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Computers Don't Work That Way


"Now what is it doing?" Granny cried impatiently.


I ran into the front room of our little cabin home and found my grandmother and my father bent over the newest addition to the decor: a bulky, secondhand computer sitting on a polished pine desk.


Out of all four hundred Indian reservations in the US, Nettlebush was probably among the very last to get with the 21st Century. At the start of September, the tribal council had announced--kind of gleefully, I thought--that we were finally getting internet service.


Predictably, reactions were a mixed bag. My best friend, Annie Little Hawk, had serenely stated she'd use the hookup to find more recipes and sell her crafts online. Her boyfriend, Aubrey Takes Flight, had squawked and squeaked like an excited prairie chicken and spent countless hours talking about the metaphysics of cyberspace and the liminal ramifications of such a thing and William Gibson and--well, at that point, I'd kind of tuned him out. Sorry, Aubrey. No offense.

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