I’ve refused to have an Alexa, Siri or Google voice recognition system in the house on principle, and lately I feel vindicated. It’s not just about feeling super lazy about a machine turning on a light switch.
Nope, my trepidation started with the fact that you have to wake the system up each time.
Once I read that, there was no way one was coming in my house.
Why? Well, in order for it to recognise its name, it would have to be listening all the time.
I learnt that gem at dog training class about seven years ago.
I had to chatter on with my dog in the room and give him commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘down’ in the middle of my conversations.
He was supposed to learn to listen to me at all times so he could respond accordingly.
That worked for about a week and then I went off the whole project.
All good intentions of having the best trained dog in the world came to an end pretty soon.
Because, however much I tried, the only time he’d pay attention to me pretending to tell the toaster to ‘sit’ was when I had liver treats in a pocket.
Just as the dog was supposed to listen intently we’ve learnt that these seemingly helpful machines are listening constantly even without a treat, and those conversations are being shared.
My crazy conspiracy theories are vindicated.
Plus, reading this week that Apple refuses to let certain words be used has compounded my frustrations.
Apparently feminism is a black-listed word for the Siri voice recognition system. That is astounding as everyone with half a brain cell knows that feminism is about equality.
Why shy away from that word? Fear of offending someone who thinks it means something else?
Maybe the better bet would be for Apple to programme its machines to gladly shout they’re feminists and then define feminism for the uninitiated and define idiocy for those who still (yes, still) try to muddy its connotations with something else entirely.
Less classic musical and more emperor’s new clothes
Last week I finally got around to watching Phantom of the Opera after finding it online.
Of course, I knew the title song and that it involved a phantom but apart from that I was uninitiated.
Oh my goodness, do I wish I hadn’t bothered? Yes I do. What a monstrosity of a turdosity. I couldn’t quite believe that this is the acclaimed work which has run and run and run. What are people thinking?
Do they go because it’s expected of them and then lie about liking it, a la the emperor’s new clothes? That’s the only way anyone could possibly be entertained, unless they were laughing hysterically, as I was, about the Angel of Music. Not with those tunes you’re not.
Shoes so strong you won’t need a second mortgage
To all those of you who are still buying new school shoes every year, it gets better, I promise.
Finally the shoe sizes of all my daughters have stopped increasing.
Last year I was able to invest in some serious quality Dr Martens for one daughter, and two years ago for another.
And I have not had to replace them yet, what with those thick soles. They are super sturdy and all-round hardcore.
I used to get so fed up with both endless shopping, and paying, for shoes which would be too tight within a few months or fall to pieces if I was economising.
It was as if I’d have to take out a second mortgage each September, with the shoes, bags and uniforms.