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Letters to the Editor

A Lonely Miasma

GREG BEATO'S cover story describing Internet addiction ("Digital Junkies," cover story, Aug. 18) and his inclusive question "who among us doesn't already check his email more often than necessary?": Well, an answer is: "I don't." I don't use email (as this longhand relic/letter pathetically shows). I've never ridden through the years of psychic encroachment by impersonal electronic means, in an almost Luddite-like way, and am here writing today because of it. I'd come to begin an email account at the Santa Cruz Library, since that is the only way to find an apartment rental anymore, and I'm desperate to do so, having been a disabled individual on Section 8 coverage now thrust into the digital "reality" of not being an "addict" savvy enough to even go online, to learn how to navigate being online.

Thinking I live in the "real" world, not the virtual, is proving to be a foolish blunder of mine, since now I'm out of a place to live and out of any way to access another. Surely others out there who still read print can relate: I've avoided screens since they trigger my epileptic seizures at times. Now, because of avoiding an obvious (to me) negative aspect of cyber life, I'm out of luck and running out of time, to find a place to simply be somewhat free from the overwhelming barrage of digitized cacophony which often causes my disability to manifest, as recorded recently at Stanford University Neurology (recorded, of all things, by an array of computers linked into my brain!). With it, without it ... there's no avoiding it. And it's transformed "society" through "instant connectivity" into a desolate, lonely miasma, both for those who overindulge and can't control it anymore, or for those who would choose to do without it, as much as is healthily, humanly possible. (And to anyone who recognizes my predicament: feel free to please call my "landline" and maybe even speak to a living person!)

Bob Roberts,

Ben Lomond

The Right's A Fright

MANY ISSUES raised by the right wing seem designed only to foster division and political gain for Republicans no matter what the cost—issues like gay marriage, immigration and now the mosque near ground zero. They appeal to the worst in people and play on their fears and sense of vulnerability using religion, racism, homophobia and xenophobia to block any movement towards a more equitable and caring world. This is the pursuit of power at its ugliest. It makes the world a sadder and more dangerous place. On this small planet we will win together or we will lose together.

Moss Henry,

Santa Rosa

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