Dateline: December 10th, 2014, 9:21 PM, sitting too close to an uninsulated bathroom with an arctic cold toilet seat. Feh.
It’s the Internet Of Things, Stupid
Why is it that when the winter starts to descend upon the Third World roads I walk, drive and trip over every day that my thoughts turn to what’s wrong with the world? Is it a genetic deficiency on my part? (Likely) Is it the world wide scourge of marketing agencies lulling me into buying even more crap I don’t need? And quite successfully I might add? (Even more likely)
More technology than you can shake a stick at, that’s what the world needs, apparently. Not want, but need, t’would seem. If you look at the 2014 updated version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s right beside food, shelter and sex. And climbing higher. Why do we need it? Largely as a distraction from the things really ail us like crime, racism, processed foods, Russian and corporate egomaniacs, poor body hygiene, ebola, general body hairiness, sloth, more hairiness, my reliance on sugar, and people who use the word “dynamic” to describe food.
How do I know this to be true? While walking through the underground passageways in my fair and fairly awful city, I noticed a phenomena that actually reminded me of a scene I was once saw in a movie with Middle Age monks, walking with their robes on, through 15th century European filth and muck, all with their hoods up and all with heads slightly bowed. Hunched even. It was the standard religious posture with which they all held themselves. I couldn’t help wondering if those poor monk schmucks would suffer from a lifetime of bad posture and physiotherapy sessions, not really knowing if the local monastery had a decent health plan or an in-house masseur.
The Internet of Idiots
So it was with some bewilderment and amusement that I observed the very same behavior when I was on the metro. Just about everyone under the age of 65 in the metro station had their heads slightly bowed, leaning forward, shoulders slightly hunched, some folks with hats, given it’s winter, some tempting mother nature and leaving their heads exposed. And almost all of them with a smartphone (me included) playing some kind of game or surfing the Web, or just ignoring reality. All hunched, all with eyes down. Not unlike those monks of yore, these people were worshiping their new god — the smartphone. Or the Internet it is connected to.
With wireless connections and microchips everywhere, the marriage of smartphones and Internet, it appears that the computer gods have enslaved and outsmarted us. It is a case of technology ruling us and we are happy to be ruled (unless you’re my uncle). Happy that is, until we drop the phone in the toilet, or we have to deal with a company screwing us over for fraudulent billing charges. Bastards. Or when we have to switch smartphones or Internet providers, which is akin in some cases to switching religions for some, but I think is more like switching from heroin to morphine. Both are addictive and socially accepted as forms of passive recreation.
Worse, the resulting poor posture, bulging vertebrae and bent necks this devotion is causing across the globe will not only enrich the evil cabal of mobile phone makers, Internet providers and physiotherapists, all in cahoots to profit from our neck-craning, data-hoarding devices. It will have irreparable consequences when the aliens come to take over our planet. We’ll be too enamored, arthritic, bug-eyed and weak-willed due to our addiction to our smartphones and Internet connections to notice we’re about to become alien dog food. And even if we wanted to rise up against our new overlords (all hail them), we wouldn’t be able to look up at our enemy attackers due to said bent necks. How can we fire bullets or throw spears, rocks, bombs and fire rockets if we’re only able to stare at our feet? Ok, so maybe the alien invasion is a little far-fetched.
Some clarification is needed for the older generation. The Internet of Things is the stuff of dreams. Shakespeare even mentioned it in one his plays. Somewhere near the back of Othello, I think. With the Internet of Things, there will be sensors and software absolutely everywhere. In your fridge telling your phone that your mayonnaise’s best before date passed 2 years ago, and then alerting your local medical establishment and your place of work you’ll be calling in with food poisoning again after you decide to serve that horrible potato salad at Thanksgiving against the protests of your significant other, who says it gives you awful gas.
There will be chips in your toilet bowl sending info to your proctologist who will then call you at home and leave a message for your next appointment, and then subsequently take bets on what lame excuse you will use to postpone your next rectal invasion.
Cars will be able to talk to each other like never before. And not just to avoid crashing into each other. I can just envision two SUVs start trading gossip about their respective owners having affairs in the backseats of their cars. Then they threaten to extort their owners with all the collected data unless they get a lube job with full synthetic and a fresh air filter.
The Coup de Grace, Sucker
Perhaps most plausible Internet of Things scenario will be the chip implanted in your brain by the evil, secret collective of electronics and software makers, together with their twisted sisters in the fashion industry, subconsciously sending you messages while standing in the shower or in front of the mirror informing you that you’re too a) hairy, b) short, c) uncool, d) trampy, e) flatulent, f) vainglorious, g) skinny, h) fat, i) bald, j) cross-eyed, or k) all of the aforementioned to be acceptable in mixed company. Therefore you must buy the latest, outrageously priced wearable device that has already been mailed to your house and billed to your credit card.
So on that note, I wish you a peaceful sleep as you fall into slumber and oblivion over your respective devices that have replaced your sex lives with silicon (or is that silicone?) that wasn’t used for faulty breast implants.
Optimistically yours and impishly pimpled,
Latrine Cleaner 4th class, Semi-Private Druker
PS – if you choose to leave a comment, make sure to select your gender. Hint, hint.