21st Century media via 19th Century communications technology

While my mother-in-law was in hospice care, we watched closely for signs of pain. If we saw grimaces or if she cried out, the nurses could give her more morphine.
Sometimes, though, the prescribed amounts weren’t doing the job. The hospice team would quickly confer, in person or by phone, and recommend an increase in the regular and/or PRN dose and/or frequency. The nurse would then send the recommendation by to the doctor who, in turn, would send the prescription by fax to the pharmacy.
If the fax machine is out of paper or otherwise not working properly, the request or orders can be delayed. An hour’s delay for a normal prescription is no big deal. An hour’s delay for a terminal patient who is in pain is, well, do you want that for your mother?
The first patent for the process that would become a fax machine was issued in 1843. Based on those ideas, a commercial fax line connected Paris and Lyon in 1865.

The Pantelegraph in 1865, by Giovanni Caselli

The Pony Express had come and gone.We were still a couple of decades away from the telephone.
Physicist Michio Kaku observes that paperwork is, to descendants of hunters and gatherers, proof of the kill. Our caveman selves, instantiated as CYA bureaucrats in insurance companies and government offices, demand hard copy to prove that we’ve done something useful.

Advertisers have a new way to get into your head.

It’s been a long day. You’re tired. You muscle your way onto the train and get a window seat so that you look out the window and start the process of not thinking. You rest your tired head against the window, hoping that the rhythmic rumble will shake out the weariness.
Advertising shows up inside your head.
Watch the video and then make plans for an aisle seat.

via Boing Boing

More on language, good times, and wishing the best for others

When you have a good time at a gathering of family and/or friends, it’s not unusual to say, “I hope that you had as good as time as I did.”
Courtesy suggests that we wish for better things for others than we do for ourselves. Saying “I hope that you had a better time than I did,” however, doesn’t have quite the effect that we’re after.

One of an occasional series.
A bunch of years ago, I worked for a software company. It was hard work for long hours. At one point, senior management made the pronouncement that the development team needed to focus more on a particular aspect of the product. The QA manager and I agreed that we’d be Focused More-ons.

Putting things in more or less order

A good vacation doesn’t fit in a box, tied up with ribbon, that you can open years from now to say, “Yes, that’s what it was.”
A good vacation has time enough to look over the handiwork of spiders who’ve woven their webs in the overnight and now those webs glisten in the morning dew.

A good vacation has unplanned visits, particularly with young ones who bring their own views of us and what’s important.

A good vacation marks transitions, from young to not-young, from before-adventure to after-adventure.

A good vacation lets us learn about the big world in our small corner.

Fisher Museum – Harvard Forest

A good vacation lets you sleep as much as you need to, work until it’s time to swim, swim until your toes are pruney, air-dry on the bench until the mosquitoes have had their fill, and talk for a long time because there’s always this one more thing to say.
A good vacation spills out of the box, onto the floor, and leaves tracks all around your house and yard and life.
It was a good vacation.