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I am not a Luddite - I just wish computers would disappear

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Thomas J Watson

Thomas J Watson

Thomas J Watson

Thomas Watson, president of IBM in 1943, stated the world only needed five computers. Although frequently ridiculed, I believe he was probably correct.

I'm not a Luddite or lemming, I just wish computers would disappear. Goodbye Apple, and all the rest. They provide no advantage, it was all better in the 1970s and 1980s.

Who can read a book on a tablet? Give me a break already. All the video stores are gone, book stores are struggling, there are no record stores. Now, why would a man go to the mall? I take pictures with a roll of film and get 24 or 36 prints. Who wants 100 snaps of the same thing? I buy vinyl and glorious CDs. I don't want to download music on some annoying, fragile gizmo with a thousand songs on it.

Then there's the endless robotic nightmare of being bullied into applying endless tedious passwords and usernames. I had a subscription to the 'New Yorker', but I still bought the magazine at the book store.

I bank at the bank, I don't get hacked at the bank. I get statements delivered with stamps on envelopes - like God intended.

I have a real, actual, human travel agent who now has a tiny office with genuine knowledge and experience.

I don't want to be my own travel agent. I don't want to read the same news on 50 different 'newspapers' or free blogs with absolutely no content. Or have estate agents tell me they would rather 'not waltz me about' in their mini-vans, it was 'all on their website'. One day soon I'll Google search for a time machine for an era without gizmo salesmen and stupid 'smart phones'.

Also, can you please spare me the world of precocious, genius teenagers - as only they can fix my precarious internet signal.

LOL, and smiley face.

Brian O'Dowd

Ontario, Canada

We need 'Life Equality' laws

While I welcome reports that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that his proposed citizens' forum will not consider the 'Right to Die', this is undermined by the fact that the convention on the Eighth Amendment (the Life Equality Amendment) will sit to consider the right to kill unborn children.

Why can't we have a convention tasked to look at ways to protect the equal right to life of all people - born and unborn?

This can be done through proposals for a referendum to reverse the X Case judgement, along with the repeal of the 2013 abortion act. The right to life is the most important human right - without it, all other rights are meaningless. 'Life Equality' is what our legislators should be proposing, not opposing, in 2016.

Elaine Noonan

Glenageary, Co. Dublin

Where was everyone in 1991?

I note that there is much emphasis on commemorating the 1916 Rising in 2016. Where were all these interested people when we were commemorating the 75th anniversary in 1991?

As we seem to place much emphasis on quarter-century commemorations, why the great silence in 1991?

Bobby Ballagh, to his eternal credit, organised a 'Spirit of 1916 Commemoration', which included a people's parade in Dublin.

The State was represented by plain-clothes gardaí keeping an eye on who was there. This was the final quarter-century commemoration where we had a chance to thank the last remaining survivors of 1916 and the War of Independence for their gift to us.

Perhaps the fact that these people remained, not only alive, but unswayed by time from the mission they volunteered for was an embarrassment to those who had profited most from their endeavours.

Let us not forget that 2016 is the centenary of the Somme, where thousands of Irish men from all parts of the country - and for as many different reasons - found themselves brothers in arms on that horrendous battlefront.

2016 will mark the centenary of Earnest Shackleton's Endurance expedition, when he proved his leadership skills and the endurance of his crew in their determination to survive.

2016 is the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, where approximately 1,000 Irish fought on a 70/30 divide, pro and against the fascists.

2016 is the 35th anniversary of the H-Block hunger strikes and, whatever one's view, I would say that those deaths altered the course of Irish history as sure as did those in the stone-breakers' yard in Kilmainham Gaol in 1916.

2016 must be a year of peace, but the shadow of peace is justice - and, alas, it is a scarce commodity in Ireland today.

Had our revolutionaries the ability to look at Ireland 100 years later on a large screen in the GPO of 1916, would they have just bought a few stamps and went home?

Paddy Murray

Address with editor

Why so many road deaths?

Our approach towards road safety has to radically change. Driving is a serious business that can rob you of your life - and that of others - in a second. The Garda presence on our roads over the holiday period seemed inadequate.

The gardaí are the only ones that can enforce road safety, yet their numbers on our roads appear so few. Accidents can and do happen - however, we all know that at certain times of the year a large cluster of people die in a very short period, as in Bank holiday weekends or at Christmas time.

As a nation with a poor, if improving, road safety record, we need to discover why so many people are dying on our roads - even if it means the truth is unpalatable. Causes that are attributable to driver impairment include alcohol, drugs, mobile phones, entertainment systems and other distractions, which give us valuable clues to indicate how seriously people take their driving. It is also the case that our road traffic legislation is full of loopholes. Hundreds of bad drivers (who should have been banned long ago) come before the courts again and again, and are able to get away with it on technicalities. As far as road safety goes in this country there is a long, long way to go - and many more will die because not enough is been done.

Maurice Fitzgerald,

Shanbally,

County Cork

Dry humour in Irish pubs

A recent letter (re: the craic in Irish pubs) reminded me of the man who entered an Irish bar on a sweltering July day and asked for a whiskey with ice.

"Sorry, no ice - it's out of season," was the barperson's response.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Irish Independent