Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 2 June 2008

Work designed for idle hands

New technology encourages new vices. When someone keeps me dangling, incommunicate, at the end of a phone-line I use my (newish) technology to play Windows Solitaire. To the point where I often find myself reluctant to respond when a human voice is finally made available.

Solitaire, which we Brits call Patience, adapted for the computer screen has one enormous attraction. Finish a game and the computer re-deals the cards. No shuffling, no problems with jammy fingers. But therein lies the puzzle.

Dealing is the result of random selection. Yet the computer is a machine ("A system that moves/In predestinate grooves/In fact not a bus but a tram.") How does it do randomness?

Anyone able to answer this one is entitled to kick off their comment with a sequence of five stars.

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