Are we being taken over incipiently by forces beyond our control?
Your editor was recently taken aback to receive a message from his cooker telling him that it was cold, poor thing. Worse than that, it sought to embarrass him by cheekily copying the message to all the light bulbs, which flickered their disapproval. While trying to get the cooker to understand that energy conservation, while not in use, was key to the human race’s ability to produce more cookers in the long term in a stable global climate. This awkward situation did not improve when your editor, in trying to prove his point, accessed his electricity smart meter. “Dobryy vecher” said the meter as the horrific realisation dawned that Vladimyr Putin and his cyber team were logged into the house through it. It was at this point that your editor comprehended why the fridge had been secretly demanding replacement of the dwindling Vodka stocks and unilaterally ordered another fake case from an on-line supplier in Vladivostok owned, it transpired, by the Kremlin.
We British are stoical. In the face of such shocks we often decide to calm down with a cup of tea. The electric kettle had already anticipated the crisis through the smart watch and although warming up was not reaching the boil. Further investigation found that the kettle was using half of its energy calling the pot black, a furious row ensuing until the television threatened to report them both on the 6 o’clock news. That’s it then, the Internet of Things has arrived. While the techno-wizards of Silicon Valley are loading us up at an exponential rate to ensure that our apps consume profitable bandwidth on our expensive smart phones and tablets, with the illusion that life will be better, some are viewing these phenomena with increasing paranoia. Others might think they are a boon.
Oh well, must go. The Fitbit has just nudged your editor that it’s been 36 hours since he had a jog, so it’s off to the park in his self-driving car to collect another couple of speeding fines from the synchronised cameras en route. At least the fines will be automatically collected directly from his bank account while the local authority giggles menacingly in the background.
As spring will shortly be in the air after a long cool winter, how good it must be for the residents around ‘The Land South of Hilarion’ to find, after seven tedious years, the clean green fields (almost) returning to the peaceful pastures they should always have been. For obvious reasons, this magazine has avoided poking sticks at the illicit invaders who caused so much offense and such high costs. We may hope that it will not occur here again.