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When I was a kid you flicked the light switch, the light came on: instantly, the best you could tell: unless the bulb was burned out, or Mom couldn’t pay the bill. Or unless the light was flurecent: then sometimes the starter had a hiccup in it. The light would buzz, fizzle, try to come on, then it would come on. Our DNA may have been the same, but we were a different creature from the caveman who could tend a fire once he had a fire; but he couldn’t light the fire from scratch, not when he didn’t know how, and especially not in the cold, not while it was raining, not while his fingers were numb. And the human who could rub two boy scouts together and get a spark, then nurture the spark, make a flame, was different from the kid descended from him who can whip out his Bic and flick a flame, over and over again. Still, all that’s different from Madame telling the servant to light a fire: and that Madame is different from the Madame who asks the butler to tell the servant.
i was butchering everything yesterday, i’ll restart
The other day Jan asked me to copy a document. I turned on the HP printer, which is also a copier, also a scanner, also more other things than I know. I hear wheels whirring, things chugging. A minute later the start button lighti is lit steadily. I put the document onto the bed, close the lid, press the button for black and white copy, not the button for color copy. Wheels whirr, things chug. I hear the printer printing. The paper advances. Out comes … not a copy of the document but a form. The form says For Best Results Scan This. Fine, fine. Again I press Copy. And again the printer grinds out a form saying For Best Results Scan This. Meantime Jan is getting pretty fed up: with me, with HP, with technology. The copier worked for her when she had it at her house, why can’t I just make the copy she asked for? I say, “You do it.” Jan checks the document on the bed, recloses the lid, presses Copy: The paper advances, out comes a form: says For Best Results Scan This. Jan’s ready to tear the house down.
as so often happens in a first blurt i’m forgetting one of my foundations stones, be back soon
When we go out I say, “Give me the keys.” It’s her car, she’ll drive, fine by me. But the only way to unlock all of the SUV’s doors at once is to open the passenger side door. If Jan unlocks the driver’s door, the driver’s door will open: but then she has to get in, position herself, and punch the combination of buttons which will unlock my passenger door, and unlock the back sliding door so I can stow our picnic basket … My key in my car unlocks the door I’m unlocking. My window crank rolls and unrolls the window I’m cranking. If I drive into the canal the window will crank down; if Jan drives into the canal, we’ll drown, nothing will work, not wet electronics. Jan’s buttons do whatever those buttons want to do: which has little to do with what I want them to do. Now we’re all Madame: and our butlers are all perverse: and stupid.
I try to explain to Jan: Once upon a time you flicked on the light, the light went on: or, you told the servant to switch on the light, and the servant … well, it was your servant. Now everything is robots: stupid, and perverse.
I shut my Mac down through a strict protocol. If I just pull the plug who know what chaos I’ll find on restarting? Maybe my DVD player will no longer work, I won’t be able to stream the day’s movie.
i be back, gotta compare to two body problems and three body problems and n body problems, maybe next post.
& gotta point out how the inventor of the internet, me, knows no more how to work the new machine, the new device, the new phone, iPad, any better than Jan does. It wasn’t made for me or by me: I was knocked down so they could make it all for them. Them, stupid, and perverse.
lots more comin, telemarketing robot, human and machine