Wait Two Hours

Palace of the Kings of Majorca, Perpignan, France

Their autocorrect comes with a superpowered phonetics engine. It makes smarter mistakes.

Postal workers have been correcting for phonetic spelling since the beginning of mail. My insurance papers make it to me despite having the address rewritten. Rewritten because not all the names of the less famous make it to the dictionary. Regardless, the inventions of a computer do not faze the post office.

Computers come with so many scapegoats that if you are not in the mood to name something specific, like software, or bad data, or have overused too many of them, you can just say “Computers” with a pregnant pause and your interlocutor will probably make some sort of sympathetic noise.

And now everybody is reminded that they have a computer in their pocket, that cars use more microprocessors than computers and that the internet of things is coming (is here). “Technology … .”

In the late 90’s there was a joke making the rounds after Bill Gates said that the auto industry could learn something from the computer industry’s ability to increase performance and reduce prices. There were various versions of a supposed response from the General Motors CEO saying that if cars were like computers, they would stop suddenly on the highway; you would have to turn them off; check the tires, check the oil and check the fuel; and then restart the car. The glitches transposed … .

When the audio system in my car glitches it sends my onboard computer into a tizzy. Luckily the car still drives but if I want to use the onboard systems I have to park the car for the two hours it takes for the “trip” related measures to reset. … .

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