Brain Canvas

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Computers Die like People

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People often say of their electronic communication devices, “My computer / mobile is about to die.”  All it takes to bring them back to life is a quick lifeline to the mains or a battery switch. What if instead of just powering off, devices actually died like people die? You become very attached to your computer; it has all of your favorite programs with the preferences just like you like them.  It has all of your Firefox extensions.  It has all of your file shortcuts arranged exactly like you want them, and the background is one of your favorite pictures. But you take it for granted.  If your computer is lost, smashed, or succumbs to a virus the thing you are most miffed about is the loss of economic value in the hardware and the implied value of whatever work is lost on your hard drive.  You can go out and get a new one if you have favored the financial gods by saving wisely. In the world where our devices actually die, we take great care to keep them plugged to the wall; if we have to unplug them we treat the situation the same as holding one’s own breath underwater.  You have to come up for air if you want to live more than a few minutes longer. There are the reckless ones though who don’t treat their living machines like they should.  They keep them unplugged in the park for a dangerously long time.  In class they write emails and text their friends with an unhealthy frequency, sapping the life of their mobile.  Inevitably, their cavalier attitude towards the life of their mechanical companion will have consequences. “Damn, my phone’s dying, talk to you when I get back home” becomes something else.
YOU: “Oh God, no.  My phone is dying!  Please, no, no, I’m sorry, NO!” FRIEND: “What?! Why did you keep it unplugged for so long?! I can’t believe this!” YOU: “I am so sorry. Oh, I am so sorry, I’m so sorry, please… WHY AREN’T THERE ANY OUTLETS!?” FRIEND: “Oh my… I’m gonna be sick.  I can’t believe you.  How could you let this happen?” YOU: “I’M SOR-”
And your connection is dead.

Written by Preston

January 11th, 2010 at 10:16 am

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