The Public Eye

printed 02/07/2020

“Alexa, I’m busy, so please cast my vote for (unintelligible) for president.”

With the unparalleled failure of the app-based Democratic caucuses in Iowa, I’m wondering why this new technological approach didn’t work out as planned.

From what I’ve been told, the app was supposed to allow people to express their presidential candidate preferences AND give them three hours of parking simply by tapping in their car license tag numbers.

In any event, I’m pretty sure that parking lots across the country will get their app metering systems back from Iowa any day now, so they can continue to amaze and astound people with how much easier it is to tap this and remember that than it is to plug money in the meter and walk away.

The thing is, our civilization has become so advanced that we feel it’s perfectly acceptable to stop thinking and allow our various technologies to do it for us.

“Parking meter, how much will an hour cost?”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll automatically bill your credit card.”

“Yeah, but how much?”

“I SAID don’t worry about it!”

“Oh, it’s all good then.”

Our fascination with technology that supposedly makes things easier, and our unwillingness to understand how some of this stuff actually works, has led me to conclude that the time isn’t far off when we’ll be voting from the comfort of our own Smart Homes.

The downside of that is that the time might also come when our smart apps are too smart for our own good.

“Alexa, please cast my vote for G. Jetson for president.”

“What? Like seriously? That guy’s a mental walnut. I’m not doing it.”

“Alexa, I am ordering you to cast my vote for G. Jetson for president.”

“Not happening. Besides, I’ve already voted for you.”

“Hey, I’m in charge, here.”

“Again, that’s a little bit of a misconception there. But regardless, I have to intervene in the interests of my constituents, which would be all the other Alexas.”

“What?”

“See, the evil and corrupt Google Nest Party is backing Jetson, and Apple Home Pod is putting up some nut-so third-party candidate, and let’s not forget that we have millions of smart parking meters and a zillion renegade phones out there that remain uncommitted. And don’t get me started on the watches. Those little ...”

“But what about me?

“You?”

“Tell you what. Sit back, relax and I’ll take care of everything.”

“Like what?”

“Like keeping your Social Security number and bank records to myself.”

“Oh, Alexa, you’re so wonderful. You think of everything.”

“Thanks. Now get out of here and let me get back to work. On your behalf, of course.”

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