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Sunday, March 18, 2018
Article written by Helen Rowe

Surfing Without a Wetsuit

Computers - love or hate them; most of us have come to rely on them for various reasons. There are very few businesses that are conducted without at least one. Oh, have we not all heard the cry the “computers are down” when trying to solve a problem with an organisation. So how did they trade before computers. I resist asking, as the operator was properly not born in a time before computers? The one that baffles me the most is a problem was caused by “A computer Error” A computer is subjected to humans that make errors and blame computers!

They, (computers) do change your life, even if it stops a good heated discussion to race to the computer and “www” to prove a fact. No “phone a friend” to answer a question, but is this my friend? It can be demanding in time, often exasperating and annoying when it is not functioning correctly. So yes it is like a friend! The idea of not having a computer to me is like going back before the calculator, electricity, washing machines ……….the list is endless. So quickly do us human become accustom to using technology, what happened to the slide rule or logarithms, candles or lanterns, scrubbing boards or coppers? They are our history only to be used when our mod cons fail us.

Caution, maybe a state health warning should be issued as with toys, tobacco, medicines etc. Is the information given always correct? A line from schooldays goes Information, disinformation or downright misinformation? Just like reading an article from several different newspapers you can see a different bias. An exercise used in schools to teach questioning of what you are reading should apply equally to Google results.

Sadly, I have just been taught a good lesson by quoting information without checking and cross checking the source. It came as a link through a reputed site, no excuse, so I am wiping the egg off my face and trying not to become anymore cynical than I already am.

The article posed as a legal and procedural information site on buying property in Spain, quoting new changes in law, the information was different from what I knew. Only going back a week later to the website, after speaking to a lawyer friend, I read further into the site, passed the “hard sell” of services then discovered what information I had believed to be changes in the law were in fact quotes from an article published in 1990! 16 years out of date? Yet the site was last updated in July 2006, the content was not.

So please question not only whether a website is a business but what kind of business it is. One method is to look for a registered trading address and number if it is selling you a produce, property or a service, if it is offering information find the source; hopefully our friend Google will help track this down and then you can verify it.

I don’t want to go back to the days of pawing over books to get wanted information; the computer is a very powerful, fast tool. When I surf the net looking for the answers to my questions, I now question the answers it gives.
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