the bits don’t fit

“Please don’t go out” said a friend’s solicitor to her – they are in process of selling a house.  So she waited in,

for the call that never came.    “I’ll call you next week” said a woman I rather liked.    She didn’t.   After three times trying to reach the editor of a national paper, and receiving no acknowledgement  –  I gave up and declined to buy the paper again.   I wrote to the specialist who diagnosed and helped relieve difficulties with my back.   No reply.   I wrote a letter of appreciation to a named journalist (I didn’t gush)–  not a word.  And I hear over and over how this person emailed and that person left a message, how this one wrote snail mail in desperation and that one is facing some kind of telephone or other problem and is dreading having to deal with it because it takes hours and “they say they’ll call back” – but they don’t.

trying to get through

Delivered to your door seems to mean any time after 9.00, and while my upstairs neighbours sleep through the knock at the door, I don’t.  So it’s delivered to my door.  I can’t be horrid to somebody working their butt off to keep going – but “anybody can have anything” is an imperfect model (nearly as imperfect as “anybody can do anything.”)

“Delivered to your door”

Courier Knocking On Door Of House To Deliver Package

means it gets delivered when it gets delivered, to whoever responds and the options are to leave it on the step (whence in my area, it is likely to rapid liberation) or to be a martyr to other people’s shopping habits – in this case, necessitated by hours worked.

Theoretically we are more available than ever before – the mobile, the screen, the iPad and so on.   We are beginning to talk about that and how it might affect us less than positively (cue “mental health issues”, increased forgetfulness and sheer over exposure – too many voices, too much input.) 

Too often the volume is up, the content down and any kind of consideration is out of the window.  

I have just read an admirably low key and informative article on artificial intelligence (Damian Whitworth writing about Professor Stuart Russell in the Saturday Times magazine 29.1.2022)

where it is made clear that humans need to think about this NOW rather than just buying into it, because while not having to do repetitious things may be seen as liberating, if you liberate (the writer’s word, not mine) lots of people from work, what are they going to do and what are they going to live on ?  AI sounds like milk: spill it and it stays spilt.

Spartacus (movie rights acquired by Kirk Douglas, for Stanley Kubrick’s still outstanding film) covers a lot of the material in the book (by Howard Fast) but not the fact that the Roman Empire was entirely slave based.

slave collars

  And we are busily creating a slave culture – disposable people, who work for little.  In the past they survived and for a brief period (historically) their rewards were modest stability and children.   The stability is gone and they can hardly feed their children. And if AI takes over, it will be  to do their jobs and they can’t earn.

Artificial Intelligence is busy getting a positive build up.  When you read about it in the general press it is because it has discovered this or that in some area of medicine and thus may save lives or heart break .  Reading about AI has the same effect on me as reading about “re wilding”.  I want to save hedgerows, birds, small mammals, flowers and plants and the rest  (I can’t tell you how excited I got when I saw groundsel growing for the first time since my childhood) but you can’t give all the farming land over to wilding: we have to eat.

We can eat differently,

I hear you say.  Yes we can but I am still talking about numbers of people and the changeover will take time and cost money – while the further down the social economic scale you are, the less likely you are to be taken into consideration. Without the Prince of Wales’ avowed interests in farming,  the farming community would be even more remote from takeaway pizza and strawberries in December.     


One response to “the bits don’t fit

  1. I remember over sixty years ago often arranging to meet a friend at a particular time the next day at a bus stop on Stockton High Street, confident that was going to happen, though sometimes he/she would rush up at the last minute. On the rare times when I was left looking at the town Hall clock that was the first sign friendship was fading. On the second time friendship was over, no more arranging, no more mutual plans, I had other friends who were reliable, who did what they said they would do, even it was for a day or two later. In todays world I encounter the same frustrations you write about and I wonder ‘what happened?.

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