What Hath Jobs Wrought?


Me, to iPhone Voice Control: “Turn on Bluetooth.”

IPhone Voice Control, to me: “Playing songs by Paula Abdul.”

Paula Abdul, via my iPhone: ” Lost / In a dream / I don’t know which way to go …”

Best. Technology. Ever!

… And I Feel Fine


I wrote a blog post a while back about swine flu and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, about ideas introduced in H2G2 that resonate for me outside of the books — things like Babel Fish, the Total Perspective Vortex, and the Somebody Else’s Problem Field.

There’s some brilliant stuff in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series (buy yours today!). I was reminded Sunday of this passage, which is exactly how my mind works. In it, Arthur Dent is trying to come to terms with the fact that the Earth has been destroyed, apparently leaving him its sole survivor. (Passage stolen from this site.)

The Earth.

Visions of it swam sickeningly through his nauseated mind. There was no way his imagination could feel the impact of the whole Earth having gone, it was too big. He prodded his feelings by thinking that his parents and his sister had gone. No reaction. He thought of all the people he had been close to. No reaction. Then he thought of a complete stranger he had been standing behind in the queue at the supermarket before and felt a sudden stab – the supermarket was gone, everything in it was gone. Nelson’s Column had gone! Nelson’s Column had gone and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry. From now on Nelson’s Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind – his mind, stuck here in this dank smelly steel-lined spaceship. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him.

England no longer existed. He’d got that – somehow he’d got it. He tried again. America, he thought, has gone. He couldn’t grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He’d never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, had sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonalds, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald’s hamburger.

He passed out. When he came round a second later he found he was sobbing for his mother.

Ever had that happen? (Well, not the Earth being destroyed, obviously; if you had, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog, unless an alternate timeline was somehow involved, or possibly a parallel Earth.) Something you couldn’t really grasp as a whole, that could only be dealt with in parts?

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