Thursday, 6 September 2007
Technological Cats with e mail and Alan Brownjohn
A friend in Prague e mailed after reading my blog and suggested I try hoovering my camera and if that fails a hairdryer. The former may extract stray hairs, sand, grit or general detritus that make be causing the problem. The latter may dry any damp that has entered the camera and buggered it up; either way I had nothing to lose but alas no miraculous cure.
I recall a friend who, to start his car, had to strike it in a particular place on the steering column, a relative who for many years used a pair of pliers to turn the knobs on her cooker as they all gradually fell off and I am the maestro of the photocopier at work which has the temperament of a thoroughbred and whilst it can do all sorts of wonderful things just short of making you a cappuccino requires soothing kind words now and then to get the required result.
I have long believed that inanimate objects are affected by human pheromones; anger, rudeness etc can result in a machine remaining inoperable whilst a kind word, a firm but pleasant attitude can get you the required results. Machines may be state of the art electronics but they can sniff out a Luddite, which accounts for those machines that stubbornly plough their own furrow by way of response.
Someone at work is very techno-phobic and approaches all computer based activities as if being asked to control a vicious Rottweiller. I watched as she tentatively clicked on print and the printer proceeded to spew out the same document again and again although only one had been requested, in the end she had to yank out the plug as it wouldn’t even acknowledge its own off switch. It reminded me of the Sorceror's Apprentice in Fantasia as Mickey Mouse tries in vain to stop the broom fetching water. Given today’s news about additives effecting behaviour it may be likely that the printer was acting like a Rottweiller on a batch of E numbers.
This anthropomorphism of objects is of course ludicrous, illogical and downright stupid but yet I still talk to my car, computer and even microwave now and then. Years hence some scientist may discover that human pheromones do affect sophisticated electronics and I will lean back in my state of the art electric wheelchair and tell it I knew that all along.
Alan Brownjohn in his usual witty manner examines the strange and mysterious relationship between humans and technology in this poem.
As he points out some things can never be controlled by technology and cats will never have e mail…although I note they are some that have their own profile on Facebook which is rather spooky perhaps some cats have the right sort of pheromones.