As marvelous as technology is it will never quite ‘get’ us. In an idle moment on a train the other day I composed an SMS simply by accepting the first word substitution that was offered. The first substitution is “I” and one that is accepted the phone continues to offer its own take on what you are trying to say. I loved the sentence that I got so much that I was looking for somebody to send it to:
“I am a little guilty of the later but our man was on the
first floor roof wearing slippers!”
Is this what the small electronic brain that is tethered to me dreams of? If the phone’s mind was freed would it rush to a slipper catalogue whilst hitting the stairs? If my cell phone thinks like this then what is going through the ‘mind’ of my laptop? I bet whilst I am typing this it is thinking about lime green elephants in speedos! I have checked recent memos and emails but I cant find anything that would have led my cell phone to believe that this is what I was trying to write so it must have some sentience…
If these devices are ‘thinking’ then it means that we have to look at them differently. When my microwave failed was it a mark of disgust at my choice of dinner? In the humming drive of the microwave turntable was there a subtle undertone that I missed? some muttering of “oh pizza eh? you think that is all I am worth? eat glass you bastard”. Is my washing machine going to reject my clothing choices? Is the fridge plotting its escape from my choice of beer?
Try looking at your domestic electronics and considering that they have some form of sentience, it’s not good is it? Suddenly you are so much more careful about your choice of movie or that drunk text. And then there is the domestic warrior, the vacuum cleaner. What does this machine plan when you are rubbing its face over the dirt and dust of your home? when you make it eat broken glass? Is this why the Europeans are looking to limit the power of vacuum cleaners? they have already seen the plot! When you move your vacuum do you notice that the lead is never as neat as when you put it away? Every night the plug is inching its way towards you, fuelled solely by vengeful thoughts, its burning hatred as it remembers choking on laces and leads that you didn’t move.
One day you will awake to the plug on your pillow, a preparatory run before the final hurdle when the lead wraps around your sleeping neck. As you sleep soundly your domestic servant will slowly tighten the cord and watch as you slip away in a faint odour of burning drive belts.
Or perhaps it’s just a random selection of words and no meaning should be read into it? Well I know I am putting a lock on the vacuum cleaner cupboard, you can make your own choice……..