make-believe.org

A timer expires and the radio blares and you press a button to make it stop.

Nine minutes, or eighteen minutes, or twenty-seven minutes later, your patience runs out and you pour out of bed. It is possible you will turn a knob to get the shower running, but after that it's buttons all the way: the ones that do your shirt up, the ones that boil the water, the ones that pop the toast, the ones that make the lights turn green, the ones that beep and click and whir and release your cash or bypass it entirely, the ones that make the tram stop, the ones that lift you to your designated floor, the clackety ones that make words barely even in your head show up before your eyes, words you're not proud of, not by any means, but that serve the given purpose with what seems like a minimum of effort.

And after that it's the same buttons, with only minor variations, all the way back to bed.

You know it's easy enough to lampoon the science fiction writers and dreamers who promised us a twenty-first century of cyborgs and robots. But they were only half wrong; the obverse is coming true. We're pretty much the only human things left. Everything else appears to be buttons.

Joseph | 3 Feb 2005

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