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not going to miss you

My computer is malfunctioning. Funny how important they are to us, and how little we care for them. This despite our propensity for anthropomorphosis. How many people are truly devastated by the loss of a pet? (Even goldfish -- my daughter Thea was traumatized for several moments when hers passed over to the Great Bowl in the sky. I hardly see the family dog any more, but I know I will think a few thoughts about the old guy when he goes.) Well, pets are almost human. But cars sure aren't, and yet many people truly seem to identify with their vehicle. Not just caring for them, washing and waxing, but naming them, seeing them with personality traits (doesn't like the cold, wants to run, temperamental in wet weather) and clearly thinking of them as extensions of their own personality. I for example am a ten-year-old Toyota with a cracked windshield, badly in need of a wash..... (You know, now that I think of it, there may be some truth there.)

Why do we care so little about our computers? We use them daily, are lost without them. They are personally ours in a way that cars aren't -- containing scads of very intimate data. And the language is there. We talk about computers having viruses. My computer is in the shop because its RAM is corrupt. So, why don't I humanise that? (It'd be easy. I mean, the RAM could be a small-town politician, open to bribes by visiting data from the internet.) But I don't think of it that way. I almost miss my little plastic soldier more -- the one mutilated by Ed's friend's in a moment of mindless kid-dom. Poor headless Grenade Guy.

I don't miss my computer for itself. I miss what it does. This loaner is fine. If I have to buy a new computer, I am sure it'll be better than my old one. Faster, more powerful, and cheaper. I'll be happy to upgrade.

Hmmm. Maybe cars are like us, and computers are like our jobs. Or maybe cars are the reality of our lives, and computers are the fantasy version. Wouldn't you like a personal upgrade?


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