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Friday, 11 September 2015

Zen and the art of an email

My Internet provider, B T, has installed an app on my computer. It’s called Insanity and is designed to drive a soul mad. It’s a wonderfully designed app, so sleek as to be invisible and comes into play in the midst of writing an email.

You type… and no words appear. You type again, wondering whether you’ve hit upon a new font—Sans Visibility—and then the game kicks into play. The words you previously typed suddenly appear and with them the new words curiously intermingled. You can’t backspace them away, at least not in time as we know it. I’d made and drunk a mug of tea before the deletion of three letters and a period completed.

BT has transported me back to the age of Caxton, where each letter had to be painstakingly inserted one at a time into the press. The Gutenberg Bible was finished in the time it took to compose a moderately sized email.

Forget touch-typing. The process now encourages a Zen like calm as you gravely touch a key with one finger and then stare into space. Some time later a letter appears and you repeat the process, thinking how many more years of life you have left, and whether you’ve time to make jam.
I’ve tried to be constructive about it, indulging in press-ups inbetween letters, cleaning the toilets, or reading a book.


Far be it for me to indulge in conspiracy theories, but there is a new Service called BT Infinity being rolled out. It promises faster speeds at greater expense. Why should I pay more for a Service that had once been good enough? The answer must surely lie in making a good service unbearably slow. You have thoughts like these with the vast expanses of time between letters.

It may of course be the fault of Macafee on an iMac but, apart from an odd hiccup on Facebook it's only BT email that's effected, usually late afternoon. Meanwhile I'm off to buy plums for tomorrow's jam

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