1Recently the washington post printed an article explaining how the appliance manufacturers plan to drive consumers insane.
2Of course they don’t say they want to drive us insane. What they say they want to do is have us live in homes where”all appliances on the internet,sharing informatioon”and appliances
will be”smarter than most of their owners.”For example,the article states,you could have a home
where the dishwasher”can be turned on from the office”and therefrigerator”knows when it’s out of
milk”and the bathroom scale” transmits your weight to zhe gym.”
3I frankly wonder whether the appliance manufacturers , withall due respect,have benn smoking crack,I mean,did they ever stop to ask themselves why a consumer,after loading a dishwasher,would go to the office to start it? would there be some knd of career benefit?
YOUR BOSS:”what are you doing?
YOU:”I’m starting my dishwasher!
YOUR BOSS:that’s the kind of productivity we need around here!
YOU:Now I’m flushing the upstairs toilet
4Listen,appliance manufacturers:We don’t need a dishwasheres that we can communicate
with from afar,If you want to improve our dishwashers, ,give us one that senses when people leave dirty dishes on the kitchen counter,and shouts at them:”Put those dishes in the dishwasher right
now or I’ll leak all over your shoes!”
5Likewies,we don’t need a refrigerator that knows when it’s out of milk.We already have a
foolproof system for determining if we’reout of milk:We ask our wife.What we could use isa
refrigerator that refuses to let us open its door when it senses that we are about to consume our fourth Jell-O Pudding Snack in tow hours.
6As for a scale that transmits our weight to the gym:Are they nuts?We don’t want our weight
transmitted to our own eyeballs!What if the gym decided to transmit our weight transmitted our weight to all these other appliances on the Internet? What if,God forbid,our refrigerator found out what our weight was! We’d never get the door open again!
7But here is what really concerns me about these new”smart”appliances:Even if we like the
features,we won’t be able to use them..We can’t use the appliance features we have now.I have a
feature-packed telephone with 43 buttons,at least 20 of which I am afraid to touch.this phone probably can communicate with the dead,but I don’t know how to operate it,just as I don’t know
how to operate my TV,which requires three remote controls.One control came with the TV;a second came with the VCR;the thirsd was brought here by the cable man,who apparently felt that I did not have enough buttons.
8So when I want to watch TV,I’m confronted with a total of 120 buttons.identified by such
helpful labeled as PIP MTS DBS FZ JUMP and BLANK.There are three buttons labeld POWER,,but there are times-----especially if my son and his friends,who are not afraid of features,have changed the settings---when I honestly cannot figure out how to turn the TV om.I stand there,holding three remote controls,pressing buttons at random,until eventually I give up and go turn on the dishwasher.It has been,literally,years since I have successfully recorded a TV show.That is how”smart”my appliances have become.
9And mow the appliance manufacturers want to give us even more features.Do you know what this means?It means that some night you’ll open the door of you”smart” refrigerator,looking
for a beer,and you’ll hear a pleasant,cheerful voice---recorded by the same woman who informs
you that Your Call Is Important when you call a business that does not wish to speak with you personally---telling you:”Your celery is limp.”You will not know how you refrigerator know
this,and,what is worse,you will not know who else you refrigerator is telling about it.And,If you want to try to make the refrigeartor stop,you’ll have to decipher Owner’s Manual instructions
written by and for nuclear physicists.
10Is this the kind of future you want,consumers?Do you want appliances that are smarter than you? Of course not.Your appliances should be dumber than you.just like your furniture,your pets and your representatives in Congress.So,I am urging you to let the appliance industry know,by phone,letter,fax and e-mail,that when it comes to”smart”appliances,you vote NO.You need to act
quickly.Because while you’re reading this, your microwave oven is voting YES.