by Samuel-Malachi Odekunle
Published on: Nov 13, 2007
Type: Opinions

The Council has assembled and the verdict is clear, I am being sentenced to life imprisonment. What is my crime. There is no crime, no there isn’t. There is no council … okay so maybe there is one, in my mind. I’m not crazy … oh no! stop thinking that. I’m just trying to make sense of all this irrationality.
I remember just a couple years back ok that’s a lie, just a couple couples, if you get my drift. Well back then owning a scientific calculator was cool. I’d take out my calculator at the oddest of times just to calculate the square root of 2… what is it now?? Hmm … oh yes, it is 1.4. Who cares?!
Well apparently there were people who did and what’s more they weren’t satisfied so they went and added a bigger screen and a bigger keypad and this big metal box, then they gave it a name 2 letters less … C-O-M-P-U-T-E-R. Ha! I can spell it, you know why, I have spell-check. Yes now I don’t have to remember spellings because, there is spell check … oh wait! You just realised, it doesn’t just do numbers now, it does words too. What’s more, if you install one of those nifty useful-useless programs you can get the thing to talk back to you, well I’m glad I have an English name, I wonder what would happen if I had a name like one of those old African warriors, would it pronounce my name right?
A couple of years pass, they decide “lets make them smaller” … Now I have my calculator again, just one little problem … I can’t find it! I have this small thing called a PDA, and it has so many functions click here and clock there, left click on the right clock to change the time … but where is my calculator,
I know, I’ll go take a class.
So I sign up for this adult literacy course, that’s what they call it when you go back to modern primary school. And there’s this young man telling me about mice, windows, doors and a quarter eaten apple … Hey when I buy an apple in the market, it never comes with a chunk missing … oh well, I guess that’s why they are so expensive. Not the market apples … the missing chunk one, apparently they are very good. So this young man teaches me how to do everything I already know how to do, largely by trial and error, and finally I get a certificate saying I can use a computer. But he forgot one thing, he never taught me how to find my calculator.
I went to the bar last night where I got a little drunk and had a conversation with the bar guy and told him about my plight … “You silly man," he said "just click on the word Calc.”
Epiphany! The stupid thing truncates the words … So Calculator becomes Calc. So now I have a certificate to show I’m digitally literate, and a hand shake shared with my friendly teacher the bar man, my post graduate teacher who revealed the marvel of the word Calc.
The Digital Divide … you know what? There isn’t one. Why not? Cause in 10 years time we’ll all be obsolete anyways. It’s a curse … A digital curse. An insatiable thirst for more, to reach beyond the great beyond … to Challenge the limit of the mind … And those who get left behind … forget them! They can always go learn about mice and windows and doors ... or is it DOS - and chunks missing apples and then get a certificate to prove they are yet again obsolete.
As for me, I am patiently waiting because I’m pretty sure my Calculator which is now a Calc, would very soon be known plainly as a C.
Imagine conversations when that time comes ...
Man meets friend: “H H A Y D?” (Hi, how are you doing?)
Friend responds: “ I F A Y” (I’m Fine and You)
Man responds: “GR8” (great)
Slowly raises up his PDA and shows a smiley face

That’s the digital divide for you … Insanity. Madness that we love. Because we love Technology.
Three Cheers for the Digital revolution!!!

« return.