In eerie synchronicity with Barbara in Robbinsdale’s excellent post yesterday on successfully wrestling with an eggplant, the NY Times decided to ask this question:
“Are Cookbooks Obsolete?”
The article details how software developers are creating applications that are so much more lively, interesting and flexible than the standard printed-on-paper cookbooks, even cookbook aficionados are abandoning the old style method of instruction in favor of the new. New graphics, new videos, and new ways of displaying information are changing how we learn things, and how we remember what we’ve learned.
Which is very, very alarming for our domestic security expert, Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.
At ease, civilians!
We are not under any special warnings or alerts at this moment, but I feel I must step forward to caution you about recent developments in the proliferation of the video screen. Screens are everywhere and their demands on your attention are relentless.
Believe it or not, I have seen people engrossed in tiny screens inside their cars, only looking up at the last moment because their eye was caught by giant screens alongside the road where the billboards used to be! And now I hear that people are watching iPad tutorials while they cook.
Please, please stop! Cooking involves dangerous elements like fire, ice, hot grease and knives, not to mention some types of food that can harbor nasty microbes – stuff that can kill you if you don’t handle it properly. I fear that I will someday be called to the scene of a horrible distracted cooking accident, only to find a tablet computer smeared with the salmonella-rich fingerprints of the unfortunate victim.
People say books are boring and I say THAT’S THE POINT! No instruction book should be more engaging than the actual thing you are trying to learn to do.
Think of all the normal domestic activities that require careful step-by-step guidance – things that become infinitely more dangerous once you stop watching your teacher and start staring at a screen!
Just to name a few …
Any one of these tasks could go terribly wrong if you let yourself be distracted by the electronic tutorial and forget to heed the job itself!
My mind reels at the ghastly possibilities.
Please, please, if you plan to take instruction while you are doing anything around the house, rely on the dry, dusty pages of a boring old book so that even if you fail, you can say when all is said and done, “I stayed safe!”
Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty
How do you learn?