In the event you haven’t yet heard of this new service, Skype is the latest in a series of experiments designed to use the Internet to provide the ability to make phone calls anywhere in the world at no cost. Using peer-to-peer technology, the same thing that is used by Kazaa to provide the exchange of MP3 and other kinds of files over the Internet, the founders of that service (Kazaa) have turned their talents to supplying this long sought-after dream. I suspect that if this isn’t the service that will provide this capability, some service will eventually do so. I think it is inevitable that we’ll eventually have the technology to make phone calls through the Internet and IP technology. As I said in an email to a friend tonight, “for all of the problems of this age in which we live, I consider myself fortunate to be alive to experience the excitement of the advances we are making, and I eagerly look forward to those that are to come.”
I had to laugh last night when I read a message from my cousin, Bowen, in which he observed I hadn’t made an entry here since back in early November. He said he hoped it wasn’t related to any 62-year-old-type problems. I replied that unless you considered my failure to post anything since my birthday a “regularity” issue, the answer was no.
I don’t know whether you read many blogs or not, but one thing I’ve noticed is that the ones I enjoy the most DO tend to post very regularly. And ones that don’t post regularly are often disappointing because I’ve surfed to their site to see what they have to say, only to find that their last entry is a month or more old. So I understand Bo’s message to me. What amused me about it was the fact that my NOT posting to this blog provoked a response whereas my posting often does not.
I suppose that if what I posted was more controversial I’d be getting more dialog about it, but I don’t write this blog to get on my soap box about who to vote for, how the country should be run, or how other people should live their lives. As my little summary of its original purpose states, I wanted a place to talk about “things personal, interpersonal and online oriented.” Enough other people fill the “need” for megaphone-sites for their shouting matches at the opposition, whether it be from the right or the left, and I’m glad to leave those battles to them. I don’t enjoy what nowadays passes for “dialog,” so I avoid it. It seems to me most of it is talking and not a lot of it is listening.
One thing I have started doing since coming back from my visit with Paul in late September is to adopt a technique I saw him use while I was there. Since he is a professional writer, his processes interest me. I noticed that he keeps a text file to which he regularly adds things that he might use in his articles. It’s fairly easy to copy text from online articles or to note ideas he has to that file. Then when he is ready to write his article, he can refer to those notes to jog his memory or to use quotes that he has captured for his articles. The practice he has of writing an article every Monday, Wednesday and Friday hasn’t yet made it into my repertoire unfortunately, but I hold out hope that I’ll become more regularly productive eventually.
So Bowen, you can consider this entry to be the direct result of your message “inviting” me to get back to the task at hand. It’s always good to have someone encouraging you to write. And I consider myself fortunate to have people who care about what I do in this blog.
62 and counting
Today I turn 62 years old. Old enough to apply for early Social Security. And old enough to know better. Old enough to have done something significant with my life. But also old enough to realize that there are more mediocre people like me than extraordinary world-changing people in the world and not to be depressed about being in that majority. Old enough to have some perspective on the world of which I am a part. But young enough to be still in awe and overjoyed at learning to integrate innovations and technological advances into my life.
Birthdays are a time to review your life. You can celebrate just surviving another year, and you can celebrate the progress you’ve made since the last birthday. Today I celebrate still being around, but I also celebrate the time in which I am living, even with its attendant challenges and pitfalls. Who would have thought that we’d have a way to publish our thoughts for others anywhere in the world to read? Who could have imagined how quickly these changes could have become commonplace?
It’s a great time to be alive, and I eagerly look forward to what I’ll learn in my 63rd year.
Flash Animation — Europe vs. Italy
Click here for an amusing animation (what we might have called a cartoon when I was growing up in the 1940’s and 1950’s) produced by a couple of Italians about the differences between the Italian approach to life versus that of other Europeans in general. It may take a while to load, but once it does, just click on PLAY and enjoy.