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From: chris on 1 Dec 2008 07:33
Ian Rawlings wrote:
> On 2008-12-01, Geoffrey Clements
> <geoffrey.clementsNO(a)SPAMbaesystems.com> wrote:
> Maybe, I've been told that older people have problems with things
> like video recorders because they've never come across the idea of
> modal buttons before, a button that changes its function depending on
> the mode that the vide recorder is in, so a button that does one
> thing one moment then does another thing in another moment. The
> things the computer can do seem amazing to someone like my mum so she
> can't grasp quite how dumb they are!
I think it comes down to two aspects: familiarity with technology and a
flexible way of thinking about 'things'. The former is why the younger
generation (on the whole) are always more adept as programming videos,
txting, etc, because they've used it before or something similar.
However, give a youngster old technology like a slide-rule or a
gramophone player and they'd be stuck.
The latter (flexible thinking) explains why certain young people cannot
'get' technology, despite their supposed familiarity, and some old
people do. For example, my <whisper>30something</whisper> SO struggles
with the video and computer, but my 70yo mum has only had a PC for 6
months and is quite happy trying out new things on it.
> Similarly I suspect this whole ID card thing will become a non-issue
> in 50 years time as young people these days
Which is why it needs to be stopped *now*.
> (oh how old do I suddenly feel) appear to actively want to publish as
> much information about them as they can to as many sources as
> possible so privacy becomes an oddity. I don't understand things
> like facebook because I don't want to be telling people everything
> about myself, so I'll be the weirdo in 10 years or so..
It's when privacy and security that things get dicey. It's fine sharing
you private information, but when someone uses that info against you or
for their personal gain is when you need to worry.
From: Whiskers on 1 Dec 2008 07:59
On 2008-12-01, Geoffrey Clements <geoffrey.clementsNO(a)SPAMbaesystems.com> wrote:
> "Ian Rawlings" <news06(a)tarcus.org.uk> wrote in message
>> On 2008-11-30, Tom Morris <tom(a)tommorris.org> wrote:
> Now this I can totally relate to. Having coached similarly aged people on
> how to use a computer it seems they live in fear of breaking it which seems
> to be reinforced by doing things they can't recover from without help. IME
> they seem to want a list of instructions of how to do things rather than
> trying to understand the basic principles and letting everything else flow
> from there. Is it possible that education styles through the different
> decades have an influence?
I think it may have more to do with it being a lot harder to learn new
stuff as you get older - and a feeling that "I don't really need to know
that" just to make the machine do "What I want".
My mother used to build and test radio transceivers for WWII war-planes,
and could still give lessons on the principles of superhet circuits and
how to solder a good joint or wind a coil or identify capacitors and
resistors by their markings or recognise different types of thermionic
valve, and other such geeky things.
But there isn't much call for that knowledge these days, and as soon as
the Men began to Come Home From the War the women were expected to
transform themselves into Wives And Mothers so she was out of the industry
long before transistors happened. She acquired a whole new skill-set in
the areas of sewing and knitting and cooking and Making Do in the Period
of Post War Austerity, and even got some secretarial training (she can
still touch-type on her lap-top and is a whiz at producing minutes of
meetings and notices and circulars and so on). She just doesn't feel
the need to learn anything else new that isn't immediately required for
doing something she wants to do right now; in fact I think she revels in
the freedom to be able to choose what she wants to do - even if she is now
too tired and weary to want to do very much.
So give the old folks a break; they've had to forget more than we've ever
(I think I may be a feminist, reading what I ranted up there. But a chap
should stick up for his Mum, shouldn't he?). (My Dear Old Dad is a bit
special too, and has learned to type from scratch after retiring from
business, as well as almost mastering digital photography and printing).
From: Ian Rawlings on 1 Dec 2008 09:18
On 2008-12-01, Whiskers <catwheezel(a)operamail.com> wrote:
> I think it may have more to do with it being a lot harder to learn new
> stuff as you get older - and a feeling that "I don't really need to know
> that" just to make the machine do "What I want".
I'm never too sure about the whole "harder to learn when you're older"
bit, maybe it's true, but perhaps it's a social thing rather than a
physical thing, when my Mum was young she didn't really do much
learning, but certainly picked up the various life skills you need
when looking after kids and a disabled husband. More abstract things
though weren't really needed, but we're steeped in that kind of thing
so I personally doubt that I'll be as flummoxed as her when faced with
new technology when I'm older, but I reserve the right to laugh at
this statement in 40 years' time!
> (I think I may be a feminist, reading what I ranted up there. But a chap
> should stick up for his Mum, shouldn't he?). (My Dear Old Dad is a bit
> special too, and has learned to type from scratch after retiring from
> business, as well as almost mastering digital photography and printing).
Ah yes, digital photography, as an ex-amateur photographer, the number
of wrinkly old blokes wielding photoshop expertly in the photo clubs
was one of the things that made me wonder if there was that much to
this age=bad at learning lark. Digital photo editing and processing
is quite complicated, I've forgotten most of the tricks I used to know!
Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!
From: Ian Rawlings on 1 Dec 2008 09:20
On 2008-12-01, chris <ithinkiam(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> It's when privacy and security that things get dicey. It's fine sharing
> you private information, but when someone uses that info against you or
> for their personal gain is when you need to worry.
Yes which is why I'm not keen on such things, but I'm amazed at my
nieces' happiness to splurge information and pictures of themselves
all over the internet without a care in the world on sites like bebo
and facebook. They're not going to worry about government databases
as they're too busy pushing their personal details down complete
Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!
From: Daniel James on 1 Dec 2008 09:29
In article news:<gguhn0$72k$1(a)localhost.localdomain>, Martin Gregorie
> Does that mean that touch typing is a dieing art?
I'm sure it's still taught, but apparently not in schools. SWMBO learnt
to touch-type at secondary school but none of our various nipots or
offsprogs of friends seem to have the opportunity. I'm sure it's still
taught at secretarial colleges and the like.
Then again, the need may no longer exist. Letters that were once typed
from scratch (by copy typists from handwritten/shorthand originals,
whose speed at the keyboard was the only metric of their productivity)
are now glued together from bits of boilerplate text in a wordprocessor.
The skills required are different, and fewer of them are needed.
Secretaries nowadays need broader skillsets.
The management types who used to handwrite or dictate these letters now
type many of them themselves, so copy typing isn't in anything like the
demand it was.
> I taught myself to type, initially on ASR-33 Teletypes and a
> Flexowriter since those was the only keyboards available at the time
I taught myself to type on an ancient manual typewriter when I was about
ten. Of course, I had no notion of "properly", so I used no more than a
couple of fingers on each hand. It was SO unlike typing on a modern PC
keyboard -- the keys required considerable pressure to get them to leave
a mark, and if you accidentally pressed two at once the little arms with
the type on the ends jammed together inside the machine and had to be
separated. It did have a 2-colour ribbon, though. I liked that.
The ASR-33 (and its like -- we had Westrex (?) jobbies at University)
was even more like hard work...