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A long time reader/friend reminded me there are people that can't use pencils at all…

I got an email yesterday from a long time reader. We’ve never actually met, but she often asks for technical help with her son. Her son is unable to use his hands due to an injury many years ago. So they have to operate a Tobi system. Tobi allows him to use his methods to move the cursor on the screen. I also recommend that they implement Dragon naturally speaking, which they did. Finally, she has been struggling with (ok, she calls it arguing with)Cortana. Cortana is the built-in voice command and voice interaction system for windows 10. The issue my friend was having was a configuration issue. She had the default audio input device set to a device her son uses.

But that wasn’t a device that Cortana was listening on. So we worked through that and got him up and running.  The US Federal law around this is called 501, and there are several iterations of that law to support those who cannot use computers effectively with only a keyboard. We were then talking about technology in the space. I have installed the Tobi system to use it and play it with. I struggle with it, but you have to practice a lot. You look at a bar at the bottom on the monitor, and how you move your eyes moves the curious on the screen. But now her son in college. The Dragon Naturally speaking helps him write papers. He can walk so he can sit in class.

Siri takes voice notes for him in class, which helps. But my friend was reading my post of yesterday and pointed out that many smaller kids don’t use pencils. But some people can’t use pencils at all so while many of us can grab a pen or a pencil and take notes. Her son can’t help; she reminded me that I should have been more inclusive in my article. I am working on that, so my apologies she was right. Some people can’t use pencils. Some people cannot always use traditional tools. Her father, she reminded me, as we had emailed about him previously, has arthritis, and while he knows how to use a pencil, it is tough for him to grip the pen. So with apologies, there are people that cannot use pencils now.


Link to Yesterdays Post

(please feel free to use this disclaimer in your posts if you wish, I would remove the Docandersen and insert your name though!)

  • Question of

    My apologies for not being inclusive, ok?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Those who can, those who cannot and those who know don’t use pencils, right?

    • Yes
  • Question of

    Have you tried using Cortana to run your computer?

    • Yes
  • Question of

    have you tried siri to run your computer?

    • Yes


What do you think?

13 Points

Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  1. Thanks for this article. I can see the usefulness of these tools to people now.

    I was just seeing them as intrusive to my mind before, as I like quiet when I am writing, not even the sound of my own voice, do I like, let alone the voice of an artificial intelligence.

    I like to do all of my own thinking, not allow some machine to interpret my thinking for me…lol…

    • i have noise-canceling headsets – the beauty of them, I can turn the world off including the computer and from there I can think.

      Now the last line, as always you provide fuel for thought.

      Dragon, a dictation program does not use AI to modify or change, it simply takes your voice and converts it to text.

      I do often wonder if the reality of AI won’t make life easier. The contemplation of what lies beyond requires we are able to block out the now…

      • Most everything on the Internet “thinks” for us now.

        Ads are provided to us based on some algorithm of what we have liked before, or what sites we have visited previously.

        Everything is catering to us, trying to poke us in the face, with our own past thinking.

        I hate this myself, because I never like to think the same thought twice.

        I move on from every thought. I do not like to be told I like milo because I bought it two times at the supermarket, in the last few months.

        I like to like things afresh every time, not based on past preferences. I like to decide anew each time what I now want now.

        • i would argue the other side of that. My capacity, my thinking comes when I am free of the rules and structure around me.

          I do not think in a box.

          Based on what I need, removing the distractions helps me.

          Now, the line that the internet thinks for us, it is simply a mathematical formula not thinking that provides that information.

          A simple bit of math that runs against the information known about you. Or, a parsing of the text to see what is closest to the authors words. There is no thinking there…

          • The thinking is still there, I think.

            The thinking is just being thrown back at us.

            Everything is thinking. Otherwise, it is dead.

            We thought those past “thinks” as our preferences, so our thinking is being rubbed back into our face, by those programs, that had “thinkers” behind them too.

        • but machines are in the state between life and death. They are not yet aware therefore they are not alive. They exist therefore they are not dead.

          but a mathematical equation is not a thought. it is a process.

          I think you are more referring to AI or what is called Artificial Intelligence that is not how the majority of the internet works today.

        • chess is a great example of the use of AI and the box.

          chess programs using AI learn, but they learn chess.

          when we speak of the risk of AI, it is an AI that like a human can learn about the bass, kangaroos and then nuclear physics, because it wants to.

          AI is the quest to fully understand the intelligence that does not make sense to humans. Or, if you wish a quest to better understand the entity or entities known as god.

          • Yes, I also like to write speculative fiction, masquerading perhaps, as my own truths, about these types of things.

            “Does God dream?”, is an interesting question to ask.

            Perhaps, God is fundamentally awake and asleep, at one, and the same time.

            His dreams are alive in both of his sides of him, but his waking side is asleep to his sleeping side, and his sleeping side asleep to his waking side, and this is about him, and his creation, which is indeed his dreaming side of him, but asleep to him, until they wake up to him.

          • I would say that arrogance sits alone until we sit with it, then we wear its blinkers or blinders too.

            We should leave arrogance where it is, and walk past its position, by allowing all input into our heart, to be not cut off by our mind’s eye, or pride, arrogance, and its sense of superiority.


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