Thursday, November 1, 2007
On occasion I like to remind myself that I’m a computer expert. Computer dinosaur may be more like it, since I’ve been involved with all manner of hardware and software since the mid-sixties. I know my way around a technical problem; that’s a big part of my life, and one that gives me a lot of pleasure. But there are a few unexpected things that always give me trouble.
Maps, for example. I need to turn a map upside down to read it if I’m heading south. And telephones. I can’t ever seem to get the hang of call-waiting and more often than not, I disconnect one party or the other… or both. And worst of all, the metric system.
Now you’d think the metric system would be easy for my logic-based mind to grasp. After all, it’s very easy to multiply and divide by ten. But in addition to logic, my brain runs on images. Inches and feet and quarts are part of my visual vocabulary; centimeters and liters are foreign.
I mention my trouble with the metric system because I noticed an error in a recent blog entry. I said that my tumors had shrunk from 1.6 to .9 cm, when in fact that should have been millimeters, not centimeters! That’s a big difference. The tumors started out quite small and they are being reduced to dust at this point. But .9 cm is nearly half an inch!
I mentioned this error to an aunt the other night in conversation and she was very relieved. Unlike me, she is not metric-challenged and had been concerned about the size I first reported. I changed the blog entry, but I know there are others, like my aunt, who had already read it and haven’t seen the correction.