Recalculating…

February 22, 2008

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My new best friend is my portable GPS device that snaps into a holder on my windshield to tell me where I am and where I’m going. I have a terrible, terrible sense of direction so this has been a godsend. Even when I ignore Nüvi (the device), it can keep me awake arguing with her: “No! This IS the best way to go you silly machine.” To which she’ll say: “Turn left! Turn left!”

My favorite aspect is of the device is when I DON’T follow her directions, she simply says: “Recalculating…” and doesn’t give me attitude, just goes with the flow.

It occurs to me when I admire Nüvi’s amazing patience with me that people could learn a lot from her. When life throws things in your way and you end up going a different way than you had originally planned, get over it, move on, and RECALCULATE.

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Recalculate, Fool! « East of Eden…
February 22, 2008 at 7:45 am

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Brad Wood February 22, 2008 at 9:57 am

I’m usually a very late adopter with tech toys, but this has appeal as I too am plagued with an exceptionally poor sense of direction.

I know people who are spectacularly good at knowing where they are, as if they had a running mental map and compass in the background at all times. However, there are perturbations that can derail even their internal positioning systems.

Once, about 25 years ago, Chris S., as was our custom, was imbibing with me in my UCLA office before we were to walk into Westwood for dinner. We set forth, and the route was circuitous owing to extensive construction underway that prevented the more straightforward paths. In particular, a detour through the parking structure involved many turns down stairwells. Then as we emerged, there were no immediate visible references by way of familiar buildings for a while. I knew the way only because of having taken it several times already.

Finally we emerged into well-known territory. Chris stopped and practically cried out in anguish—he had managed to lose track, and was a good 90 degrees out of alignment. He said it was gut-wrenching as the whole local universe ground around to reestablish itself, reason returning to her throne.

breslow@ucla.edu February 23, 2008 at 11:01 am

Ah, Roger — absent minded professordom takes many forms. You and Lester belong to the same academic order. Typically nonvisual, definitely having geographic aphasia.
I have resisted a GPS so far. I have an extraordinary memory for place and also a true sense of the compass when it comes to getting out of mistaken turns. Yes, occasionally I do get lost. But not for long.

Instead of GPS, it is enough to probably invest over $500 in a Volvo-compatible cell phone hands-free device very soon.

I do admit that my photographic memory, honed sharper by being a photographer, serves me well, especially when we revisit a place after some years. We just came back from a blissful week on kauai. Even with 20 years of development, it was amazing how much i did remember, and sad to see one of the original highlights — CocoPalms — crying out for restoration.

Fear not, with GPS you will get to everywhere on time — devra

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