If kids knew what they wanted to be at age eight, the world would be filled with cowboys and princesses. I wanted to be a pirate. Thank God, nobody took me seriously and scheduled me for eye removal and peg leg surgery.
I use a computer to write even though I’m a “hunt and pecker.” Somehow in my education I was never challenged to learn typing or the keyboard. I regret that. Nonetheless, I’m pretty fast and good enough to publish three books and “peck” seven hundred and sixty-three, 1000-word essays for the Focus over the last fourteen years.
I’m not beyond the learning curve, but thankfully there are now alternatives to the keyboard, notably voice recognition technology on my iPhone. I even have a voice recognition app for my laptop called Dragon. Neither are perfect, but they are helpful. The Dragon system designed for internal medicine was superb, and years ago enabled me to survive the conversion from medical charts to electronic medical records. I rate the Dragon system I use for writing as poor by comparison.
I’m sympathetic to voice recognition technology which has to deal with multiple languages and numerous regional dialects. I sometimes have trouble understanding people who mumble or don’t enunciate. The Seinfeld show did a parody of people whom the neurotic New Yorkers referred to as “low talkers,” people who talk so softly they can’t be understood. And I suspect New Yorkers have trouble with a Southern drawl; I have had trouble communicating with cabbies in Brooklyn despite English being our native language.
I have traveled extensively and though I can’t speak Russian, I can recognize someone speaking a Slavic language. I was once on a tram in Prague, Czechoslovakia with a map of the system. I paid close attention as the conductor called out the stops, comparing the names on my map. However, I still missed my stop because the language was alien to my Western ear. And when doing medical mission work in Guatemala, I gave up trying to fathom Quiché, the indigenous Mayan language. To my ear, the natives sounded like the Star Trek character Worf speaking Klingon!
Anyone who has used Siri or Alexa, etc. has learned to deal with less than perfect voice recognition and to be aware of the infamous “autocorrect.” We have such wonderful technology which enables us to connect with others like no time in history. And we should be using it to reach out to others. However, I recommend you first compose your message and review it carefully before putting in an address and sending it.
I practiced traditional medicine for forty years, but my profession changed, so I decided to go in a different direction. I developed a concierge medical practice and made house calls in my truck. And I used Siri on my iPhone to record my clinical notes. I learned a valuable lesson regarding technology which I’ll share, although the story is a bit risqué.
After seeing Mrs. Jones, I voiced (recorded) my visit to Siri saying, “Mrs. Jones was at home working all afternoon.” Fortunately, I reviewed what Siri “heard” and autocorrected. My screen read, “Mrs. Jones was at home f—ing all afternoon.” I was aghast! Now, I realize Siri is a Valley Girl and perhaps has no reluctance to use such vulgar language. But I assure you doctors, especially this one, do not use street language in clinical notes.
At one time we shared a common culture and language in America, and immigrants were strongly encouraged to become Americans. However, I’ve begun to wonder how do we understand people whose thoughts have become so alien?
I discussed the notion of delusional thinking several weeks ago. If you missed my essay “American Psychosis,” go to The Focus archive online and consider my logic. I understand the medical diagnosis of insanity, but I cannot comprehend the delusional thinking of so many people. And I refuse to normalize such non-reality under the ruse of “DEI” (diversity, equity, inclusion).
It is true that human sexuality runs a spectrum and there are “girly men” and “butchy women,” to use the street descriptions. My wife, Becky, recently walked into Target and was confronted with a model in a feminine outfit sporting a beard. The store boldly proclaimed their Celebration of Pride month. Hipsters may find this edgy and cool, but I find such activism inappropriate, so we have added Target to the list of woke companies we will no longer support.
To paraphrase CK Chesterton, if you believe in nothing, you can believe in anything. New York is celebrating gay pride month with Drag Queen story hour in schools. This is wrong. And on this continuum is the non-reality that men can get pregnant. I am against injustice, but I will not accept the “normalization” of such destructive and delusional thought. And I won’t be badgered into embracing non-reality.
But gender dysphoria is not the only delusional groupthink promoted by ideologues and delusional leftists. Delusional thinking is everywhere these days, even the notion that America is evil because slavery was tolerated in the initial Constitution to enable its ratification. Seventy-five years later more than 600,000 Americans gave their lives during the Civil War to correct this injustice and to preserve the union. Although we are not perfect, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, and later the 19th amendment, testify to our country’s evolution toward a “more perfect union.”
Another delusion is that socialism works despite the fact that history has shown it always fails. And I could list other delusions such as: inflation is not caused by our government’s mismanagement of monetary policy, or the doubling of gas prices is due to Putin’s war instead of Biden’s war on fossil fuels. Lastly, it is perhaps delusional to think Democrats and swampy Republicans can fix the mess they’ve created.
Liz Cheney is an example of what delusional thinking can do to a person. Most Washington Democrats are just opportunist political ideologues. But Evil’s hatred has made Cheney insane.
People ask me, “what can we do?” I say, “walk in the Way and say No! to delusional, non-reality.” And be thankful for another day of life, soft summer mornings and the time and space to seek the Creator’s directives.