Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Two Holiday Things I just Don’t Get (and I’m not talking about gifts)

    By on December 22, 2014 in See It Here


    When I see all the cars parked in shopping malls, the Scrooge in me doesn’t think these people are wasting money and time and should be working. In fact, Mr. Scrooge is replaced by the Free Market/Free Enterprise Ideologues who say this is good, competition is at work and those who don’t offer what the buyer wants at the price the buyer is willing to pay will have to close their doors.

    But there’s another part of “the Holiday Season” that makes less sense, which of course, means we’re talking about people. It involves two things centered on sending Xmas cards.

    1-There’s just something cheap and distant about sending an e-Xmas card though it is indeed fascinating to watch the reindeer circle the globe and all of nature coming out of the woods to shake hands with a snowman. But the sender uses paypal or their credit card and writes their last name with something about good wishes and hits “send.” There’s something missing. Now, if I’m writing on a blog twenty years from now, I’m sure readers will just say, “that old man has just got to get over it” because everyone will be doing this.

    I might add, I did an interview with Bill Gates some years ago (OK, 14 years ago) and he said we’ll probably be watching TV in our living rooms with all the characters in 3D walking around the place. The future Xmas card?

    2- Some people actually write a note on a Xmas card and use the United States Postal Service when they hit “send” (someone who writes this blog does that). But here’s the thing: I get a few cards from folks I went to grade school with–or from a few I work with—that have the happy greeting on the inside and then either just sign their name or have the card embossed with their name. I like these people but I don’t want their autograph. Tell me what’s new? Tell me how the past year went or the plans for the coming year. Tell me something. Like the digital card, I find it hollow.

    To quote that old man I first mentioned while seeing all the cars in the parking lot: “I haven’t taken leave of my senses, I’ve come to them.” Maybe we should all take a few hours this holiday season and read it. Hitting “send” is the easy part. What is key is what is done before that.


    Merry Xmas to all (now I’m gonna hit “send”).

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