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Van Horn Advocate


Wednesday, Oct. 8, 1997

Greg Harman

Loose Fish

By Greg Harman

Point-clicking my
way to nirvana

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Locals ask how I'm handling the transition to Pecos from Fort Worth. I
think I miss the bookstores the most. It's not that Fort Worth could
boast of having the best (my favorite's located in Denver), but they
were good. And, coupled with the downtown public library, it seemed that
whatever my need the information was there to be found.

Since the move I have been motivated to find new ways of researching
those topics which interest me. As a 'twenty-something-gen-X'er' (Pepsi
Co. says gen-next) growing up in the thick of the information
revolution, my knowledge of the Internet should be (according to the
stereotype) pretty hefty. But somehow I missed that boat. Some out there
may even consider my computer knowledge "impaired."

It's in fits and starts--as my patience with the gradually shifting
screens of data, and the patience of my co-workers waiting to settle
into their web tasks--that I creep around a netherworld built upon the
supply of information.

Some of the resources I have encountered offered plenty by way of solid,
concise (and relevant) information--various university libraries and
federal agencies maintain virtually limitless info--while others shone
with all the glitzy showmanship of a promised land of gold, gravy and
gratification, but offered only new forms of junk mail. Then there are
the chat rooms: backed up with conversation brimming with all the
stimulation of a dead nine-volt settled on the bed of the Pecos River.

Keeping in mind that this is just the beginning of my explorations I
include here some of the highlights of this journey:
* A conspiracy theory page ( that actually had a story on
supposedly true conspiracies related in Harrison Ford's last flick.
* An internet radio show and news source ( that inspired a
co-worker to ask "What is that? Noise from outerspace?"
* A whole page with my face on it--with bio facts whose value are slim
to none--located by link from the paper's web site (

But there is another nagging voice, crooked-toothed and nay-saying,
sitting on my shoulder that wonders: what's all this about? New, faster,
cheaper computers are marketed to the heavies of the executive world
everyday. Every new gizmo and gadget is promoted passionately. Shiny
stuff. Expensive stuff. A whole new world of adult toys. How did we ever
get along without it?

In India, one of the fastest growing economies of the world, street
vendors sell Bill Gates dolls (alongside Mickey and Minnie Mouse) to
children. Technology seems to be getting deified.

We're told that in the workplace and the home our workload will be
reduced and life will be easier. . .but what about the drudgery of
hundreds of hours spent learning new software, getting tangled within
error messages, power surges, lost documents, the financial cost of
keeping up with new technologies? Surely these are drawbacks of our new
dependence. I've worked for companies where entire paychecks have been
lost due to computer error, or deliveries fouled. I suppose these are
the "bugs" that must be worked out before our transformation to
computer-aided culture is complete.

In an essay by Saul Bellow, perhaps the greatest American novelist
writing today, he starts to make a "confession." But, he wonders, what
could he possibly confess, where in the modern world the very worst of
sins has become ordinary. We read them every day in the headlines. We're
entertained and titillated by them in special reports and blockbuster
movies. A truly grave sin, Bellow supposes, would be the crime of being

And while I'm always glad to learn new things, sometimes it feels as if
the rush of new information is leading to a false plateau. Have we been
bettered as people by technology? Do we treat each other with a deeper
respect? Have we "morally advanced" along with the scientific leaps?
The wars, economic and otherwise, raging around the globe seem to say we
have not. The strong continue to devour the weak (and make no mistake it
is the strong endowed with the technology).

And so I wonder if rushing after the information trail is really to my
benefit. I'm reminded of certain new-age disciples I have known, whose
quest after "hidden knowledge" has lead them on a goose chase from one
revelation to the next with no end in sight. Perhaps I should switch my
chase to less debated, and perhaps more detrimental, questions. One such
problem presented itself to me last night when my wife (who is an
artist) thought aloud, "I wonder why our dog prefers to eat the black

But blind faith in science can be insidious. Surely someone in
cyberspace would have the answer to our pointer's preference for black
paint. Perhaps I'll post the question on the web right after I update
myself on the latest Diana conspiracy theories.

Editor's Note: Greg Harman is an enterprise writer whose column appears each Wednesday. He can be reached by e-mail:

Your Views

Newspapers remarks irk investigator at PD

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To The Editor:

I'd like to respond to Rick Smith's short remark in Monday's paper
concerning the man arrested for sexual assault.

Did I use the paper to capture a fugitive? Yes I did.

Did I refuse to provide sordid details of a tragic assault on a girl so
that it could be headline news? I did.

Did I thank the newspaper for their assistance? I did.

I believe in being polite, even when past experience tells me that a
snide remark in the paper will be forthcoming.


EDITOR'S NOTE: It should be noted that the mother of the victim came
into the Pecos Enterprise to thank the staff personally for helping in
the capture of the fugitive. She expressed her gratitude to the staff, for helping relay the message to the public.

Reader enjoys format used on website

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To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to the question, "Like our new format ?" I
think it was put together very well. I am from Pecos. I was born and
raised there, spent my entire years of school there, and graduated in
1992. I now live in Houston, but my family is still in Pecos. I
appreciate the fact that I can still keep up with what is happening in
Pecosville on a daily basis. I feel "at home" when I read the news,
almost as if I were still there. Thank you, great job.


Isaac Prieto

Web reader enjoys hometown news more

To the Editor:

I found your web page mostly by accident; I was browsing one day,
searched for Pecos, TX (my home town) and "bingo" THE ENTERPRISE, the
only newspaper I ever saw on a regular basis as I was growing-up.

I read it regularly, much to my wife's amusement, along with several
others. I read the Pecos paper to "stay in touch" with where I grew up;
the others for their "slant" - be it East, Mid, or West coast - on
what's going on. Your paper, the only small town paper I read with any
kind of regularity, is getting more and more like the Dallas Morning
News or the Fort Worth Star Telegram, REALLY BORING AND BIASED. Local
news is what I am after or am looking for.

I understand you have to compete for readership, but by repeating THEIR
stories which are their opinions. I read your resume and figured you
just got tired of the big city ways and were going to do it different,
guess I figured wrong.

It seems to me that there's enough potential readership in the people
that left Pecos, as I did, for economic or whatever other reason.

Something as simple as a class reunion committee set up at PHS, another
Jerry Workman project - he seems to care. Couple that with the talent
you've got (I read the other resumes also); you (THE ENTERPRISE) win and
they (PHS STUDENTS) win. There are lots of good examples out there: the
Naval Academy, West Point, the Harvard Business School, and on and on.

Ways to keep people in touch and also ways to increase you readership of
local "goings on".

But maybe not, they did shut down the library, didn't they. Fran Dearing
may be of some help there.

I use a Lynx text browser (text only) for speed and AOL for things I
can't get, like your archives; my problem or did you know that.

KEEP IT UP but don't get too commercial; it's killing the metroplex or
DFW however you know it.


Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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