Monday, 23 July 2007

information overload

Here in the world of dial-up, you can't just throw pictures in like there's no tomorrow. You have to choose carefully, because it will be twenty minutes before it uploads. Faced with a difficult choice: knitting or New Zealand? Though I know you'd really rather see the half-done emergency motley slippers (motley because using up ends of yarn, emergency because I'm so. freakin'. cold) I went for a rather spiffing aerial shot courtesy of Chris and a cable car up the mountain.

Yesterday's comedy moment is that the lock on the laundry room door has seized and we can't get in to retreive our clothes. This brings the total of non-working keys on our keyring to six: three are unidentified; the back door and front-door keys don't open either door, and now we can't get into the laundry room either. For your information, because I know you're wondering, we enter the house through the french windows, a situation whch is perfectly normal according to the rental company, who assure us that one has actually never been able to get into the house via the doors. So that's okay, then.

I have been reading New Zealand Unleashed, an exhausting non-fiction state-of-the-world-today book in my quest to get a handle on the new country. I have only got halfway through, and the first half relates only a little to NZ, mostly describing how the world is changing at an astonishing rate and we'd better hold onto our hats . The degree to which things are moving on according to this book leaves me utterly breathless and I have to keep taking breaks and read something else. Apparently in ten years we'll have all computers more powerful than anything NASA has now (turns out our current laptops outpace anything they had for Apollo 11) processing gajillions of megabytes a millisecond, while we're simultaneously genetically-modifying our in-utero babies and becoming ever-poorer as China takes over the world and NZ becomes an LEDC. We are all suffering from information overload, that is, having way too much choice and less-than-reliable information on which to base our decisions (for example, we see some random article on the possibility that eating apples can lessen your risk of breast cancer, so we feel we ought to read up and find more articles to see if it's true, spending time and energy getting half-useful information that we think we ought to find out because we might need it in the future).
The tone of the book makes me read in a panic, rushing through to find out all I think I need to find out (ironically), as the second half purports to tell us "how NZ should be" to cope with the upcoming changes. I certainly agreed, on our first big shopping trip the other day, with the overload of choice, when the supermarket has not a chilled fridge cabinet but an entire chilled ROOM containing solely cheese and margarine.
One fortunate thing is, I won't be suffering from choice-overload in knitting terms. A lady bought a knitting magazine in the bookshop the other day, so I asked her where in town was good for getting knitting supplies. She replied "Hamilton". That's a city over an hour and a half away. Hurrah.

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