you listen to various newspaper and television media types, our lives are so much
better than they were back in the Ďgood old daysí. These so-called Ďgood old daysí
were not all that long ago. In most cases they are referring to events and conditions
throughout our country back in the 50ís and 60ís.
While this may certainly
be true in many ways such as advances in medicine, travel and other forms of modern
day technology. I take issue with the declaration that we have it so much easier
today than we did, say 50 years ago.
Particularly in one regard.
No, not just the fact that we have numbers, but the number of
numbers that we are required to now have.
Let me explain. When I was a
kid growing up in the 50ís our number requirement was fairly limited to the following:
our home phone (no area codes) our grandmothers home phone (no area codes) our
home address (no zip codes) and. Öwell that was just about it. Iím wracking my
brain to think of anything else, but nothing comes to mind. Oh, wait there is
one other that was very importantÖ. the combination to my locker at school.
here we are 50 years later, with more technology than the law will allow and what
happens? We are all swamped by an unbelievable need for our memorization of multiple
numbers just to exist on a daily basis. All of us have to memorize our social
security number, our dates of birth in numerical order for our style as well as
the European style. We canít get into our houses without having a code for the
alarm system to turn it on or off. Our cars now have a code to open the doors.
This is one I manage to forget most of the time.
We have cell phone numbers,
speed dial numbers, fax numbers, pager numbers, PIN numbers, password numbers,
user numbers, account numbers, television channel and cable numbers, credit card
numbers, expiration date numbers and so on and so on. The list seems to be endless.
of us canít possibly remember all of the numbers weíve used for whatever need
we have so we make ourselves a little cheat sheet and keep it hidden somewhere
to refer back to on a daily basis. Then we get paranoid about anyone finding this
vital part of our lives and we hide it so no one can find it, which then results
in our hiding it so good we forget where we hid it. Then we fly into a fear and
panic attack thinking that burglars and or identify thieves have descended upon
us like a plague. Which Iím sure they do in more cases than Iíd like to think
So weíre reduced to trying to remember in our little brains such
things as Ďyour favorite petís nameí or some stupid combination of 5 letters and
3 numbers, which makes absolutely no sense at all. Who, in their right mind, ever
named their dog Rover406?
How am I supposed to keep track of all of these?
If your Motherís maiden name was Heighenberger or Smitherson, how do you reduce
this down so you can remember what part you used and what part you didnít use?
There are just so many spaces on the line provided for your use.
are web sites, which are designed to help you out by collecting and inventorying
all of your secret numbers and passwords. I donít trust any of them since how
do I know there isnít some guy over somewhere looking to see what Iíve written
down and use it against me? I hold the same thoughts when it comes to slot machines
in Vegas. I like the old ones with the spinning wheels, not the modern electronic
ones. Donít ask me why, just accept that I do.
I have this theory about
why this is causing all of us so much stress. I happen to believe in Creation,
not evolution, but it really makes little difference when it comes to overtaxing
our human brain capacity with too much information. Our brains just have not caught
up with our requirements to store all of the numerical data that we carry around
with us on a daily basis just to survive.
Iím thinking we may be tinkering
with disaster and really messing with Mother Nature when it comes to this. Think
about it, If God had intended for us to count higher than 20, why donít we have
more fingers and toes?
© Peary Perry
Comments go to email@example.com
Letters From North America
16, 2005 column