You never miss them till they’re gone – even mice

I am not sure if you call them mice or mouses  … I always assumed the plural of mouse was mice.  But a well informed (alledgely well informed) techo/accountant told me that since we are referring to a device, the plural would be mouses, rather than mice for the animal.

Anyway, of far more importance than the dubious advice he gave on english usage, is the critical nature of small and unimportant things.   Disaster struck this morning when my wireless mouse suddenly stopped working mid-email.

My laptop has a mouse-replacing pad thing which I can use and I have a spare mouse in strategic reserve (ie way in another room). 

I don’t want to plug a new mouse in because it may disturb the delicate ecosystem of connections to my computer.  So I made do with the pad thing on the laptop, but kept reaching over my wireless keyboard and using the further away, and not as good laptop keyboard. 

It appears that my brain is only used to simple groupings of devices.  If there is no wireless mouse then my brain doesn’t register that there would be a wireless keyboard.  I suppose that in evolutionary terms, cavemen only had to deal with one computer device at a time, so millions of years of evolution have programmed me to perform perfectly with one device, but not with the multitude of devices now available to me, or the myriad combinations of using them. 

There is a theory that cavemen may not have had laptops, but seriously – they travelled the whole globe.  And after millions of years of evolution I still have trouble booking flights around the country even with a modern laptop.  So what are the homo-old-guys meant to have done, stored all their travel plans in mastadons?

My theory is that they had laptops, but that the storage media was vendor specific.  So when some flood, comet or corporate predator took over the one remaining laptop vendor, they lost their ability to access their old data.  Consequently they lost their connections and ended up having to build pyramids to try and attract aliens who could provide new laptop storage devices for them … and so far nobody has been able to disprove my theory.

Anyway, close to home, I took the batteries out of my mouse and put them back in.  Now the world is safe and I can navigate the page again. 

I should probably think about new batteries in case the disaster occurs again, but evolution has really only prepared me to deal with issues that are causing problems to me now, not predictable ones that will no doubt strike soon if I don’t take simple counter-measures when I have time on my hands.

So if this blog goes out of action you know what caused it – stupid evolution is to blame.


About James King

I coach organisations in how to better make use of the untapped talent they have in their people and to explore new ways of understanding and solving new and old problems I live in Sydney with my wife and daughter and have no real hobbies beyond the usual boring ones of reading, writing and watching tv.
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