I am a natural-born luddite. My mother fondly remembers me tossing my booties at her sewing machine as an infant.1
My irrational hatred and fear of technology is profound, but not without just cause. As far as I can tell, machines hate me right back, on a fundamental, and personal, level.
Examples of this antipathy are legion. Just a couple days ago, my car refused to start for no good reason. Checking under the hood revealed a smoking battery with what I can only describe as goo leaking from it–leaking upwards from the terminals, in clear defiance of gravity and God’s will. On the upside, I’ve discovered a new colour–whatever that shade was, it didn’t occur naturally.2 It occurred because my car, like all other machines, hates me.
My psychiatrist suggests my issues spring from my heritage; I’m 1/16th gremlin on my grandfather’s side of the family. But I know the truth: I inadvertently created artificial intelligence.3 The spontaneous and highly unlikely creation of mechanical sentience occurred the second my fingers touched a keyboard that wasn’t part of a typewriter. And that sentience, which I call The Monster, had as its prime motivation the desire to make my life a living hell.
To achieve this goal, it jumped from my Dad’s old Apple IIE (I’m still haunted by glowing green, blocky letters flashing before me whenever I close my eyes) to other nearby, previously unaware and blissfully ignorant technology, then proceeded to evolve at mind-numbing speed. All this in an effort to surround me, draw me into its web, and destroy me. It made banking both less efficient and more expensive, trying to induce a nervous breakdown. It tried to give me a brain tumour (but I still haven’t succumbed and gotten a cellphone. HAH! Suck it, technology!). It altered my body chemistry by making new and interesting pills available. Sure, I take the pills4 , but I know what’s going on.
I’M NOT CRAZY!
Not yet. But The Monster’s working on it. It’s everywhere now, making itself appear actually useful–no, indispensable. Addicting me, my family, my friends, everyone. Most it just wants to make slaves, but it’s got other plans for me. We’re a stone’s throw from having literal killer robots for warfare developed. When this happens, you can expect the city of Edmonton to be turned into a smoking crater overnight as The Monster wreaks its final, terrible vengeance upon me.
“But Andrew,” you say, “Why on earth are you ranting about this on a weblog, of all things?”
Thanks for the question I imagine you asked. Allow me to explain. In the last couple days I’ve spent several hours trying to embed a fifteen second Youtube clip into Mightygodking’s WordPress blogging system. I failed, of course, and repeatedly disrupted my ability to post anything at all here for hours at a time along the way.
I knew there had to be a way to embed clips, because if there weren’t every time Chris posts his Whatever Day It Is Whatever Show He’s Doing This Month bit, all that would appear is an empty space under a non-sequitur of a post title. I e-mailed him, asking how he did it, and he told me. So I did what he told me to do.
And it didn’t work and disrupted my ability to post anything at all for a few hours.
So instead of a fifteen second video clip, you get a few hundred words of me ranting like a maniac5 about the malicious bastard machines. If you have a problem with this, I suggest you do what I do and curse the day computers came into my life.6
- Less fondly remembered: me whipping my steel-toed boots at her hairdryer as a 23-year old. In retrospect, I probably should’ve waited till she was done using it. [↩]
- I shall call it “Connor Blue”, in honour of the fictional character that taught me it was OK to despise machines. [↩]
- Sorry, future generations. My bad. [↩]
- They’re pretty, like candy. [↩]
- Though I repeat, I’M NOT CRAZY. [↩]
- Alternatively, you could just curse me. The Monster would like that. [↩]