The End of Civility… I’ve seen it… Gene Roddenberry knew it in the 60’s… we should have realized it, too.
The end of our civilized civilization brought about by the need to communicate…not with each other, but with computers.
When you needed info on the Enterprise, they didn’t say “Computer, please tell me about so and so.” They said succinctly “Computer” and she, in Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s voice, said “working.”
It’s in my hands right now; the portent of the end. I need something from my ipad. I say, “Siri, please show me so and so.” The “please” confuses her and she doesn’t understand.
So I simplify my request to exclude the polite phrases I have had beaten into me since childhood. I decline to say thank you since it doesn’t compute.
GR was such a visionary… if only we had realized what he knew. We could have programmed computers differently. To make them require hearing please and thank you from us before providing us with directions to wherever or the recipe for a delightfully quenching drink. To have it respond “unable to compute” when it doesn’t hear the basics of society’s politeness.
Instead, we have been reduced to quick texts, have
lost our art of conversation and are watching civilized
civilization disappear. Even I, who am a stickler for please and thank you, have reduced them to “pls thx” at the closing of texts and occasionally emails. I won’t be doing that anymore. I will take the time to spell it out! To take the TIME to hold on desperately to the remnants of the civilized-nation I remember.
Anything else… well… I’ll be unable to compute…