Saturday, April 21, 2012

R for Robot

From this week's haul of borrowed library books comes a big alphabet book with pictures. I can't imagine why, but it surprised me to watch Mabel Watson Payne recognize the ROBOT and name it out loud with pleasure and confidence.

Note on the Text: Blogger has just imposed a "new and improved" interface for creating posts. Unsurprisingly, it is less forgiving and more dictatorial than the one I got comfortable with over the past four years. The overall intent seems to be to make blog posting more phone-like and less book-like. Of course if I had been given a vote, that is exactly what I would have voted against. Nevertheless, I understand that these global "improvements" enforced from above are constant, universal and unavoidable in the cyber-land of the so-called free. The same thing happens on a regular basis at the library where I work: one of the proprietary databases we use there will suddenly be re-conceived and reformatted and everything you thought you knew about it will have gone out the window overnight. Established fact. No appeal allowed. Every older person I know complains about this phenomenon, while at the same time every older person I know also is aware that the only socially acceptable option is to keep your mouth shut. Otherwise you will sound like a fuddy duddy.*  Yesterday's post, put up late last night (after a blissful long afternoon and evening occupied in being grandfather) was the first post attempted under these new conditions. And of course it was driving me nuts that I suddenly could not place text where I wanted it or move the photos around in relation to one another without creating masses of unintended ugly consequences. But then I sat back and made a resolution that instead of killing myself trying to figure out how to make the new posts look as much as possible like the old posts, I would just slap them up the best way I could and prepare myself to live with weird and sloppy layouts for a while. After all (I said to myself) images of my angel granddaughter cannot seriously be compromised or diminished by wonky spacing or superfluous border-lines. 

*Karl Marx (writing in 1848) has something to say to Google about this:

Capitalism cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the means of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbances of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the capitalist epoch from all earlier ones.