HAVE NO FEAR -- Almost everyone is afraid of something. Some are afraid to admid they're afraid, while others can't stand bugs or beets, or being in elevators or being outside. These fears, or phobias, are catalogued, discussed and explained in "Phobias: The Ailments and the Treatments," available for 50 cents postage and handling from the Public Affairs Committee, 381 Park Avenue South, New York 10016.
A phobia differs from the garden variety fear in being an uncontrollable reaction of dread, terror and panic to a situation that is not a real threat to life or limb. What is real is the psychological suffering and impairment that a phobia can cause. Experts estimate that as many as 18 million of us have our daily lives and activities impaired by phobias. COMPUTER PRIMER -- It's time to face the output. You've delayed as long as you can, hoping that maybe computers were just a fad and that stores and banks once again would scribble their accounts on cards by hand.
Ignorance of how computers work, and what they do (and don't do) will cost you time, temper and probably money. When someone blames a billing error on "the computer," do you know when that's possible and when it isn't? You don't unless you know how computers work; just as you don't know whether it's really impossible to correct the error for another week, or month, or year.
Knowing how to deal with computers is often referred to as "computer literacy," and it's becoming almost as important as traditional literacy.
IBM's "Introducing Information Processing" soon will have you conversant with terms like "programming" and "instructions." You'll learn that a modern computer can balance 10,000 checking accounts in 10 seconds, which should earn the machines some degree of respect from those who've struggled hours with just their own account.
Another booklet, "Learning and the Computer," tells how the machines are finding increasing use in teaching the next generation to read, write, calculate -- and compute.
For a free copy of either, send your request to Corporate Mailings, IBM, 662 Myrtle Avenue, Boonton, New Jersey 07005. CAR DRIVIFNG TIPS -- Even with today's gasoline prices, we're still a country of car travelers. All that driving doesn't mean we always drive perfectly, however. For those who'd like to be better drivers -- and decrease their chances of becoming accident statistics -- the truckers of the nation have gotten together a 13-page booklet of "Practical Driving Tips" that professional drivers have gleaned from countless millions of hours and miles on the road. You'll find helpful hints on freeway driving, driving at night, dealing with fog and ice, and many other special situations.
For a free copy of "Practical Driving Tips," send a postcard request to PR Department, American Trucking Association, 1616 P Street NW, Washington 20036.