new browser, so there seems to be hundreds of things that are different from what was once "second nature". Adding to that, it's a different brand of computer, so I'm not exactly lost, but neither am I familiar any more with any corner, nook, crevice, or cranny of my own computer! No matter how many times I've done such-and-such, it was on a completely different machine and setup, goddammit!


  1. Hmmmm - I had to look up "kvetch" to start with. that's the 2nd Jewish word I've had to investigate in the past year or so - t'other was "mensch" - I guess that you're a bit of both - if kvetch can be a noun or could be nounified - not sure.

    I sympathise with your feelings about using a different computer or OS - it feels like walking around in two left shoes for a while. :-)

  2. Well, I'm left=handed, but that's no great advantage in the left-feet department!

    I'm not Jewish, but I've found they have a lot of colorful, useful, and distinctive-sounding words!


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