Well, computers don’t actually stink, though sometimes mine lets off an odd smell. But they are definitely not doing for us what we thought they were going to do. We thought they were going to make us smarter, make our lives easier. Instead, they are ruining our brains. I can prove this, quantifiably, but I would have to Google it in order to prove it. That should be proof enough. Double proof is that Microsoft Word corrected the previous two sentences. “Fragment. (Consider revising),” it said. The nuns in Catholic school had to hit me in the head in order to recognize a fragmented sentence. Now the computer just does it for me. And it doesn’t have to hit me.
Though it does absorb every iota of attention I have. It makes me start typing as soon as I wake up, and then all day until just before I go to bed. There was a time where you could go to work, and then come home. And when you were home, work stopped happening. But sometime in the recent past, I can’t tell which season of “Friends” it was, or which Clinton or which Bush was in power, but it all changed. Now people are “e-mailing” me all day and all night. And it’s not like I am so super important that this should be happening. Everyone is experiencing this (at least, everyone with a computer). But my consolation is that in-between e-mails, while I have access to every piece of knowledge in human history, I play “Words with Friends.”
Due to this constant barrage of information, whether it is work, the subsequent data required to do the work, the e-mails reacting to the work in progress, and distraction of Facebook, news outlets, games, blogs, and did I say Facebook yet? Anyway, I have no idea where my wallet is. Or my iPhone. You know, the device with the e-mails and the “Words with Friends.” I can’t find them anywhere because the computer ruined my brain.
Banking was supposed to be easier, too. Instead, banking has become an “Alice in Wonderland” type rabbit hole of inability, from Teller to Chairman, where no one knows how to cancel a check, transfer a payment, or even “know what risk we were actually exposing ourselves to.” Now we have “financial instruments,” which sounds like the tools used by Terminator-like “Sky Net” evil robots intent on destroying us all. I never figured the Banks would be how the machines would infiltrate and eliminate us. I thought it was going to be through the military, or phones, or television, or the power grid. But, using money?
Speaking of money, people are spending an awful lot of time trying to figure out how to make money using these things. I know I am. Computers are actually wiping out or at least severely damaging many businesses. Patch is the digital answer to a small town newspaper, a business that even the New York Times is trying to figure out how to stay in without hemorrhaging money. Computers are eviscerating the music business, the movie business, TV networks, and even publishing. Forget publishing. They are going to be the first serious casualty of these devices. Physical books will become odd collector’s items. Physical books will, very soon, not be necessary at all. Publishers will no longer be necessary. Anyone with one of these brain-destroying devices who can structure a non-fragmented sentence can then sell his/her book on Amazon. While industries (The Post Office is in danger!) are slowly getting wiped out because no one needs to BUY anything anymore, people will still need to work around the clock because of computers. (See paragraph 2)
In the greatest irony, wrapped inside of an enigma, bound into a Chinese finger trap, is the news that Facebook’s IPO is a bust. The stock value is plummeting only days after it was offered to the public. It’s because no actual “product” is made. Nothing is sold or bought. How is that possible? Doesn’t every advertiser purchase ads on it? Don’t they have more viewers than all the networks combined? If a device designed to put all other forms of communication out of business cannot itself build a successful business, isn’t that the economic equivalent of a black hole that will simply suck every one of us into its vortex?
Has anyone seen my wallet? I know I left it around here somewhere.
By the way, go check out my blog at cartoonlagoonshow.blogspot.com, because eventually I am going to convince the computers to help me and my partner to make, sell, and distribute a puppet show.