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Memorial Day

Memorial Day each year impacts many American families as people remember the loved ones lost to war.  Some may have had  sons and/or daughters in Iraq or Afghanistan, others may have served in Vietnam, others with parents or grandparents in World War 2.  Regardless of when and where,  this is a shared experience for many Americans.  The Sciddy community joins with all affected families in offering up our deep appreciation for the contributions paid by loved ones.

The following is the main paragraph of the entry in Wikipedia , which also contains some historical information about the origins of Memorial Day.  The day has become a National Holiday for the purposes of a shared national communal observance of the memory of those who gave their lives.

As always,  your comments and stories are welcome here.  You can comment also on the Facebook link to this post.

Photo By Thomas Hawk, Used Under Creative Commons License

Google Glasses Reactions

The publicity around the developer release of Google Glass is conjuring up questions about how much connectivity is “too much”.  This hits the Boomer crowd in a number of places.   There are the more-geeky, tech savvy who were in their 30s when the Internet began making us constantly “connected” and “always on”.   With that, the “curmudgeons” rose to begin denouncing the “decay of sociality” and the “withering of traditional means of relating” ; at worst, the inevitable “dumbing down” of our brains (so says author Nick Carr).

Is this true? As with most things, it’s probably not any one thing or the other. It seems this is a matter of how we will use the benefits of the tools while managing our connectivity and presence of that connectivity in our everyday lives.

The “Singularity” is the name given to the point where humanity and computers reach a point of convergence.  The definitions of such convergence vary widely from a blurring of the distinctions between computing and humanity,  to various levels of enhanced living and social functioning.  The  latter distinction is where we have seen significant advances in the past 20 years,  accelerated by the advent of the Internet,  and various “connected” devices,  starting with cell phones that quickly became “smart phones”.   It was only a matter of time and “Moore’s Law” before “wearable computing” came within reach.  The “Google Glass”  made its appearance in the past couple of weeks,  and stories have circulated about the “threats to privacy” from the recording capabilities of the device,  and debates about the social acceptability of wearing the devices.  Several public establishments announced ahead of their release that they would not be allowed to be worn in their places.

When this device is finally released to the wider  public,  such discussions will likely skyrocket into popularity.  What do you think of the coming of this device?  Do you see problems?  Do you see exciting possibilities?

Check out a few descriptions and debates:

Google Glass – Home (Google Website all about glass)

  • What It Does this is one of the sections that shows what the screen interface looks like

Google Glass – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Media Sample:

Google Glass – ABC News – ESPN You’ve seen the videos and heard about Google Glass. Here’s what they are really like to use.

Critical:

SNL mocks Google Glass (because, well, who isn’t?)

Wear it well: Time to establish Google Glass etiquette

Guys Like This Could Kill Google Glass Before It Ever Gets Off – Wired

(Photo By Thomas Hawk, Used Under Creative Commons License)

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“The Savvy Senior” Resource

The larger our community, the more powerful we become.  Just like networks in general, the value of the network and possibilities for it increase with the size of the network.  Increases in size open up the possibilities for collaborative knowledge as the experiences of the participants emerge in increased contributions by its members.  This has been the experience of the growth of the Internet,  and its emergence as a “Social Network”.

Jim Miller’s book “Savvy Seniors” (I just ordered it on Amazon) is an extensive directory of resources of Health , Family, and Finances resources that will help Seniors in weighing all the options. Jim did not stop there. He has continued to write online, at his site savvysenior.org and his columns are syndicated across 400 newspapers, picked up by The Huffington Post,  and he is a sought out commentator on NBC’s Today show, CNN, CNBC and Retirement Living TV.

Resource aggregation is a perk of online community, where a service generates a community, which generates amenities in that community, which then operate as future perks.  Jim MIller is one of those “perks” in the online community of those who seek out information and dialogue in the world of  the 55 and over population.  His work and attention to the world of older seniors (over 70)  is pertinent information to the younger but mature 55-70 crowd,  as many are caring for and helping make decisions for elderly parents.

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R.I.P. Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert died last week, the very next day after I saw a report about some recurrence of his cancer. Didn’t expect it quite so soon. He’ll be missed. His writing and activity since his facial surgeries has been an inspiration, and his prolific work telling us about the movies for the past 40 years has been a constant source of recommendation for me when I am wondering about whether or not to watch a particular movie.

I have several volumes of the yearly “Roger Ebert’s Home Movie Companion” on my bookshelf. I was always impressed with the articulate and depthful analysis Roger gave his reviews and his numerous “At The Movies” episodes with his friend Gene Siskel, who died even younger.

One movie I remember having Roger change me from “I’m not interested in seeing that movie” to “that sounds interesting” and going to see it was “Groundhog Day” in 1993. On the strength of Roger’s description, I went and was grateful to have done so.

I was always deeply appreciative of the in depth critiques given by Roger Ebert. I think it would be appropriate for us to ask for some of your personal experiences with his movie reviews; for example, movies that you were encouraged to see by reading one his reviews.