Too Much Time Alone?

The book I am currently reading is about a computer genius, which makes me wonder: what did computer geniuses do before computers? Were those the folks back in prehistoric times who notched rocks to tally up goods or time or simply as the development of mathematical thought? Or were these the folks the village idiots, unable to do anything practical because the tools of their trade had not yet been developed? Or perhaps these are the folks in insane asylums, banging their heads against the walls because they have no other way of processing the codes they can see inside their minds?

Or did our brains evolve along with the computer? Since obviously there was no need for computer geniuses until the computer was invented, did the universe or natural selection or whatever it is that decides these things, keep our brain development in line with our tool development?

Can you tell I am spending too much time alone? With no other stimulation than the books I read, the computer game I play, or interacting with people via this blog, I am pretty much left to my own devices, which means wondering about foolish things.

It could be worse, though. I talked to an acquaintance today who was off work for two months battling The Bob.

I’m always hesitant to wish for things because whoever it is or whatever it is that grants our wished is utterly diabolical. A couple of months ago, this person wished he had more time at home with his wife, and do I need to tell you what happened? Yep, both got sick, so they got to spend a lot of time together.

They’re both mostly doing okay now, which is nice because others I know didn’t survive.

Since I no longer follow any news source, my only news comes in the form of sporadic gossip, so I don’t know the truth of this or not, but supposedly, they are expecting The Bob to be around and causing havoc for the next seven years.


I do have hermit tendencies, but seven years of mostly being isolated? At the end of that time, the questions spinning around my head probably won’t be anywhere near as cogent as the ones plaguing me now.

But who knows — by then, I might even have come up with a few answers.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

7 Responses to “Too Much Time Alone?”

  1. Uthayanan Says:

    Pat I am a computer technicien for more than 25 years.
    Before 10 years I build my computer by assembling the parts every two years. To tell the truth even I have more than tree computers at home for the technical reasons. I would like to get rid of it the next two years. I was a geek not anymore. My personal experience the computer just to know to calculate depending on the programs.
    Somebody (hacker) can copy or change your Facebook in five minutes.
    and every click you make lots of energy honestly not economic or ecological. As far as I am using every day it is difficult to criticize ! but I am not intoxicated with my telephone with social networks. Honestly I am afraid with the dependency of telephone. I don’t know.
    In the future when there is no bed free in the hospital with the emergency services the computer going to decide that you are eligible to get attention.
    When I receive the same information twice by the post and lot of administrative letters ask me the same information twice even I have already replied with registered letters I don’t understand?
    Another ecological catastrophic with computers I am not going to write.
    I am very afraid of the younger generation !
    I cross my fingers!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I too am afraid of the younger generation; so many seem to have more empathy with their gadgets than with people, but I have also met some caring younger people, so maybe things won’t be as bad as we expect. Though I tend to think we are heading for a situation where only a chosen few will ever get to a hospital. Those who would die anyway won’t be allowed in; those who would get well anyway, won’t be allowed in.

  2. Estragon Says:

    I’m no kind of anything genius, but have been messing about with computers for some 40 years. In a past life, I ran a computer intensive business, and dealt with some “computer geniuses”. Generally speaking, they had an intense curiousity combined with a talent for focus and single minded concentration. In pre-computer times, they might have found much success in “hard” sciences and other highly logical pursuits. Alternatively, they might have been written off as anti-social idiot savants or whatever, but probably not simply village idiots. In my experience, “computer genius” isn’t sufficiently descriptive. They come at problems from differing angles – much like the rest of us, but with a singular focus.

    How do you define “foolish things”? It seems to me that wondering about something, however foolish, isn’t itself a foolish thing. What’s foolish, I think, is to stop wondering about anything at all.

    Saying the Bob will be around and causing havoc for the next seven years sounds more like religion than science to me. Viruses, Bob-like or otherwise, will be around and causing havoc in perpetuity. This particular one will likely be more or less beat, one way or another, over the next year or so. What interests me more is if, how, and to what extent life is altered by our experiences over the last year or so. I suppose that’s one of the foolish things I’m wondering about.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      So the basic traits motivating computer geniuses would simply be trained in a different direction? Makes sense. The universe is supposedly mathematical, so I’m certain there would always be those able to see the mathematics beyond the obvious.

      As for wondering about life after The Bob — my answer got so long I used it for today’s blog post. Thanks for the topic!

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    First off, which book? Second, I would hope that the majority of computer geniuses found other outlets for their raging thoughts: Pythagoras with his mathematical formulas, Newton with his astronomy and alchemy, some third example I wish I could think of who probably had another habit. That being said, I bet a few would end up having a tough time, either because they can’t find a channel for their abilities, or because of other issues.
    And third, first I’m hearing about the seven years. Maybe if more viruses show up, which is possible. But hopefully we’ll be okay by the end of next year.

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