Editorial – August 2019: Are you really reading and understanding enough?

July 28, 2019 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

You might have noticed our daily SFC newsletter is back now the software problems with Google has been resolved and you read about a problem resolution in the weekly newsletter. We’re leaving both options open so you can choose which you prefer or have both. We don’t plan to have a monthly or annual newsletter. We aren’t that crazy with automatic software.

Hopefully, as well we should be opening up on an effective letters page and a way for all of you who have the newsletter to contact us easier. Please read the instructions elsewhere. Just to bring everything else on-board, all the guidelines at the bottom of the editorial are now on this website for you to look at. It gives you a change to see what editorial decisions I apply or do to text. Much of it is common-sense but being able to look at it makes use of the brain-matter and I like people to think.

Although I’m not sure if literacy has died, I have to bring up the old chestnut as to whether people, that’s you out there reading this, are reading enough? I mean really reading. When we read on-line, there’s a tendency to scan but how much do you really remember from day-to-day? As I’ve pointed out before, we get conditioned rather too easily. Oddly, reading last month, that paper book sales are going up against digital books tends to mean some people are realising that they aren’t remembering what they’ve read as much as they wished. Whether that is remembering the plot, the flair for words or even the desire to read the follow-up book, there is a feeling that something is missing.

In many respects, people are catching up with me. Saying that, we don’t see what age group this applies to. If the younger generation don’t know anything different, then we have a serious problem for the future. Of course, having ebooks stored up doesn’t mean they are read so maybe the incentive is having a physical copy and a bit of clutter helps to remind you that you have a book or three to read.

pulpy pulp

The young say that they don’t need to remember anything anymore. They just look it up on the Internet via those smart phone thingies. Try doing that that when the reception is down or not asking the right question. Two will give you one that those ill-prepared people who died climbing mountains didn’t even know what kind of equipment they needed. Even worse, probably assumed that other people did the same thing as they did. The information might be there but you look far more expert if you know how to apply it. If the new generations lose that because of tech then we aren’t teaching them how to be smart. What’s the good of a smart phone in the hands of an unsmart user?

The Internet is a wonderful tool if you know how to use it. When you’re looking up vital information, don’t just rely on a single source. If different websites have the same text then don’t take it for granted that it might only be right but more likely was copied from one to another. That being the case, always look for more independent sources as a means to double-check.

Certainly the reign of the search engines needs to be improved when those who pay to get to the top against the most hits needs to have some more thought. I mean, there is no discrimination between website information being right or wrong based purely on the number of hits. You might only look at a site for a few second and think it’s wrong and move on but that doesn’t make any difference to a search engine monitoring activity as to how well informed it is.

Recently, Windows 10 had a massive update called 1903 which practically re-wrote much of its software. I know it practically filled that partition. Don’t even think of deleting the ‘Windows.old’ directory for a month, mine is 40.2gB, as that’s what is left of the original W10 and is needed in case you needed to restore it. I think in a couple months, I’ll download it to a back-up drive just to get my space back. Saying that, I can’t help wonder what happens when people out there have limited space for it.

Thankfully, one of the new changes is now to being able to choose when you have W10 downloads although whether it points out the size of the download remains to be seen. Even so, at least you decide whether to let it do so when you’re busy doing something else or overnight if you know it needs some uninterrupted time. In some respects at least it shows Microsoft is listening to its consumers, which is practically most PC users. Odd thing, now I have something that now pops up reminders for something I’ve never asked it to do before and not mentioned in the ‘Tips’ links it also downloaded. Should they have asked if I wanted an automated secretary looking over what I do?

Something else it appears to have changed, at least on my computer, is the delay in the password coming up. Whether that was deliberate or purely by renewing the entire Windows and it hasn’t picked up anything from the previous version that it is checking or updating remains to be seen.

If anything, I’m learning to be patient to wait for the password to appear and the first time my connection to the Internet to appear. Trying to rush it appears to take the same time as being patient. Even so, I still miss having a wait icon ticking over that tells me something is happening. If my new ‘secretary’ is reading whatever its reporting, maybe it will tell its real masters that.

Thank you, take care, good night and klaatu barada nikto as they say.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info


A Zen thought: Heat is easy to tolerate. Losing heat with humidity less so.

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: You’re a geek if you need reading as much as breathing.

The Reveal: SF readers tend to know a little more science than the layhuman. (I hope).

Observation: An odd puzzle. How did the people of Hadley’s Hope in ‘Aliens’ (1987) have ready-made containers to the facehuggers since they had never seen them before. If it wasn’t made for them, then what did they originally use them for?

Observation: For those who’ve seen the film ‘Apocalypto’ (2006), does the music leading the captives up to the Inca temple remind you of ‘The Terminator’ music’?

Observation: With ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ TV series we see several black handmaidens but there are no black government officials. Then again, there are no ethnic types in there as well.

Observation: Considering how each new Marvel film is outselling their previous best-seller, you do have to wonder if Disney will consider it a failure when one of them doesn’t make as much although still profitable? Come to that, will the media also think that is a sign of the writing on the wall? No pressure then.

Observation: I don’t know if this happens outside of the UK, but in newscast there is always an emphasis on humans accomplishing things. All well and good but you do have to wonder who are the other sentients on Earth you’re in competition with.

Observation: Have you ever wondered why the hunter predators carry tiny skulls on their belts? I mean, how dangerous were those small creatures that warranted them being carried as trophies? I did have a serious ponder on this and wonder if they were childhood trophies. After all, what predator is going to forget its first kills?

Feeling Stressed: Then read below. See. Nothing to fear at all.


So You Want To Write Reviews For SFCrowsnest?: what you need to know by: Geoff Willmetts.

Category: Culture

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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