Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Searching for nuggets.

A few days ago, Borepatch offered up an observation on the human condition.  More than looking for answer to the posed question, he was just looking to drive home the fact that most of are carrying around computing power and access to information that would have been unimaginable in the 1950's.  Heck...it would have seemed pretty unimaginable to me in the 1980's, when I was happily playing Lunar Lander on a green screened Commodore 64. 

And we just take it soooo much for granted.  The most constructive things I typically use my phone for is looking up recipes while I'm at the store, and using IMDB to play the 'How Old is That Celebrity' game.  Even at home with the computer or Kindle Fire at my disposal, there isn't much research done.

Part of that, though, is the difficulty of actually trying to USE the internet for doing useful research.  Yes...'the entirety of information known to man' might be out there...but you have to work to find the useful stuff.  Even the most innocent of search terms can lead one into a morass of naughty things, which is bad.  Almost as bad is narrowing down your search enough to avoid that, but then just encountering a trail of links, and broken links that don't get you to exactly what you want...or references a wikipedia page that you aren't certain you want to trust or not. 

Case in point.  One of the things my wife and I want to do to our new house Sooner Rather Than Later, is install a few fruit trees in the back yard.  With me not knowing much about fruit trees other than their goal in life is to grow fruit, I thought I would take advantage of a quiet afternoon to research things on the internet. 

I was eventually able to be specific enough that I found the WSU Extension office page, but even then, most of the good stuff was a few blurbs that led to their page selling pamphlets.  Time wise I probably would have been WAY better off driving to the library and doing some hands on research.

They frown on you doing that in your underwear though.


  1. For many things, when it comes down to it, it might be best to skip even the library. Sure, the library will have books, but few, or more likely none, of those will be about exactly where you live or are moving. The best research can come from using whatever phone directory is available as your best bet, to find a local green house, tree farm, whatever. They will know exactly what fruit trees will grow well for you, what will be a gamble, and what would be a pure loss to try to grow. They will be able to give you a price, a suitability checklist, pairing requirements as some trees varieties have male and female and you need both, care and management advice, and do it with a smile.

    And, actually, web browsers don't use that much of the power in our little machines. Very little of what the average person could even create as a problem uses that kind of power. I am not sure if that much power is even needed, for anything including videos, or if it is some kind of backup for the gov or big corpa, that we don't know about? I would have to be trying to solve more complex calc or diffy q problems, then graphing them, to soak up the power, if I don't think they would do really well for that. Sorry, forgot put up my "you are entering tinfoil hat region" warning sign. :p

  2. I agree with you, but right now the two biggest nursery's in town are'closed for the winter'. I'm just trying to a jump on it...more of a 'feasability study' than any real planning.