Sunday, May 03, 2015

Your day will come

Being of a certain age, I take offense at being called a "senior."  Since I'm a half century away from being enrolled in a school, I find it to be inappropriate, but of course the real offense is the carefully crafted image of anyone over 65 as a doddering, inept, technophobic imbecile.  For years, Mammon, in full knowledge of my age (and everything else about me) has been sending me advertisements for burial insurance, walk in bathtubs, old age homes and most annoyingly, special idiot phones designed for people held to be less able to make phone calls than those "tech savvy" younger people who rarely can tell a NAND gate from a flip-flop, a J-FET from a Unijunction or a beam tetrode from a tea caddy.

In my experience most of those TS people couldn't tell you how any of their prized electronics work, but that's another matter. Yes, of course more people of my age are in poor health and some have passed away, but the 70 and 80 year old folks in my circle of friends hardly fit the image designed to make the young and inept feel as superior as apparently they need to do.  Not only do few of us have problems with our smart phones, many have had careers designing complex equipment. Friend Walter helped design and launch the first communications satellites, Friend Will helped design the Lunar lander and other fellow codgers of my acquaintance are building a private wireless network using old WiFi routers so that we can phone each other outside the apparatus of the phone companies. All of us of course enjoy being talked down to by 15 year olds who assume we're unable to comprehend the miracle of text messaging.  PSK, RTTY, PACTOR?  Huh? Wazzat?

Sometimes I think I'm of the last generation that knows how things work, but wait, there's more.  Yes, I design and build electronic equipment for fun. Yes, I still ride a heavyweight motorcycle, I still navigate a yacht crammed with electronic equipment and I know people in their 90's who do as well: who build and race cars  and fly planes. Of course some don't, but who the newborns choose as a comical stereotype has more to do with ego boosting than reality -- and age being the last socially acceptable characteristic to mock.

So if you will forgive my digression, I have to turn my ire toward those that corporation named so aptly for a fruit, for making "special" iPads for "seniors."    Your day will come. Some kid now stinking up his diapers will in a few years time, joke about you wearing diapers, call you a Senior and ask in a loud voice if you know how to use something you invented.

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