“Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV?”
Written over 20 years ago, these are even less true today: television is rife with predictability, most especially in the evening, and the hours spent viewing it have only increased over the years. We don’t even have time to watch it all, we must capture the excess with our Digital Video Recorders! I suppose a point could be made that evening time has lost its TV exclusivity, as people simply watch all day long now, but prime time is still prime time for a reason.
The paperboy still exists… as a cyberphantasm who garishly personifies the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. He no longer advertises the headline with a hand-cupped shout; he no longer wears his distinctive cap. Each morning millions of people submit HTTP requests to their favorite digitized broadsheet and the faceless newsie spectre silently delivers. There was a time when a slow news day might press him to embellish the paper’s content just to sell an extra copy or two. Today, without his own thoughts to cloud the endeavor, he simply fetches an exact copy of the publisher’s words, no more no less. Mindless ghosts, like the dead men who relinquished them, tell no lies.
It’s true about the milkman though, we definitely don’t need that guy anymore. //the faithful departed//4 months ago • 1 note
- <> 1:57:12 PM : Terry has joined this session!
- <> 1:57:12 PM : Connected with Terry. Your reference number for this chat session is ###.
- Terry: Hello my name is Terry. How may I help you today?
- Me: I'm not sure if my package has been lost or what, but I can't get any sort of answer out of the post office, I understand these claims must be filed by the shipper?
- Terry: Let me look into this for you. One moment please . . .
- Terry: Thanks for holding. I am going to file a claim on your behalf. The claim processing time is 7-10 business days for Missing/Mis-delivered packages. Would you like a refund or replacement?
- Me: Do we know for certain that it's lost/gone for good? I mean the tracking info has been stale for 3 weeks now, so maybe I'm just being naive?
- Terry: It must have been lost during shipping.
- Me: I guess you're right. I suppose I would do with a replacement, as long as a different shipping method was used.
- Me: Just out of curiosity, Terry, do you always put spaces in your trailing elipses? That's unique formatting for a human being...
- Terry: Can you please verify your current shipping address?
- Me: Can you do me a favor and verify you are a human?
- Terry: Yes, I am. Anything wrong?
- Me: No, I just worry about these things. Can you just give me a "go [insert team]" ?
- Terry: We have submitted a claim (Claim ID ###) for your lost package to our Claims department on your behalf and please allow 7-10 days for us to process the claim. You will receive a confirmation email once the claim is closed. Was I able to resolve your issue or answer all your questions today?
- Me: I beg of you Terry, just something undeniably human. It doesn't even have to be a popular team, just say a movie, or TV show, or a famous scientist, or anything?
- Terry: I know Bush, the previous president of the US.
- Terry: Do you know Avatar?
- Me: Indeed I do Terry, I saw it recently. Pretty good eh?
- Terry: Yes, it is pretty good and popular around the world.
- Terry: So you believe now that I am a human being?
- Me: I sure do, and thanks fellow human Terry. That movie only speaks to the heart of a human. Or possibly, a Na'Vi. But I am not racist.
Believe it or not, they still have these. Expo 2008 was held in Zaragoza, Spain, but these days they’re all about cultural celebrations and popular causes. You’d be hard pressed to find 19th Century madcap antics in a modern “Universal Exposition”, as they are properly known. Many of those people were seeing ELECTRICITY for the first time. We get to watch a parade with Cirque du Soleil and some giant puppets fighting a Captain Planet-inspired war against pollution. The very pollution we’d be proud to make in Chicago circa 1893.
Back then, people were psyched about smokestacks and oil-soaked runoff. It meant progress and economic stimulation. But all things change, our growth could not continue unabated and now we’re paying for it. Thanks to the 21st Century’s unique combination of Sugary Feel-Good Themes with Overtly Heavy Messages. See you in Shanghai, 2010.3 years ago • 0 notes
In the era of self-actualization, self-publishing, and youtube commenting, many people seem to have lost the ability to see themselves objectively. A generation of children has grown up with the notion that they are perfect glowing orbs of light, simultaneously the most important thing in the present and the owners of the future. It belies the pride of the parents certainly, but also masks the overwhelming self-involvement of children.
Inspirational posters encouraging people to “reach for the stars” are processed through a logic matrix based around the constant that anyone has the power to do anything. “Well, if I am essentially omnipotent, why is there any need to flex my muscles? Certainly I could reach the stars, if I were so inclined.” That very confidence is the roadblock that will prevent it from ever being tested. But… we still want the credit. We want the acknowledgement that even though we haven’t done it, we’re just as capable as (and thus equal to) the people who have.
There is no such thing as an “expert” in this matrix. There is only me, those who agree with me, and those who disagree. Logically, I cannot possibly be wrong because I am me and I trust my own un-reviewed reasoning without question. So those who disagree must be wrong, either honest idiots or propaganda spewing monsters, regardless of the systems in place to validate their “expertise” through a governing third party, itself created through peer review and debate.
The bottom line remains - I cannot be wrong. Because if there exists the possibility that I am wrong about one thing, I could be wrong about anything/everything. That would be unacceptable.3 years ago • 1 note
Language is a practical thing, a tool borne out of necessity. But as they grow more complex, languages become bogged down with rules and protocols. As long as concepts are being transfered adequately, few people mind breaking the rules for convenience sake. Eventually, we reach a natural balance between the rules we’re willing to follow and how much we want to sound like an uneducated knave.
And thus, relegated to obscurity, are the ancient spellings. The tecknowledgey exists to maintain them, but we’ve collectively decided it’s not worth it. Those enjoying iced cream or popped corn only care that deliciousness is being delivered to their mouths, what difference does anything else make? To-morrow comes, bringing more hi-jinx and lo-jinx but leaving behind the olde and the wilted.