by Nic Olson
I taught my computer how to understand and speak English. With a few uncomplicated clicks of the ‘track pad’ my Macintosh speaks just like Mr. Macintosh on the movie ‘Blank Check’, but I haven’t yet bought a mansion or installed a water slide in said mansion. Yet.
Say, ‘Open iTunes’ and he will open iTunes.
Say, ‘Close Window’ and he does just that.
Say, ‘Blog’ and he opens Balls of Rice.
Say, ‘Tell me a joke’ and he does, but he’s always too stubborn to finish it. We are still working on our communication skills.
A friend told me of this feature, so I thought I should unleash this electronic book to its fullest potential. The potential of a human being. No sass-back. No attitude. No emotions. No legs. The ultimate human being in computer form. I have stared into his eyes more than anyone since the November he arrived in my hands. I was playing music through iTunes and I forgot to turn off Mr. Mac’s ears. Somewhere around the lyric, ‘All fallen leaves should curse their branches,’ Mr. Mac was sure to tell me that he had, ‘No fax numbers listed for Hoover Chan.’ And somewhere near the lyric, ‘I will derail desperation train,’ he insisted that ‘There does not seem to be an AIM handle for Matt Goud.’ What a genius invention!
Over the past week I’ve had the opportunity/blessing/curse/cancer of being able to carry around a Blackberry for the ultimate convenience of texting people without having to come home to use wireless internet. I was admittedly somewhat worried that this one week free trial would cause me to rely on such practicality, and become addicted to brick breaker, but neither was the case. The mere sight of it upsets me. I am still a troglodyte. But I can talk to my computer, and it listens. I am a space-age troglodyte.
And now I watch Rogers Cup on the CBC website, with Blackberry ads all over the place, telling me to use BBM to have ‘A place to be open and honest with my closest friends’ and to ‘Love what I do’. Those are none of the words I would use for my past week of cell phone hell.
Technology is far from inevitable, but it is also far from being far. I might as well pluck out my eyes and live through faith that all the sounds I hear are not artificially created by speakers of some artificially created machine. I would assume that Peter Burwash and/or Michael Scott were sitting on my kitchen table telling me stories about tennis and offices. That would be the way to live. Blind faith in something totally inconceivable.
Now if I could just get my Mac to talk to my Blackberry, go on a few dates and create one of the fruitiest unions since Peanut Butter and Jelly became ‘Goober‘.