News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 15, 2013

RONN MOTT: Not hurried a bit by 21st century tech

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — Unlike so many of you, I do not get up in the morning and run to turn on my computer. In fact, if you need to reach me in a hurry, I would say that 19th century invention of Alexander Bell’s would be the best way. If you do email me or use some other electronic convenience, better give it a couple of days because I am not in that big of a hurry.

I can’t imagine my grandfather tweeting someone to excuse him now because he had to go shave. He would find that absolutely, totally, downright, plumb silly. His grandson pretty much feels the same way.

My friends know me from long-standing bonds. I would not consider someone I barely knew as a friend. My God, how desperate are we? Friends used to be a part of relationships you built based on school, church, associations and business. Certainly not some twit who lives a thousand miles away, someone you’ve never met and only claim to fame is following you on Twitter.

A young football player at the University of Notre Dame will have a hard time living down the fact he fell in love with a female that wasn’t real. Neither is the Internet real.

The nation was in an uproar this past week over the NSA’s “spying” on where signals originate and where they go. It’s been a tip-off to the senders who are reaching out to terrorist groups to various parts of the world and America. Al-Qaida’s biggest ally has been, and will probably continue to be, the Internet.

What happens when an explosion on the sun or a terrorist attack destroys the electricity grids? You’ll have to do what Grandpa did … work in the daylight, sleep in the dark, and learn to tell about on-coming storms that nature provides you.

They’re having remedial handwriting courses in schools and colleges because the young people are holding their sending devices with their fingers and writing code to their receivers. And that’s called “messaging.”

Frankly, I like getting up and opening the newspaper. I like the feel and the smell of a new book. And I don’t need to “message” anyone when I see the beauty of Collett Park open to my eyes on a very early spring morning.  

It makes sense that in many professions now, your skill at operating a computer is more important than your intelligence. Maybe that’s why the experts are saying human-thinking robots are right around the corner. I know this sounds like the bleating of someone too old to change. I have changed some … cell phones and the like. But if you don’t mind, I will hold on to my basic humanness for as long as I can because the truth is, long after I’m gone, there will be a robot to take my place. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll wait on that final, electronic intrusion.



Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.