Computer! I’m the Human! Stop it!
With cars that start up without the Human inserting a key, Google Maps instead of paper maps, cash registers which scan and calculate so dull-eyed employees don’t have to think, and worst of all auto-correct, the Human is now the drone.
I called my phone company the other day because my bill was incorrect. After the prerequisite surf along the eternal wave of button prompts, I was fortunate enough to snag a minimum wage earning, non-English-as-a-first-language speaking Customer Care Specialist who began every sentence with, “Well the computer says…”
“Yeah, I know what the computer says, the computer made my bill, which is wrong. Is there anyone there who, like thinks?”
“That’s what I thought.”
It’s a conspiracy, I know it. What better way to dumb down America, than to reprogram Humanity by making computers in charge, and Humans so reliant on them. Well I don’t trust this new way that computers are making our lives easier, and easier and easier.
Years ago, somewhere in that foggy decade of the nineties, our kitchen design company went digital. No longer did we write our orders by hand and use calculators for totals. And after the initial learning curve, it was actually a great time saver –– once I learned to type.
But then those great computer programmers in the sky didn’t stop there. Several years in, they created a second program, a new and improved faster program that was “cloud based.” I found the new program slow and draggy so I stuck with original, user-friendly and more intuitive program. For years. And I got really fast. Until those great computer programmers in the sky decided it was time to phase out the original program which had increased my productivity, and force the likes of me onto the slow and draggy program. Now I hate to be forced to do anything but this is the new hierarchy, doncha see? Our choices are narrowed and we are under control now. My productivity has diminished as I sit and wait for my projects to “load.”
I know the great computer programmers in the sky have a sick sense of humor because they installed little blue balls which go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round while the computer thinks or searches the invisible cloud or whatever it’s doing while I wait for my files to load and sit in frustration and yell out, “Blue balls!”
Now here’s where things get really frustrating: the great computer programmers in the sky are now trying to influence our brains to think differently than we have previously been taught through the ages, like “alphabetical order is no longer a thing.” I have yet to figure out how our client files are categorized, but not in alphabetical order. “Keyword,” they call it and I spend so much time clicking and scrolling trying to find the file I need, I want to get up from my chair and go to a filing cabinet.
Like the old days.
What are they doing to us?
Who is actually in charge?
My daughter currently is in Australia so we communicate over Line, a text messaging app that allows us to type-talk anytime for free. And to be clear, for this technology I am thankful. Usually I hear my smart phone (ah ha, see!) pinging at three AM, when it is 5 PM her time but I wait until my morning to see what she is up to. But the other night ––my night, not hers ––the ping aligned with rapid-eye-movement of sleep and she had told me before that she’d be making my seafood gumbo recipe and I had the phone next to my bed because I was in hotel and we do not need clocks any more for alarms so I awoke and checked the screen.
“Maaa is t tablespoon or teaspoon”
“I’m gonna guess tablespoon”
“and this sausage tastes nothing like andouille but I got it at a polish place”
“and directions on debunking would have good as I just brutalized a rabbit”
I completely missed her t for teaspoon question because I was trying to figure out what debunking a rabbit meant. Some new millennial term for removing the bones from a dead, edible creature? Or the description for doing a neutralization dance over a potentially controversial pet-turned-dinner? I simply typed in “make rabbit stock.” Because why waste all that good bone and cartilage flavor, whatever she’s doing with the little bunny, right? Then I went back to sleep.
In the morning I picked up my phone again and saw that she had typed in
Oh, right deboning the rabbit, that’s what we do as cooks.
Unfortunately, in my groggy quandary about debunking the rabbit, I didn’t answer her question about the teaspoon, and she had used a tablespoon for the small t which means teaspoon not tablespoon so the gumbo was a little too spicy and salty but that’s just human error which is actually quite refreshing these days. Errors and mistakes — you know the things we LEARN from? My daughter and I had further ping, ping, ping texting conversation about the gumbo process, it tasted good, the Aussies liked it, they want the recipe, tasted like home, the okra wasn’t slimy, then Daughter texted:
“But really, debunking that rabbit”
“Deboning for the love of god auto correct”
I think my daughter is funny when she’s frustrated.
Why can’t we just type what we want and get back into the habit of checking our work? There must be a way to turn off auto correct but how many minutes of precious life will we spend to figure out how?
Computers raise many questions for me, most important of which is, “Who are those people making up the rules and what will they gain from controlling us?”
Whatever happened to simple mind-numbing television and all its commercials? At least you can choose to have your brain cells singed or just not turn on the idiot box. What about the mall? If you want your brain cells sucked out your ears, just go walk around the mall, your choice.
But computers? Everything we do has to do with computers now, whether we like it or not. There is no avoidance I can see from having those great computer programmers in the sky ––or whoever they are ––dumb us down so they can run our lives.
And here, because I know more about cooking than I do computers, is a video (for my daughter really) on how to debunk –I mean debone–a rabbit: