There is something wrong with my brain.

I just don’t get computers. I simply can’t grasp the concept of a binary code where every freaking thing is represented by ones and zeroes. I’m one who knows zero.

When I bought my first Apple Macintosh (remember them) I could only imagine all the words I typed onto a floppy disc were lined up shoulder to shoulder like birds perched on a telephone line. And whenever I made a change to a word file I visualised them nudging each other and saying: ‘Move along there, make room for a new sentence!’

In short, the concept of vast amounts of words, sound and pictures being stored digitally on silicon chips (or whatever) is way beyond my comprehension.

There are many other things I just can’t get my head around. For instance, if it was the Big Bang that formed the universe, where did the Big Bang take place? If the  universe is constantly expanding, what’s it expanding into … empty space?

I think the empty space is between my ears.

Learning how to set up and program a VCR was about the limit of my technical abilities and even that was a challenge.

But here I am now trapped in the digital age and a constant state of mystification. I use various digital devices but have no idea how they actually work.

Like most of you I rarely use cash now. I have a card for everything including ‘loyalty cards’ for every second retail outlet and restaurant chain in the world. Pretty soon individual cards will be defunct and all will be stored on some kind of electronic master-card — probably your phone — and backed-up in some Cloud or another. It will all be more smoke and mirrors to my overloaded brain.

I recently moved my life’s savings from one place to another with the push of a button. There was no cash involved at all. If the money had gone missing in cyber-space, or some evil technologically competent bugger stole my money and my identity and destroyed all proof of the existence of both, how could I have proved otherwise? How long will it be until money won’t actually exist, only virtual money represented by binary codes. Call me old fashioned but that scares me a little.

The other worry is that technology streaks ahead at such speed that most stuff you buy is outdated by the time you get it home. I’m constantly having to upgrade this and that. Thankfully, most upgrades are push-button simple but not all. Today I looked at upgrading WordPress, which is what I use to write this blog and manage my website, but I stumbled with the back-up plug ins and things I was advised to in order to prevent my files being lost with the upgrade. The ‘few simple instructions’ are beyond me not least because I don’t understand the lingo they use.

And as I’ve recently discovered Smart TVs aren’t much use to dumb users. Currently my smart TVs feature a pop-up graphic that says, UPGRADE AVAILABLE. Unfortunately I can’t work out how to implement the upgrade. First I need to upgrade my brain.

Yet despite being cyber-challenged I’ve come to accept that any future I might have left in the world of music and even writing will rely heavily on my ability to operate in the world of binary codes.

So, henceforth, I’ll getting out of my own way and leaving it to experts. I’ll redesign my website by doing drawings on paper, then scanning and sending them to people who can make it happen. Equally, rather than stumbling about ineptly in social media, I’ll just write stuff and ask others to circulate. The same will apply to music, I’ll just write and record the songs and some very basic videos and leave it to others to get the stuff out there. I’ll stick to what I know and as we have established that’s not very much.

However, I have managed to add a new short story and a couple of new poems to this site. I’d love to add a few free music downloads for you but, yes, you guessed it, I can’t work out how to do so.

If I ever do I’ll get back to you.

Your mystified pal,

John