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.

 

The Battle of the Brains

brains

It’s midnight, I want to go to sleep, but I also want to file my blog. I am a man of two minds, not only in this dilemma but the one that’s going on between the two hemispheres in the control of my functions: Left Brain vs. Right Brain.

I’ve found that my current personal and professional goals do battle in my noodle on a regular basis. There is the part of me that wants to be a full time writer and there’s the part of me that likes food and must still continue to do web design. And even though the second can be creative as well, the mathematical part necessary to code a web site puts it often more heavily into the left hemisphere and that side wants to dominate and tell the flaky artistic part to go get a burrito.

So I find myself here, laptop poised, fingers lightly on the a, s, d, f,j k, l and ; keys ready to type and I can’t get the brain to switch over. I slam the heel of my hand against the side of my skull trying to force the synapses to fire that way the way you might try to make water come out your ear. Nothing.

I watch a comedy clip of my favorite stand-up of the moment Louis CK. Nothing.

I wish to run nude and free through the unlimited universe of thought, imagination and creativity but there’s something unfinished on one of my website projects and the stubborn part of me that doesn’t like loose ends still has his pocket protector on.

The Battle of my Brains, or more appropriately, the sides of my brain, are like the battle waged every day in high school cafeterias, the cool kids versus the nerds. Each thinks they are better, each is a little jealous of the other’s capabilities, and neither wants to sit together. And the funny part is they need each other. Like the jock needs the nerd to copy off on test day, I need the left brain to manage websites and social media in order to increase my blogging audience. And like the geek needs the artist to introduce him to the art of talking to girls or at least procure beer so it won’t matter, I need the writer to help with all of the design parts and to keep me inspired on a day to day basis.

So why can’t they all just get along? Why is it that the logical side won’t make room for the creative side and vice-versa? Why do they have to have their “me” time? I suppose it’s like having twins, they both want more attention and will scream louder in an attempt to get it. But just like parents that can be exhausted by all the work until they see the twins dressed up for some special occasion, I should just be thankful that I’ve been blessed with both and keep doing my work.

Thanks for listening.

 

 

 

 

A Conversation Between Angels XXXVI

“Morning.”

“Oh, hi, good morning.”

“Mind if I join you.”

“No, not at all.”

“Ted.”

“Hi, I’m Mr., I mean I’m Scott.”

“What are you doing?”
“Just looking, thinking about my life down there. It’s all so simple.”

“What is?”

“Well. I am…was…a CEO of a major corporation. 23 different companies underneath us. We would always say that we couldn’t change anything, it was all in the system. But we made the system.”

“I hear ya.”

“We set it up so customer service was automated, we set it up so billing was automated. And then when someone wanted something different done, we blamed the machines and there was nothing we could do about it. But we created those machines and we could have changed them. Instead we let them take the blame and got caught up in the ease of it.”

“Ain’t it the truth.”

“And the worst part is we did it to our employees, the people that made us grow. Let the computers control their vacations, their pensions, their benefits. Sickening. Jeez I’m so sorry, I’m babbling on an on. What did you do?”

“I worked for you.”

Computers Taking Over the World…Not Yet

Don’t Be Afraid Yet
Courtesy of http://www.clipart.com

 

Science fiction has been predicting for many years that computers will eventually learn to “think” and will take over the world. I saw War Games in the 80s. I was there for the Y2K rumors. So far we’re safe, and if my phone and laptop are any indication, we’re not in any danger.

I don’t really think they stand a chance when they don’t know where they are and they don’t know what the weather is going to be like. I spent a lot of time on the bus this summer and was constantly amused by my GPS. There is a function in it that can map out the public transportation routes with times and directions. I just had to laugh when the map would say “…has arrived” and there I was, still sitting on the bus listening to someone talking too loud on their cell phone next to me. This system is built on satellites or they wouldn’t even know when the bus could possibly arrive, so how are the computers going to take over the world when they’ll miss their target? They’ll be shooting for the UN and end up at McD’s. After hours. Talking to the box.

And the change in the weather. I was talking to my mom and she was asking about the weather, we’re supposed to get some of those 90s for the next few days. So I went to look at the weather site and it said it was 77 degrees. Ok. But. It also said that it would be 90. In fourteen minutes! So I says to mom how can someone not know to change this, she says dad says they’re all on computers, so why couldn’t the computer just interpret the change and adjust accordingly? To my first-hand knowledge, spilling coffee on your laptop keyboard fries it; so how are the computers going to take over the world if they decide to attack…and it rains? They’re all not R2D2 that could whip out an umbrella ala a light saber. They’ll all just be laying there out in the street, like a bunch of beer cans after a big concert.

So rest assured good humans we are safe. But they are getting smarter, more useful and a bigger part of our daily lives every day. So while they’re still our “pets” let’s take care of them. And eat breakfast somewhere else. And stop talking to them. They might be listening.