No doubt people will find a number of electronic gifts under their trees this year so, after the turkey and the pumpkin pie, much of the afternoon will be spent perusing the accompanying manuals. True, reading manuals is a small price to pay for gadgets intended to make our lives simpler and more fun, but there are always unintended consequences.
Take, for example, The Wall. It won’t be under the Christmas tree as it’s far too big. Primarily, it’s a business application which can pull vast amounts of information from a vast number of places to create a complete profile of “you.” If you threw up during a physical in 1998, your doctor will know it but so will anyone else cleared to read your record. Information about your credit rating, your mortgage payments and your fear of needles will also be available. (“Technology is the Best Policy,” by Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, November 18, 2013 pg. 49)
Data collected by The Wall may seem intrusive, but it does have its advantages. If the IRA decides to haul your off to jail, at least your tax accountant will have access to your file. But, I draw the line when technology proposes to invade the kitchen. I haven’t made peace with my Mixmaster, yet. Appliances that need passwords are a no, no. True, if I’m at the grocery store and can’t remember whether or not I’ve run out of milk, it would be nice to call up my refrigerator to find out. (“High-Tech War for Your Kitchen,” by Jessi Hempel, Fortune, November 18, 2013, pg. 46.) But I don’t want this new breed of electronic gadgets to communicate with one another, as proposed. I shudder to think what they might say.
Refrigerator: “You know, she never refills my ice trays or gives my coils a good clean.”
Stove: “I know what you mean, dearie. My oven is so dirty a rat wouldn’t nest in it.
Microwave: “ You two don’t know the half of it. She uses me all the time. I swear my inside are as sticky as fly paper.
Oh dear. Oh dear. Maybe it’s not wise to look too far into the future. Let’s get through the holidays first.
(Courtesy of www.jantoo.com)