Vacuum cleaner tally: Machines 1, humans 0
TURNS out the machine I bought before Christmas, which refused to work, actually does work.
It was because I didn't know that you had to put the thingy into the whatsit and then it would go. Who knew? Not me obviously. This was a clear case of machines 1, humans nil.
I don't think I am particularly ignorant about technology, after all I use it every day, but putting the thingy into the whatsit was a move I didn't see coming.
The vacuum is now sitting in the kitchen looking smug. It's going to take me a while to like this machine. I feel resentful of the techno- trickery that was involved to make it work.
It's just a vacuum cleaner! I wasn't looking for a deep and meaningful engagement. Just basic serviceability. Nothing more. Too much to ask?
The push toward artificial intelligence, driverless cars and the like, while exciting for some hipster boffins in secret labs somewhere, poses serious questions for the rest of us hoi polloi.
Are we carefully and thoroughly constructing the demise of the human race?
Throw in climate change, a couple of giant polluting coal mines, the notion that there can be endless growth, and absurdist politics and things are looking iffy.
I do talk to machines. I shout at the toaster. "You're a toaster! You have only one job! Is it really that hard?”
I thank the car when it drives well. I say "I love you ice maker” to the fridge. My computer and I have a lot of discussions. "Yes!” I cry when something works. Rude words are said when I get stuck behind some techno wall.
Does this mean I am colluding with the uprising of technology? Have I already been co-opted into the techno world? I placed a little sticker over the eye on top of the computer I think spies on me. I turn off the location button on my phone. But I know I am being tracked because of the ads I get on Facebook. One mild inquiry about New Zealand and whoosh! In floods many invitations to fly here and there in NZ.
Who knows, maybe my new vacuum cleaner is spying on me right now and reporting my cleaning habits back to a dank bunker, populated by robots, somewhere in eastern Europe! Will I soon be flooded with offers for cleaning products I don't want? Have I been identified as a bit grubby and lacking in the necessary sparkle?? It doesn't bear thinking about.