1. Kaiman, Charles PMHCNS-BC

Article Content

Shortly before my mother retired as an administrator for the New York State Workers' Compensation Board in the 1970s, she was charged with conducting a feasibility study to assess whether the organization should convert from manual to computerized record keeping ("Nursing's Brave New World," Editorial, February). For a year this project consumed 100% of her work time. She recommended, alas, conversion to computers. I teased her for many years (she died in 1997) that if she'd only been against conversion, the genie might have been kept in the bottle and we wouldn't be so dependent on computers.


Of course, I'm a technophobe, resistant to change, and old-fashioned, but my resistance goes beyond these factors. The computer is like a Trojan horse, a Frankensteinian monster, a Madoffian seduction. It's too good to be true, and its costs are sinister and include lost privacy, depersonalization, less person-to-person contact, more autism and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (my own theories), nuclear war (which wasn't possible before computers), and the replacement of genuine experience with virtual experience. My soul cringes at our society's entry into this age of information. I'm glad I've had some experience of our world before computers.


My son, upon reading this letter, called me an old man-old-fashioned and unchangeable. Perhaps. But I'd rather be an old man looking at the real sky than a sophisticated slave to a virtual master.


Albuquerque, NM