My Musings

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Navigating Modern Technology


My family recently acquired a new vehicle, going all-in with the maximum numbers of bells and whistles available. Look, it’s 2015, don’t expect me to use mirrors when I back up, or pay attention to the lines of the road. I want my car to warn me via beep tone if I swerve out of my lane while staring at my personal electronic device.

When I first get in the car and start driving, I discover that one of the essential bells (or is it a whistle?) is broken. My wife, in the passenger seat, tries and fails many times to enter a destination on the navigation system. This is no good! How are we supposed to get to North Conway, use a map?

We call the dealership to make sure we’re doing nothing wrong and discover that one cannot add a new destination to the navigator, even by voice command or while sitting in the passenger seat, while the car is moving. That sounds reasonable, given all the bicyclists getting run over these days by drivers checking Facebook whilst putting on makeup and making a sandwich. Except that this car is so packed with features, including one that stops the car before it runs into a brick wall, that it’s kind of strange that it can’t detect a passenger and assume that he/she is doing the navigating.

We pull into a rest area and put the car in park. Now we're able to add a destination! The strange part is that over the course of the next several hours and days we discover that there is absolutely no restriction on the driver using the navigation/info system to check the status of his/her stocks, even while speeding down the highway.

Maybe the teen driver who ran into both of our parked cars the other day was checking her stocks instead of watching the road. And here I assumed she was applying makeup and making a sandwich.

Dawn Of The Dead (Cyclists)
Professional Thieves


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