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Information Overload

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Now that we have the internet, and thousands of magazines telling us that Brad and Jolie are really aliens from Saturn I am beginning to wonder if we are just getting entirely too much information.

Back in the 1800's it took weeks to find out who won the presidential elections. You might have heard about an earthquake months after it happened. Was this a good thing? I don't know, I mean there was little you could do about either event; so late news wasn't always detrimental to your health was it? We get so much stuff thrown at us on a daily basis; I wonder if the human brain was designed to hold all of it for extended periods of time. Who needs to keep a lot of these things in your brain for any length of time?

Perhaps we need some sort of mind flushing procedure to free up some memory space for the necessary things and purge ourselves of some of the junk we've accumulated over the years. Seeing a movie multiple times that you hated in the first place does you no good. Stop putting this into your brain. Listening to some song over and over is about as dumb….don't you know the words by now? Whenever I read a novel, I give it away to someone since I'll never go back and reread it again. I think I read Treasure Island and the Jules Verne books a couple of times as a kid, but I can't think of anything I've read in the past 35-40 years that I would go back and read again. I have a lot of books I haven't read, and a lot I use to look up something I need to know, but novels are for entertainment, not reference.

I don't exactly know how I got off on this tangent. I guess my idea about too much information is what got my motor running this morning. As I was putting stuff in my coffee, I noticed the little package of sweetener. It say something like…."Taste like sugar because it's made from sugar." Well, there's news, isn't it? I would have been more surprised if it said something like…"tastes like sugar, but made from dirt." Then I'd be impressed. No wonder it tastes like sugar, it's made from sugar. What did you expect it to taste like? Watermelon?

I do suppose their claim sounds better than something like…"Made from sugar, but tastes like dirt." Probably wouldn't sell as well. Here again, more information than I actually need to know.

On the silly side is a new invention called the 'cordless jump rope'. Yes, you read it correctly; some Ohio man has patented (#7037243) a cordless jump rope. It's two handles, and no rope so you just hold them in your hand and pretend to jump. They're seriously being considered for exercise usage in prisons and hospitals where ropes are prohibited due to the threat of violence and suicide. The inventor claims his invention is really good for clumsy people who are worried about tripping over the rope. He also says it can be used safely in rooms with ceiling fans. I wonder if they'll have some sort of warning label attached explaining the dangers to children under the age of five by leaving a rope like item lying around where they could get their hands on it? I can just imagine some attorney waiting to sue if they don't.

This gives me an idea for a new invention. If this guy can do it, so can I.

How about this?

You have a bat, like a baseball bat, but instead of a ball and a glove, you 'pretend' to hit the 'ball' and then 'run' around the bases. It would build self-esteem and not be as competitive as real games where they keep score and someone always loses. Losing is bad for morale. Kids could easily hit 400- 500 home runs in a single season. Talk about boosting your kid's ego. This could really do the trick.

I think I could get $24.95 for my imaginary ball and glove game…just supply a bat and a set of instructions.

On the other hand why furnish the bat? Just a set of instructions, make it cheaper, say $19.95.

If this guy can do it, why can't I?

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America
- June 8, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com
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