Some of you will be familiar with John Watson, a.k.a Wonko the Sane, the chap who upon discovering the instructions on a pack of toothpicks, realised that the whole world was bonkers and built himself ‘The Asylum’ – an inside-out institution, where ‘outside’, inside the asylum, the world went about it’s crazy, mad, deluded way, whilst he stayed safely ensconced ‘inside’, that is, outside the asylum.
Sometimes, i feel i could happily join him.
As technology marches ever onward, we seem as a race incapable of putting the remarkable resources that it puts at our fingertips to any rational or sensible use. This is why the internet is powered by lolcats and videos of people planking and falling off skateboards, it’s why people would never dream of leaving their homes to play any sort of sport, but will spend entire evenings pretending to play table tennis or rolling invisible bowling balls in front of the TV and it’s why the very latest innovations leave me wondering whether humanity has pretty much reached the sanity event horizon.
Take refrigerators – handy for keeping beer cold and food fresh, but handier still for affixing magnets that solemnly adjure, ‘A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!’, our childrens’ latest masterpieces and post-it notes to remind us about the dental appointment we forgot to go to and for minding shopping lists, while we head off to the store without them. My friends, make the most of it… those will soon be things of the past, according to a link a friend sent me today:
Upgrade your life with a Wi-Fi enabled refrigerator featuring a brilliant 8” touchscreen that puts access to apps at your fingertips. Check the morning weather, browse the web for recipes, explore your social networks or leave notes for your family—all from the refrigerator door.
And all for the low, low price of $3,699!
The day i shell out for a WiFi-enabled fridge is the day i give you permission to lobotomise me and leave me gently rocking in the corner, softly singing the Spam song to myself.
That statement may seem a little odd coming from someone who spends a fair amount of time inhabiting a virtual world but, when it comes to the bizarre and unbelievable, increasingly it seems to me that the real world is the barmy place, with sl by far the more pedestrian and ‘normal’ environment by comparison.
If you consider the virtual world – though the anarchists among us may not particularly like the thought – it’s actually a very well organised and sensible place. It follows very definite rules, conventions and standards, and all without the need for daft warnings, (‘filling may be hot!’), the health and safety police breathing down our necks and the politically correct brigade demanding that we rename the seasons because it’s offensive to planets who don’t have them.
At least the madness in sl is contrived, creative and has a point… whereas the madness in the real world is rarely any of those things. You can’t put drawing pin in a wall these days without a risk assessment in triplicate and a signed disclaimer to say you won’t sue if you break a fingernail pushing it in! As for the gadgets… why? Rather than just quietly get on with my job of protecting my PC from nasties, my anti-virus program can’t resist the temptation to spew out a brightly coloured pop-up on a daily basis, accompanied by a chirpy Californian female voice, lovingly telling me that i’m protected from viruses. My phone pings happily whenever i take photo with it and begs me to look at all the other images it’s found on the web that look a bit like the one i’ve just snapped… and now, apparently, my next ‘fridge is going to come ready fitted with all the apps i need to live a hectic life – well that’s just great, but how the hell will it fit in my jeans’ pocket?
The world’s gone mad, i’m telling you, give me the sanity of sl any day!
s. x (Written on my i-haven’t-got-one-of-those-Apple™-things-thank-goodness!)