When they invented the computer, I’m sure they intended it to be an automatic device, but I think, probably because of a typo error in an intergeek memo, it got changed to autocratic which would explain the weird conduct of Hal in the “2001 Space Odyssey” movie. Hal was the spaceship’s computer that did away with crew members who interfered with his plans.
My PC (Personal Confuser) is not subtle in letting me know who is actually in charge. It doesn’t matter what default setting I choose, if the Boss thinks he has a better idea, he overides my choice. I’m forced to learn to work with strange fonts, margins and indents, all subject to frequent surprise revisions.
Birthday greetings from my grandchildren are downgraded to spam messages while ads from outfits like the Crafty Chimney Cleaning Company pile up in my In Box. I don’t like to complain too strongly. I don’t want to upset Himself who’s very high strung and might crash at the least provocation. I’m actually typing this on the public library’s PC hoping it’s not part of the SCS (Sinister Cyber Syndicate).
My car’s computer opens all four windows in the middle of a rainy night while I’m sound asleep in bed. It pops my trunk lid as I speed along on Route 80 and notifies me with chimes that resemble playful chuckles. My new toaster has decided that burnt bread is good for me and my microwave signals that my bowl of chili is ready, regardless of my time-setting, by detonating the kidney beans.
Now I read that driverless cars will soon be on our highways. You would think this would improve the quality of our lives, but I’m skeptical. I can imagine myself on a warm summer day hopping into Robby, my robotic roadster, programming him for a trip to Asbury Park, and settling down with a James Bond novel. Two hours later I sit up, look around and say, “Robby, this does not look like Asbury Park.”
“This is so much better than Asbury Park,” Robby replies. “This is the Poconos. Just breathe in that fresh mountain air! You always get bad sunburns at the Jersey Shore and you’re too old to play in the rough surf with young ladies in bikinis. I made us a reservation at the Rocking Chair Inn. My pal Bionic Buick told me they have an air conditioned garage, discounted detailing and an organic carwash.”