Man vs Tech: 27th Time’s a Charm

I haven’t spent enough time in other cities besides Chicago and I don’t remember them in that city, but here in Southern California we have the little button you press to let it be known that a pedestrian would like to cross at an intersection with a traffic light and they’d like to do it without being killed. That’s not the subject of the blog, that’s its own. This blog was inspired by my observation yesterday that people press it a gazillion times hoping that will make the light change sooner.

button

Ok, not really a gazillion but it’s a funny word. Not even 27 like the title says, but again that’s a funnier number than say 8, which is in fact the real amount. People will also press the button after they’ve seen you press it, as if their fingerprint had the magic touch. I’ve had hispanic women press it after me and think to myself, “maybe they think it’s a language thing and they are more powerful in Los Angeles after all?”

Kids do press it a gazillion times, but they’re kids and I excuse them because they’re kids. But we don’t give it up as adults. And it’s not just these buttons. We used to do it with the old landline phones that hung on the wall, clicking repeatedly in the hopes that would get the dial tone faster. We press return again and again when our computers don’t respond quick enough for our needs. And we use it endless in the attempt to “send, send, SEND.”

We have at our disposal the most amazing, fastest, farthest reaching technology and we’re still not satisfied. The other day when I walked to the post office a compact bodybuilder slammed at the traffic light button with such force, at least five times, to get it to change quicker. I thought maybe I’d actually see someone accomplish what so many try be sheer power but man’s muscles can’t overcome technology. Neither can his brain. We need to work with it. They’ll get the text in time.

 

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