Feb 19, 2019, 06:27AM

Alexa and Siri Are Killing Us

We control so much from our devices, and yet feel so little control when zooming out and see the big picture.

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We want to kill Alexa when it gets the song wrong, but we ignore the beauty of simply asking or "commanding" a song and receiving it.

We text words, pictures and videos to each other across the globe, but often can't hear the person in the other room.

We read things on the Internet and share them with each other, regardless of the feedback.

We control so much from our devices, and yet feel so little control when zooming out and see the big picture.

We generally have no idea of our own biases, even though learning about our biases (generational, racial, gender, cultural) would make our individual and collective worlds a better place.

We refuse to acknowledge that the past wasn't all that we pretend it was or we imagine the future will always be better than the present. So few of us actually recognize the present and exist within it.

We drink, smoke, pop pills, and ingest all kinds of things with the belief that we’ll enjoy life more, and we allow the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and the alcohol industries to get away with selling us our own slow (or not so slow) paths to self-destruction.

We wait for a perfect candidate that doesn't exist to solve all of our problems, rather than acknowledge government officials only go as far as their constituents demand. And that incremental progress counts.

We shout into the abyss of social media, and pretend our voices are now heard, rather than sublimated in the wash of blips and bloops that dominate the Internet's auditory landscape.

We give ourselves lots of credit when things go well and we deny responsibility when they don't.

We’re intensely individual and yet long for social connection.

We love reading about scandals and increasingly seek fame at all costs, and yet pretend to be humble, genuine, and kind.

We usually blame victims for their problems and ignore the societal conditions that create and/or exacerbate those problems.

We (some of us) continue to imagine America as a meritocracy despite the overwhelming evidence of lower social mobility, increased inequality, and zip codes as determinants of future status.

We (some of us) gradually recognize that our modern economic titans should face some degree of regulation, though we’ll never agree on what that looks like.

We (most of us) allow our childhood traumas to dictate so much of our adult behavior, rather than working to understand how our past can hold back our present and future.

We (most of us) have so much in our lives to be thankful for. We have so much to appreciate, and yet we make minor problems major and create problems that don't need to exist.

In summary: we’re dumb animals, often willfully ignorant, wandering around this overheated planet, waiting for an imagined utopia that will never arrive.

What will we do next?


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