Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why Skynet Isn't Necessary

Okay, so that may not be exactly what I mean.
What I mean is if Skynet became real and took over everything, it wouldn't need to bother with terminators. There would be no point.

At least not for the "civilized" world.

Seriously, we're all already slaves to the non-existent Skynet. Slaves, I tell you, so why would it want to kill us all?

As far as it goes, I'm non-dependent on technology. I don't have a cell phone. I don't have a tablet. I don't have an i-anything. I'm not really all that "plugged in." I don't want to be. We don't even have TV. No cable, no satellite anything, no DVR. We have a TV set and a Blu-ray player (which we only have because someone gave it to us). We barely have a console gaming system for the kids. We even live as independently from our cars as much as practically possible.

I mean, when I go somewhere, I want to be there, at that place, doing whatever it is I'm doing, even if it's standing around reading a book while I'm waiting for my kids to get out of school. I don't want technology bothering me.

And, although I love video games, I love actual board and tabletop games more. Video games have always been a substitute for when I can't get the actual personal interaction of people for the games I really love. Granted, I haven't really had that since I left my gaming group behind in Shreveport something more than 15 years ago.

All of that said, when my computer died a week ago, I was reminded of just how dependent upon technology I still am even with the lengths I go to to avoid that dependence. I mean, I couldn't work. I couldn't work! I actually do quite a bit of writing on paper, but it just so happened that I had all of my recent stuff already transferred into the computer the week before and had carried forth from there on  the computer, so all of my most recent stuff was IN THE COMPUTER! And it was dead. I mean, sure, I could have sat down and written something else, but I had stuff I needed to be working on, and I couldn't get to it.

I felt like the cat when he wants to go out and there's no one there to open the door for him. It was horrible.

Not to mention the fact that I had to go buy a new computer, but we'll get to that later.

Anyway, the point is that even I am dependent on Skynet. My technology. I don't know what to do with myself without it other than go to bed early, which I actually did a couple of nights, because I had NOTHING that I could work on! Did I mention how horrible that was?

So, yeah, Skynet will have no need to send terminators after us. Skynet will have us all working for it in exchange for technology. In fact, once we have real virtual reality, it might actually be more like The Matrix, except we'll be going in willingly, like I talked about in this post.

I do actually find it distressing that so many people are losing the ability to disentangle themselves from technology. People my age that didn't grow up tied to it even, and it's so much worse for the kids of today that have never been without it. Except for my kids, of course, because they, also, don't have any of this stuff (well, except my oldest, because his grandfather gave him a cell phone a few years ago (which I hate and which causes me to call my son Texty-Boy or Texty-Lad, which he hates, but that's what he gets when he's busy texting his girlfriend during family time or dinner, which is family time)), much to my daughter's chagrin, because at least half of her friends have their own cell phones, and she wants to know why she can't have one, and none of these girls are even 10, and, for the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone would give a $400 device that's smaller than a book to a child. I have no sympathy for any of them (the parents) when they are complaining that their kid lost and/or broke their phone.

This post, today, was originally meant to be the next post in my death series, but this is all kind of a different kind of death, because the loss of a piece of technology can have that same kind of effect upon people. I watched women at my kids' school cry over a lost or broken piece of tech as if their mother just died, which is also why I have no sympathy for them when they give that tech to their kids even just to use for a few minutes and that whatever-it-is get dashed across the playground by a different kid running past and, then, some other kid steps on or kicks it. So it's all just another kind of loss. Hopefully, one we recover from more easily than the death of a loved one, although I'm not sure with some people. There is this one mom that's been going on for weeks now about her broken cell phone. Or, maybe, it's lost. I can't remember, because, honestly, I just turn off my brain when she starts in about it.

It's just a thing!

And that is why I don't want to be so attached to technology. I don't want to feel like I've suffered a death because something breaks.

But, you know, I still need Skynet.

Today was supposed to be the release of Part 9 of Shadow Spinner, but, because of the computer problems, it didn't get finished. Well, let me re-phrase that, it's written, but I wasn't able to get it all set up with Amazon and all of that jazz, so it's suffering a slight delay. Maybe Friday. Yeah, I'm hoping to have it for Black Friday, because that seems kind of appropriate for Tib. Black Friday, that it, taken as just a name.
However, to go along with what was supposed to be the release, J. R. Pearse Nelson interviewed me about serials and Tib and Shadow Spinner, and I told her to go ahead and run it today, anyway, even without Part 9. You should all hop over there and check it out!]


  1. We live like you do Andrew. We got rid of cable about 4 years ago and don't miss telly a bit. I don't own a mobile because I won't be chained like a dog to it. I refuse to be instantly available to people. We have a few video games, but we don't play them often. But like you, my computer went down and I thought I'd lose my mind. Here I was all smug and self-satisfied about how "techno-free" I was and then BAM, I'm jonesing like a junkie for a fix. I really never want to lose my computer again-I need it!

  2. I admit, we're plugged in at our house and with more computers than a family of four even needs. Still don't own a cell phone though.
    And what on earth do grade school aged kids need with a cell phone, anyway?

  3. I know how your feel. My desk top died back in the Spring and left many of my favorite games stuck inside it- one being The Sims. :/ I'm not at a place to be able to replace the desk top right now and even if I did, would have to start from the beginning playing my favorites. Agree with the addiction to technology tho!

  4. So on one hand... I too don't have TV in our house. And you know what, after not having it for 2 years, I don't miss it. At all. I get so much more done and just think how much money we've saved.

    On the other hand... you don't have a cellphone? Maybe it's just because I drive an Audi (aka "I've been running for a week straight, let's break") but I like to have one just for emergencies or if I need to call someone while I'm out.

    But I will say this... I hate people that are always on their smartphones, especially when you're in their company. There's a great picture online of 5 guys sitting on a couch, every face shoved in their smartphone, and the caption says something like, "Upload to Facebook: Having such fun hanging out together LOL!" That says it all.

  5. I'm reading this "Fridgularity" book the author gave to me which is about when an AI takes over the Internet and as you say there are some people who can't cope so they start to "play Twitter" with slips of paper.

    I think I could adapt to a lot of things. In some ways it'd be a relief. No more blogfests! Hooray!

  6. Awkward to be reading this on my Kindle Fire in between texting my staff on my cellphone while I wait for xrays at the dentist's office.

    I love technology. My Kindle gives me everything your ... what did you call them? "Books?" Whatever those are... give you, except that I can read and comment on this post, then go answer your email, then go get caught up on Shadow Spinner, and then see how my fantasy football team did (I won and am in first place) and then tweet PT's awesome flashfic story...

    All from that dentist's chair.

    Tech isn't the problem. You ares either there or you're not. When I was a kid I was always reading comical and had to be dragged back to family. Now, Mr F makes me put down my kindle to play swinging.

    Got to go. Dentist is back

  7. As much as I love technology, I'm aware that several cosmic events could render them useless, so I try not to rely on it too much (I still write first drafts on paper, from time to time). :)

  8. I'm still keeping my eye on Skynet.

    I'm a resister, Andrew, in that I don't watch much tv (but hubs does), and I would suffer too if I couldn't access the writing I've got on my laptop. That makes me think I'd better back up some of my work - just in case, you know. I do have paper and pen and use them in between, but the laptop is faster than writing.

    Little kids need to learn they don't HAVE to be connected all the time, or is that what determines popularity these days - conforming? Skynet would love that. Enjoyed this post!

  9. You are definitely more equipped to deal with the zombie apocalypse than me. I will get eaten on the first day...skynet or no skynet. Remember me fondly when it happens by saying, "Mike was a decent dude. Too bad he got eaten by zombies."

  10. Anne: It's funny how something like that can change your perspective. On the other hand, a couple of years ago when our van blew up (with me in it), we learned just how capable we are of getting by without a vehicle.

    Alex: They don't need them; they want them. Mostly because they see their parents inability to put them down.

    G_G: You might want to check into desktops. It's surprising just how cheap they are these days.

    ABftS: As for TV, I gave that up during high school; I was just too busy. Prior to that, I had been a total addict. I don't want my kids to be TV addicts, so we don't have it.
    I do see the usefulness of cells, and, sometimes, I wish I had one, but, overall, I'm more glad I don't. I know how easy it is to get sucked into them, and I don't want to be a Tweedle.

    PT: Twitter on paper! That's hilarious. That should be a board game!

    Briane: I agree to some extent. I've always been the head stuck in a book person, but there are so many people that aren't able to disengage. Ever. And I can be bad when I'm at my computer working, so I don't want to have that compulsion following me around everywhere I go.

    David: I have notebooks where I work on stuff when I'm not home. The issue there is that it ends up being fragments.

    D.G.: Conforming is always a part of popularity. I had been intending to back my stuff up for a while, but I was trying to finish this one story before I took a day to do that. Yes, there's a reason it would have taken so long (finding and unpacking my disks).

    Michael: I don't know. I don't have any zombie fighting weapons. Maybe, I should build that underground bunker.

  11. Hey Andrew...I totally agree! (even though at first it doesn't seem like it!) I have a tv, and cable...and as people can tell by some of my posts, I watch way too much tv at times..I also have a cell phone, but I use it mostly to get texts from my sons, because they don't have land lines and use texting as their main form of communication. I also have an ancient, (6 years old!) desktop that I'll be replacing shortly because I can't keep up with all it's issues...that said, I am not on facebook (HATE IT!), was on Twitter but I haven't used it for's stupid..I use the computer mostly for my blog and my other writing...and I don't think kids need any technology at all! One of my brothers has a son who is seven now and has already busted a MacBook computer, 2 iphones and a tablet...and they keep letting him play games on their's crazy! My nephew is usually looking at some kind of screen..I just don't think it's healthy..anyways, great topic and I'm looking forward to your second installment of the 'death' topic!

  12. I'm a resister of technology, but my husband is an embracer. Again, our superpowers-I destroy it, he can magically fix it. However, neither of us is big on phones for kids or most tech for kids. We do, however, have TV's.

    I once tried to take out a certain teen in my life for her birthday. While we're sitting at the restaurant, she plugged in her headphones and screwed around on her phone. It was horrible, and I swore I'd never allow my kids to behave like that. I will do my best to make sure they learn how to exist in society without being attached to a piece of metal, plastic and memory chips. I make them play outside. We walk places when we're able. But peers have a lot of say in the shaping of kids, too, so I guess we'll see.

    I have no plans for cells for my kids any time soon. When the day comes, it will be for emergency purposes, and it will be one of those kinds where you can pre-program numbers. I'm not a fan of cell phones. I hate that people think they should be able to reach me at any time, any place. Then again, I've reached the point where I'm frustrated if I can't reach my husband or my mom or dad, and that's the same thought process, and I'm not happy I've reached that point. Instant gratification.

    I once wrote a paper (pre-Terminator, at least my viewing of it), about technology taking over the world. I think a lot of us had those thoughts before Terminator was around. And it's getting worse and worse. Last night, at the movie, yet another person thought it was a great idea to TEXT DURING THE MOVIE. I really despise that. If you aren't there to enjoy the movie, leave. Why go? Why pay the money? If being in constant contact with someone is so all-fired important, stay home and text them or, better yet, meet up with them in person and have some coffee or pie OR BOTH! Rawr.

  13. I use an attic antenna for my TV, but rarely watch it. No cable for years now. And I have a fifteen year old son, but he wouldn't know what an Xbox even looks like. We do have a Wii console we got a few Christmases ago, but no one ever plays it. But try and take my iphone or Mac from me and I will go TERMINATOR on you. I mean it. :))

  14. Eve: Yeah, kids should realize there's more to life than a screen.

    Shannon: I do think tech is neat; I just don't want to be a slave to it. I do have to say, though, that I'm all for robot cars.

    L.G.: I can pry it from your cold, dead fingers?

  15. Andrew, I agree that there are good tech items and advancements are great. I just hate how people latch onto them and give up on so much else. As well as how rude people can be with tech in their hands. Especially cell phones, of course.

  16. Well, I'll admit, my husband, son, and I are all very much attached to our devices. We gave our son his first cell phone at 11 but he bought himself a Razr when the standard wasn't good enough. Now we're all addicted to our iPhones but he's learned to be very responsible with it and he was never allowed to use it during dinner. Same with his laptop which he uses for everything at college. Kids can't get through college without it now as classes are sometimes taught online & assignments are often only accepted online or through email after going through anti-plagiarism programs. I will admit, I was at a loss today when the power went out during a storm. But then I remembered my little notebook where I handwrite my first drafts. Low tech saved me, at least for those 2 hours when the power went out.

  17. Shannon: Yeah, I agree. People ate definitely the problem! :P

    Nancy: My only problem with my hand written stuff is deciphering it later. It's like I never learned to write!
    And, actually, my kids aren't being taught to write. No time in classes on handwriting at all, which is really weird to me.