Skip to main content

Bits and Bites

Dear Members and Constituents,
Have computer interaction models ever interfered with your real life? You know what I’m talking about: trying to extrapolate behavior which is useful when interacting with your laptop or iPhone to less appropriate tasks. I hate to admit it, but it’s happened to me (here are a couple of examples).
  • This morning as I was driving into work, the air was crisp and the stars seemed particularly bright. I recognized Orion but could not quite put my finger on the name for the seven sisters star cluster (Pleiades), so I instinctively pointed my finger at the constellation (briefly expecting roll-over text to pop-up and give me the answer).
  • On occasion, when typing-out that urgent e-mail, hunger strikes. At times like this, I’ve caught myself reaching for the mouse and moving the pointer in the direction of my lunch box. The pointer, of course, decides the edge of the screen is as far as it will go, no matter how much further my hand and mouse move in a futile attempt to click-and-drag my lunch towards me.
It’s times like this, when the brain momentarily blurs the distinction between the electronic and the real –between bits and bites, if you will— I wonder about our technological habits. Granted, I feel foolish and am glad no one was there to witness the scene, but I also think of my kids and how intertwined these experiences may become in the future. Typing-out a phone number and clicking my mouse to answer the phone would have previously been a behavior I could cite as a mental lapse (and is now a reality made possible by technology). Perhaps the world of The Matrix is not as far away as you might think. Before you start to worry we may already be there, let me suggest the following idea. If, as the character Mouse suggested, the machines “couldn't figure out what to make chicken taste like, which is why chicken tastes like everything”; then donuts are proof we’re not in the matrix (they definitely don’t taste like chicken). This sweet evidence is at my desk this morning courtesy of Austin Hurt (donut boy). I would have sent you a hyperlink to the donuts but decided the real experience might be more satisfying.
Happy Friday!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy New Year!

  Friends, Happy new year (and, technically, still Friday). As many of you know, my household has a peculiar way of ringing-in the new year. We build effigies representing the old year and burn them at midnight. This year, although we made the tough call of canceling the accompanying annual party, I felt it was important to go ahead with the burning. The theme, of course, was CoVid. My kids and I developed a dozen mutations of the virus and staged them in our backyard. Then, at a quarter ‘till midnight, we proceeded to read the old year’s last will and testament (or, as might be expected for a year like this, an un-will and un-testament). Shortly thereafter they were summarily burned. We then proceeded to stay up way past my bedtime (which in part helps explain the unusual tardiness of my weekly note). In any event a couple of donuts and a day of rest have got me back to my old self. By the way, I’ve posted a public video of the Facebook live stream event on Facebook. Key markers on

THE Oasis

Friends, The book  Ready Player One  sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created.  La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back

Accidental Culinary Innovations

Friends, Have you ever inadvertently fermented spaghetti sauce? Yeah, me neither… until yesterday, that is! Imagine my surprise when the half-full bottle, sitting in the fridge from time immemorial, made a sound akin to opening a beer bottle, instantly filling the glass container with a hazy smoke. As the carbonation dissipated, I grabbed a spoon to conduct the obligatory taste test. How was it? I’m glad you asked! Let’s just say chunky carbonated tomato beer is not my thing (although I must admit that if I had been expecting it, my reaction might have been a little more… composed). Now, if you forgo the fermentation and switch the tomato paste with spicy salsa… that might be the next million dollar idea! Sparkling sriracha anyone? How about Carbonated Cholula?   Bubbly Habanero? Fizzy Jalapeño?? I could go on, but I have a feeling Gassy Guac might not fly off the shelves. Now, if only I could stumble on a way to improve donuts. Carbonated Jelly filling… yeah, maybe not. I think I’ll