My iWatch is my keeper

All my life I have been told what to do. It started with my mother, then various teachers, sergeants, bosses, tax collectors, girlfriends, wives, and now… my iWatch.

Yes, my iWatch is now taking over and bossing me around. It tells me what to do… when to stand, when to exercise, what to eat, etc.  If I don’t heed the commands, I am afraid of the consequences It is kind of creepy…

Every cloud has a silver lining and this coronavirus abomination strangely ushered a bright side. Its quick propagation and deadly consequences are stimulating innovation.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” has never been truer.

All tech companies worldwide are now working overtime to come up with an app to identify and curb the virus spread. My iWatch and my iPhone will soon enter the war against COVID-19. They will tell me for instance if I am in the proximity of an infected individual, and if so, what to do and where to go.

Some events are so catastrophic that they cannot be ignored and force old foes to cooperate. In WWII, unabashed capitalistic America agreed to fight on the side of its foe, the ever reviled Soviet Union. Today, similarly, tech giants have declared an armistice and pledged to cooperate fighting the common enemy.

Sometimes I have the feeling that these new smart gadgets treat you are like a child. They are packed with so many hidden features, that most of its owners probably don’t even know about them.

Kids and women seem to be the new authorities on the iWatch. The minute they got it, they tried (and mastered) every single feature. To me, it still is a watch, albeit a smart one. It tells me the time, the ambient temperature, and when I get some e-mail.

But if you dig a little (unfortunately I am averse to manual labor) you will find plenty of goodies. For instance, if you momentarily forget your passcode, the iWatch can unlock your Mac. Nice.
It will listen to and obey Siri’s commands. It will make calls and receive messages away from your phone. It will warn you about abnormal heart rates and detect accidental falls, etc.

The problem is that if you get used to all of this, (like smart-alecky kids do) you will eventually forget everything that took years to master. If you lose or misplace your iWatch, you will suddenly feel like a fish out of water. A little bit like relying too much on your car… and forgetting how to use your legs. Baaad!

But I like tech stuff… Fortunately, I am not (totally) addicted to it and could survive without it on a deserted island. My wife who has become a Tech Guru could not.

Alain

The Crump mutiny

After months at sea, USS Conqueror is finally coming close to the end of its four-year odyssey.

It has been a long, tumultuous journey punctuated by some vexing incidents. Captain Crump, a volatile commander, demands blind obedience from his crew and when upset he is quick to anger. Many of his officers, after being initially praised, were quickly dismissed.  Some judiciously kept a log to document the captain’s erratic behavior, and it is very likely that many telling books will be soon forthcoming.

Captain Crump was always regarded with suspicion by the sea-faring establishment and there had been many attempts to derail him. But the man is cunning, and he has surrounded himself by a Praetorian Guard willing to go to extremes to shield him.

As customary, there will be an evaluation of his performance; it will determine if Captain Crump should keep his job or be replaced by a more competent commander. Despite his bullish attitude, the man is clearly worried and seems to be grabbing at straws. In a time of stress, he is often seen maniacally rolling two golf balls between his fingers.

A self-proclaimed law-and-order man, he has made many attempts to befriend authoritarian skippers, but he has been regularly rebuffed or played for a fool by more seasoned autocrats. Many have laughed at him behind his back.

His misogynistic and racial insensitivity does not help. But he is determined to prevail and does not hesitate to make outrageous statements to buttress his case.

“Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No captain in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

 To captain Crump, the end justifies the means. The truth is elastic and there are many “alternative facts” to contemplate before passing judgment. He seems to have a short memory and often denies previous recorded public statements.

Americans are generally fond of grandstanding. There is an unfounded rumor, that even if he is demoted, he might barricade himself in his ship’s CIC (combat information center) and refuse to leave.

If this happens, a thousand cameras will be there to memorialize this event. This will probably please a man known for his egocentrism and his fondness of the limelight.

In conclusion, there is no conclusion. Things will go on as they always have, getting weirder all the time.   Robert Anton Wilson

   Alain

I am doggone tired of the news…

I am doggone tired of the “news” … the daily avalanche of negative reports that are rolling in every single day.
Just keep in mind Walter Lippmann’s saying:

The news and the truth are not the same things.” 

I am tired of the pandemic, the confinement, the masks controversy, the people’s stupidity, the demonstrations, the vandalism, trigger happy cops, racial strife, wildfires, hurricanes, the divisive state of the country, our government…
How can anybody keep his sanity in such a toxic environment?

I am tired of flags waving and gun-toting individuals. Flags are nothing but divisive tools that pit different thinking people against each other. And WTF is the reason for wearing an American flag on a lapel? Are these people telling us that they are more patriotic than the rest of us? Are they afraid to be taken for undocumented immigrants? Are they paying more taxes than us? Most probably not!

I am tired of this America über alles fascist trend. Contrarily to what has been hammered into you, we are not better than the rest of the world… maybe we were once, but not anymore. And many of Europe’s so-called socialist countries that some Americans are so afraid of (Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Ireland) are treating their citizens more fairly than our government. Even Canadians are more satisfied than us.

A country should not be judged by the wealth of a few, but by the way it cares for all his citizens. And right now, Americans of all shapes and colors are mightily unhappy and bitterly divided. Russian interference might be a factor. Some people are so gullible that they will believe anything posted on the internet.

At the end of the year, I don’t want any Christmas gift. I just wrote to Santa to explain my decision.

Dear Santa, since many mailboxes throughout the country, have been removed, I am writing to you ahead of time to make sure that you get my letter.
I would like you to know that even though I have been a very good boy, I don’t want any Christmas present this year. Instead, I would like you to do me a tiny little favor.

You probably know that lately, I have been very disturbed. I need some rest and peace of mind. As a personal favor to me, I would like you to use your connections to clean and disinfect the White House. We are expecting new tenants and we would like them to feel comfortable.

Ask your helpers to use a high-pressure hose if necessary, and please tell them to do a thorough job. My sleep (and millions of others) depend on it.

I virtually rub elbows with you.
Your devoted follower,

Alain