Computers are not a perfect medium

A look at Preston life through the eyes of a local.

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 4:28am
  • Opinion

I sometimes wonder just how much the computer has really

helped us in our lives. Oh, to be sure, the information now available over

the Internet is incredible. But lately, more and more informational Web sites

are being found with completely false information. Then we are blessed

with the hate sites, the anti-government sites, pornography and many sex

offenders luring young children all over the country.


Privacy is also under real attack. I have an unlisted phone number

and have thus been left alone by telephone solicitors for years. Not anymore!

And every time I ask where they got the number, after initial responses

like “Out of the phone book,” they admit they got it out of the computer. That

is why when I order something through the mail, the request for a home

phone number is not filled out. Oh, and don’t you just love it when the phone

rings and you have already been placed on hold with the message, “Please

stand by for an important message.” I hang up immediately now because I find

it extremely rude.


National security is in danger, as many of the military computers

have been breached in the past. In fact, almost all levels of government have

had such problems. Not common knowledge, but a friend of mine in the

know informed me that last year, shortly before W.T., someone from the

Netherlands hacked into the City of Seattle’s computer. I was not

informed as to what was found, but it makes you think about the fact that such

hackers are worldwide and can cause immense damage when information gets

into the wrong hands.

Speaking of damage, one small computer virus introduced into

the system and years of work can be destroyed in a heartbeat. System

failures in the public safety field are on the

rise, with police and fire dispatch centers no longer being able to receive

or broadcast emergency calls for help because the computer crashed.

Seemingly all aspects of our lives are now run by computers, whether

we like it or not, or even whether we have one of our own or not. I have

noticed over the last two months on TV ads or ads in the paper about products

you can order that they give you a Web site to contact, nothing else. Even

government resource centers with information for the general public are

advertised, some, again, with nothing more than a Web address for contact.

Hello people, many of us do not have a computer, and many who do are not on

the Internet. To be honest, this last issue is what got me going on the subject

of computers in the first place.


Gas prices are going up, and a group of scientists back East

are quoted as stating they hope the price goes much higher so that people

will buy cars with other sources of energy than fossil fuels. What bothers me

is that this type of vehicle is few and far between, and costly. The

scientists making this statement probably have more than enough money to pay

the high gas prices, but the working stiff driving 50 miles a day or more

certainly does not, nor could they afford the new car, even if they could

find one. Man, talk about tunnel vision putting the cart before the horse.


Thought for the week: Live each day enjoying that which you have

because in a heartbeat, all can change and be taken from you.

Preston News Notes author,

Bill Hebert, can be reached at

P.O. Box 918, Preston, WA 98050.

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