Just Thinking: Most new things usually best to avoid

65 28/05/2022

The world is full of a number of things, many of them new, much of it annoying.

Take Bitcoin, for example. It’s not all that new, but the moment it emerged in 2009, I saw that I’d never understand it, never want to understand it and never regret not understanding it. Yet there it is, occupying room in my head that might be used for useful information, like the name of the Muppet who comments from the balcony with Waldorf. I can never remember because “Statler” isn’t a salad.

Bitcoin is “a decentralized digital currency.” Like that’s going to clarify anything for me. Can I use it in parking meters? Can I toss it into the tip jar in the drive-thru? Will it start the car-wash vacuum? I rest my case.

A newer new thing: “ultraurban farming.” That’s so new, it looks like it’s spelled wrong. Ultraurban farming might be the coming trend in agriculture, but I’m almost positive I will never need to care beyond reading a newspaper story, saying “Huh” and moving on to Frazz. (To be clear, that’s a friendly, even interested “Huh,” but then I’m done.)

Just Thinking: Most new things usually best to avoid

New digital platforms come at us daily, and when I say “digital platforms,” I mean any electronic media thing because I don’t know a search engine from an algorithm. Well-meaning people have tried to explain these things, along with actuarial tables, mathematical probability and the difference between second cousins and first cousins once removed, and they all have gone away defeated. Besides, I don’t need to know any social technology term except “clickbait,” and that one I got right away, thanks to this one weird trick.

Not that I don’t use the internet. I don’t understand how cars work, either, or even how to reliably sync my phone with the car, but I still drive.

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Speaking of which, I just looked up “syncing phone with car,” and here is step one: “Check that your car is discoverable and ready to pair.”

Oh, “scornable!” Another new word. I’m keeping that one because, call me grumpy, but it applies to so much.

Email Margo Bartlett at margo.bartlett@gmail.com.

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