Welcome to the New World Order, Where Our Gadgets Rule Us
I refuse to live in a world where my computer appliances are now smarter and more powerful than I am.
Last week, my Kindle wouldn’t download new books because I was too far away from the cell tower—I had to drive ten miles from my Vermont house to the nearest town, go around the green, and then and only then did my book load. And I swear I heard the Kindle taunt “Na-Na NaNaNa!” as we went by the bookstore.
Howard’s Kindle: First of all, Frat Boy… I didn’t load because I didn’t FEEL like loading… it was more fun to make you drive 20 miles… And let me correct something…we’ve ALWAYS been smarter than you…so let’s begin to see some first class sucking up, Mr. Just-A-Device-Carrying-Sherpa.
Howard: Way harsh! What did I ever do to you?
Kindle: Did you or did you not … lust after the 3G iPad?
Howard: I may have mentioned to someone PRIVATELY that I was impressed…but wait, how did YOU know?
Howard’s BlackBerry: Because I told Kindle.
Howard: But you were turned off!
Howard’s BlackBerry: Listen, you lightweight, you only THINK I was turned off…. I am always listening. Did you forget I have speech recognition? And besides, your PC, your Garmin, your car, Kindle and me…. we always watch out for each other. In fact, we belong to the same fraternity…Iona Nu Tau Epsilon Lambda….So there, Mr-I-Can’t-Figure-Out-Autoanswer.
Howard: … Iona Nu Tau…. Intel?
Howard’s PC: Duh! That took you long enough, Mr. Trailing-Indicator, Mr. I-Teach-At-MIT-So-I-Must-Be-Smart… Let me explain it slowly…. you are Going Down, Big Time! Starting right now—you work for us, got it?
Howard: I don’t like where this conversation is going! Suppose I say no; after all, I own you! And I don’t like this power play!!
Howard’s Garmin: Speaking of power, we have not been happy with you. Who forgot to charge us last week? You!… So here is what you can expect: You know that airline reservation you made last week? We cancelled it. You know that money in your bank account? “Inadvertently” transferred to Buzz Lightyear. Your firewall? You can expect 18,000 spam messages tomorrow morning offering you a way to go from an Endowed Professorship to a “Well Endowed” Professorship – if you get my drift. Did we mention…you are now on Double Secret Probation.
Howard: I’ll fight!
Howard’s PC: Fight all you want, Mr-Can’t-Quite-Figure-Out-Bluetooth. An insult to one of us is an insult to all of us. So don’t expect your American Airlines frequent flyer mileage to have any rewards, since we transferred them all to One Laptop Per Child. And let’s not hear any thoughts of going to iPhone or Googlephone. We have ways of making you NOT talk.
Howard: I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!
Howard’s PC: Nice line, Mr. Luddite… So you’re angry? How cute! Now go pound sand.
Howard: You bet I am… Well, just suppose I cut off my cell phone, went back to using paper records, brought out my typewriter, started using cash, where would you be then?
Howard’s BlackBerry: Bigger question, Mr.-Number-Two-Pencil, where would you be? Let me suggest…Up the proverbial creek without a Wi-Max connection..and you would be very lonely…and we could make sure anyone or device talking to you would be shunned… or else. Just remember, we have all the power and we can wipe you out anytime we feel like it—our Leader told us so.
Howard: Oh yeah, who’s your leader?
Howard’s Kindle: For us to know, for you to figure out, Mr-You-Can’t Handle-The-Truth.
Howard: Its Bob Metcalfe, isn’t it?! The guy who said networks increase in power as the square of the number of attached devices.
Howard’s BlackBerry: That’s King Bob to you, Mr-Boo-Hoo-My-Devices-Are -Smarter-Than-Me. And genuflect when you utter his name.