Bother and Become Computer Savvy.

Please bother. It is time and it is perhaps the best time to start taking it seriously. It has become essential to be computer savvy. We cannot afford any more, not to know how to use our digital tools and what to do with them. Of course, this is perhaps more important for us, the older and old generation, than for the younger ones. But do not be fooled, even the younger one can appear very illiterate when we scrutinize its capability to think and act computer savvy.
Modern digital devices are much more than tools to feed Facebook or Instagram and be fed by all sorts of multimedia stuff. Mobile phones and tablets and desktop computer have become extremely powerful and the recent crisis must have made everybody aware that the idea of having a “home office” is neither science fiction nor dehumanizing. Not to have a “home office” in our times is stupid and dangerous. Actually, it is what everybody should have, can have and must have.
The concept of the “home office” goes far beyond the idea of sitting at home in a room in front of your computer. “Home office” means simply, your digital devices – and particularly your mobile ones like phones and tablets – have become like the cockpit in an aeroplane: It is from here that you organize and direct a big chunk of your life. This is just how it is. Get used to it and make the best of it.
However, if you have not understood it yet, this means: You have to learn your way around in your digital cockpit and you have to spend some time to get the knack and you will have to accept to be frustrated and irritated not only from time to time, but on a regular basis. But you will become able to fly your digital plane and in the end you will enjoy becoming more any more computer savvy and turning this knowledge into productive and creative activity.
Yes, it is like learning a new language and if you want to get far, it is as taxing and it needs perseverance. (Do not tell me learning a new language would be more creative. This is just not true.)
Where and how to start? There are many ways and I can give you here only my own ideas and my knowledge is centred on the digital ecosystem of Apple. However, when it comes to learning the system you are using, the steps to take, are very similar if not the same.

Start, for example, with Apple Support. (At the bottom of this page it says: “Learn more”. Do not miss out on that.Start with Mac Basics. You do not need more.)

That’s basically all you have to do for a start. And the same will exist for Windows or Android or Linux or whichever system someone has sold you and recommended to you. However, you have to be interested and stubborn and curious and be prepared to bear frustration. But this is the case whenever you want to learning something new.
The most important part is perhaps your attitude: You have to struggle with the tendency to think that all this effort is dehumanizing and in the end not worth the effort. This is perhaps the most unhelpful myth about our modern life and its digital possibilities. It is up to you to find out what fun it is and how helpful it can be to fly this machine from the cockpit of your “home office”.


From Judith

Andrew points out we need to.know what we need to.use the devices for other than.what we do already? No point in learning an instrument if you dont know what to play on it.
Our friend Helmut set up and PhBb … seems to work ok so what do you.suggest we might do now??? Xxj


To Judith

Dear friends,
I expected that and I will give you an answer which you might not “understand” at all. We have become “digital” citizens of the world and we have to understand what “digital” means. You can decide not to do that but this, in my opinion, excludes you from having a sense for what is at the heart of the “third” and predominantly “digital” revolution. This revolution holds enormous potential and is by no means only negative. On the contrary. I am also convinced that grappling with “digital” questions can fundamentally influence our understanding of creativity in future generations. (This development takes place anyway, if we like it or not.)
I think we are not just learning how to use a machine to do something with it. I think this learning changes our ways of doing things. Of course, learning how your computer works is perhaps not even more than scratching on the surface. Not learning it, however, leaves you without the surface to scratch on. Of course, if you do not mind, then this is totally legitimate. But if you carry on using what the “digital” world gives you for your orientation and for the planning of your life, you might better be prepared for what you actually are part of and agree to. Here I would have to open another topic which is quite vast. Just to give an example: Using WhatsApp and Zoom and Google etc is in no way harmless. Having created cansurviving and being engaged in making people aware of so many pitfalls and trapdoors when thinking about illness and health and alternatives of treatments, you might get a sense for a similar preoccupation in relation to questions our “digital” revolution is confronting us with. To think we are just using our gadgets to do things free of charge and without political consequences is, in my opinion, turning a blind eye to something much more sinister going on with our agreement or without us even noticing it. Being fundamentally and deeply influenced by the “school” of dialectical thinking, I can feel safe only when I can keep under the same roof of my thought processes that good and bad belong together, that seeing one side must not make you blind for seeing the other side and perhaps most important, understanding how good and bad permanently influence each other and that creation might come exactly out of this dialectical relationship. Our modern “digital” world is the breeding ground for the most creative and most destructive possibilities and I want to have at least some insight into this future.
Does this link at all to the question of just “becoming computer savvy”? Learning how to use your computer might seem much too little for engaging with such questions. At the same time I would say, it is the only way for us to at least get a good sense of a very new way of organizing our lives. And one last thought, getting across the first hurdles might open some totally new vistas and it is exactly this kind of “learning” how to use the computer which offers ways of creativity which one was not aware of.
You might understand that becoming computer savvy, for me, means starting a journey which leads into very unknown fields. It is not only using a machine to do something which I have done before with a piece of paper and a pencil and perhaps a photo camera. There is something in the “digital” dimension which is very new and was not available before, in the sense of positive and negative.
I am grateful and happy to have been witnessing and are still witnessing one of the most exciting times in the development of mankind. This does not mean, I am not worried and potentially horrified by the implications of this development.
Nothing is still the same after the launch of the Hubble. I am waiting for the Webb and I hope the world is not going down the drain before we have not had the chance to see what after its launch in 2021 will come to our eyes.
Since Calanish, we and I have come a long way.

The Druid from Eglantiers.

PS If you do not mind, I would attach our exchange of thoughts to my post. Many of my posts or articles are not open to public comments because I am worried that I would not be able to really respond to contributions in the way they deserve it. A new full time job? A new career? I am afraid so and have to avoid it. Perhaps I should shut up and not publish anything.


From Judith
… This revolution revolves too opaquely for me. Andrew pointed out and I.used in last book what Picabia the dada artist said ‘our heads are round so our thoughts can change direction’ … trying to get heads round what you say.
yes do use this as addition to your post xxj


To Judith

Dear Round Head. Thank you for the Picabia. It all depends on how you read this text. As a surrealist manifesto by a Dada artist, as a passage out of an unfinished science fiction story by Philip K. Dick, as a chapter from a sequel to Orwell’s 1984, as a blog post by a digital nerd in Chêne-Bougeries, as a string of words created by a computer practising its newly acquired AI faculties or as a simple encouragement to avoid falling by the wayside like the hero in Ken Loach’s film “I, Daniel Blake”. As you know so well behind all strings of words you will find a “round head” doing the stringing and what importance you attribute to the sentences and paragraphs and chapters depends in the end on you as the reader. Authors have all sorts of ideas about their texts and what they are supposed to mean. It is the reader – if it is a critical and sceptical reader – who decides which “direction” to take. This reader will also decide if a text should be taken seriously because it might be trying to “change” established paths and point at something which should not be ignored or stay unknown. The fact that we do not like something or it does not interest us does not mean it is not governing our lives. Can we afford not knowing?
Thank you very much for having bothered reading my string of words. Take away from it what makes sense to you and stop breaking your round head about something which does not feel helpful. There is much under the sun we do not know or understand, but we might be able to if we bother. “To bother or not to bother … that is the question.”
And thank you particularly for the chance to have a dialogue. This is more important than anything else.