The Eyes Have It

May 12, 2009

I interrupt the current series with an emergency alert public service announcement.

On Mother’s Day, I attended an all day symposium on the work of Ernest Becker.  (Everyone there was much smarter than I am.) One of the main topics was Internet addiction. Log off immediately.

My wife dropped me off and spent the day with Mama (Random Daughter) and Random Granddaughter. In the evening to celebrate all the mothers: Mrs. Random, Random Daughter (co-Mom/Mama), Out-of-law partner (co-mom/birth mom/Mommy), Random Granddaughter (a very good mom to her doll), and Sylvie the world’s most extroverted cat (who would be a wonderful mom if she hadn’t been fixed).

I learned that RG (child genius) now knows how to play chess. I played one game with her. She indeed knows all the moves (well, she is a little shaky on castling, but she knows how to move a knight which is no easy move to grasp as it sidles sideways and forward) and she knows that a pawn gets promoted if it reaches the final row. RG will probably be promoted to high school after kindergarten.

My father was a very fine chess player (probably Master level if he had stuck with it after being a child prodigy), but of course, RG has no genetic link to my family, unless genetics is even stranger than I thought. Well, we do live in modern times where a black person became president. What is that all about. Weren’t black people slaves just yesterday?

RG knows the moves (which she learned in preschool), but doesn’t have much idea of strategy yet. However, that will come by the age of 6, and by 7 she will have me in checkmate.

However, Random Daughter just called to let us know that RG has just come down with “pink eye” (also known as conjunctivitis). I think I spelled it correctly. Whatever kills me I want the label on my tombstone to be correct. This disease is highly infectios and can be viral or bacterial. With our luck, RG, child genius, will be viral in one eye and bacterial in the other eye.

“At least she doesn’t have swine flue,” I said (always the optomist).

After reading this post, wash your hands before bringing your hands near your face. You thought I was kidding when I told you to  log off immediately. They also said that online communication is a way of shouting to the world, I EXIST! NOTICE ME! RESPOND TO ME!


12 Responses to “The Eyes Have It”

  1. David Says:

    Sorry you had to wait this long for your existence to be validated.

    I imagine that the symposium was fascinating. I know you’re a great admirer of Becker.

  2. woo Says:

    All communication is a way of saying I EXIST! NOTICE ME! RESPOND TO ME!

    Otherwise it wouldn’t be communication, would it?

  3. woo Says:

    What I mean is, one doesn’t communicate in order to be ignored, as a general rule.

    Which is why I don’t attend conferences and symposia. I’d be kicked out for gleefully bursting the speakers’ bubbles…

  4. modestypress Says:

    #1 David,

    Check your (postal mail) in a few days.

    #2 woo,

    One of the points they made at the conference is that Internet communication often becomes a poor substitute for real, tangible human in person communication.

  5. modestypress Says:

    Which leads me to my point in regard to comment #3.

    As soon as one of the three of us becomes wealthy, we should meet for a real in-person conference.

    The three of us will take turns blowing real soap bubbles at each other and popping them with needles. Try that on the Internet!

  6. pandemonic Says:


    I’m ten times older than RG and I still can’t get chess.

  7. Pete Says:

    Hey… my eyes itch!

  8. modestypress Says:

    #6 pandemonic

    There seems to be a gender gap in regard to chess. I imagine three possible explanations:

    a) It’s a stupid game and not worth spending enough time on.

    b) It requires the same physical characteristics needed to be a defensive tackle in the National Football League or a “Strong Forward” in the National Basketball Association,

    c) Women have much greater chess abilities than men and just pretend to lose because of our fragile egos.

  9. modestypress Says:

    Pete, I am less concerned about your eyes than I am about your lungs. Let me know when you know the latest.

  10. The idea of being addicted to the internet is becoming and out-dated one. You may as well be addicted to communication, or reading, or learning new things. Of course, I am biased. You can’t make me log off. I’ve heard that a great way to relieve pink eye discomfort is with chamomile tea. Evidently, placing steeped tea bags on the eyes of the victim helps relieves stinging.

  11. modestypress Says:


    Fortunately I am not addicted, even though I woke up at 4:30 am and logged on. I have decided to have the cataract operation for my eyes, after I have my physical exam. Even though the HMO said the operation will only cost me $15, I decided if my doctor tells me I only have 3 months to live, I will save the money.

    Also, I will need new glasses if I can see better, so it won’t be that cheap after all.

  12. modestypress Says:

    Also, so far my wife’s eyes and my eyes are not pink so far.

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