A couple months ago, my best blogger buddy, Allen of Das Midnight Goose, proposed we get together digitally, discuss and array of topics, and solve the world’s problems through shit-talking. A conference of complaint, if you will. We’d then share these results with our respective readers. Allen’s post on Monday covered a range of topics both serious and frivolous. Today, my topics are all technology based, because I was feeling uppity that day.
And so, without further ado…
Topic One: Kids (13 and under) with smartphones.
Allen: Massive eye roll, first of all. This is why kids are sending dick and titty pics earlier and earlier and are so ADD/ADHD. I mean, it’s like parents are getting kids on the fast track to porn addiction.
Adie: Wow I hadn’t even though of that, actually. That’s a really good point.
Allen: Also, I don’t have an iPhone X because they’re $900 – so I’ll be GAWT damned if my kid would have one.
Adie: I just think it’s lazy parenting. “I don’t want to watch you, so I’d rather buy you a $700 handheld computer. Entertain yourself.”
Allen: Exactly. I also have a real problem with how much time people spend on their phones if they’re not working or something. Ask JoJo how many times I’ve leaned over in a restaurant and said, “Put that damn phone down, rude ass.”
Adie: Lol I am definitely that person always glued to my phone. I’m better about it these days, because when we were actually officially together, it used to infuriate Pup that I’d have my nose in my phone when we were out together. But it’s something I acknowledge as a flaw I have, so why would I want to pass that same flaw onto my kid?
Allen: Right? Do I want my kid crossing the street with his eyes hooked on his phone? Absolutely not. And do I want him to watch so much porn that he thinks that’s how sex actually works? No. That shit is choreographer and staged. You try that stuff with a real guy/girl and someone’s getting hurt.
Adie: Not to mention with smartphones you have to worry about social media and who your kids are talking to. It’s easier to monitor computer usage, because you can set up child blocks on a computer. But with a phone that’s a lot harder to do.
Allen: Truth. I think it also makes us worse communicators and socializers. I’m so glad I learned to have a conversation before the advent of all of the new technology.
Aide: I just don’t want my hypothetical child talking to some creep online, or getting exposed to ideas like Donald Trump is qualified to be president. I never learned how to have a conversation, even before I had the internet. People scare me.
Allen: Oh. My. God. That is such a good point. The internet is full of scams and untruths that people start believing this racist, misogynistic, sexist, homophobic ideology and turn into total douchebags. It also seems to give people a free pass to say the most vile things without real repercussions.
Adie: Exactly. I don’t think it’s a good idea to expose kids to that shit at an early age, especially if you’re going to be one of those people who is just giving them a phone to get them out of your hair. It’s one thing if you’re being attentive and are present enough to explain that those things aren’t true or okay, but bigotry+neglect=a fucked up little asshole.
Allen: That’s how you get Kanye West, I’m sure.
Topic Two: Alexa, Google Home, and other “smart house” devices.
Allen: Look, let me preface this with: I’m not crazy nor am I a conspiracy theorist, okay?
Adie: I already like where this is going.
Allen: But, that shit is being recorded and archived by the companies and the government. Which is why I won’t do 23 & Me – you know you’re going in a database somewhere. Also, I read an article once about Alexa spontaneously cackling like a deranged witch and I just don’t need that kind of evil in my life. I’m already overly caffeinated the whole waking day. If Alexa started witch-cackling like something out of Wizard of Oz, I’d straight up shart myself.
Adie: Excuse me for a moment while I let the vindication wash over me like cleansing rain.
((break for me to sit a moment in quiet victory))
Adie: SO MY MOM GOT A GOOGLE HOME MINI AS A FREE GIFT RIGHT
Allen: Ritually cleanse it with fire!
Adie: And it’s a convenient little oven timer. “Hey Google, set a timer for fifteen minutes.” That’s super convenient. But, beyond that, I hate this thing with a passion because it’s always listening. And it does talk on its own. It really does. We’ll just be sitting there watching TV and Google will just be like, “Okay, I’m playing this playlist!” and music will start. Now, as far as I’m aware, my mom doesn’t have any playlists set up on Google. Nor did we ask it to play music. It just… decided to play music.
Allen: OMG. On my last iPhone, I think it was a 6S, Siri would start talking to me randomly at work. Freaked me and my coworker Cynthia out. Like, we wouldn’t even be talking, just in our quiet office, and this bitch would say something like, “I don’t know. Let me look that up for you, Allen.” And, not going to lie, I’d pee a little down my leg.
Adie: Oh, I won’t even enable Siri on my iPhone. I won’t do it. Never mind that it’s creepy, but there are ways people can hack into your iPhone using Siri. It’s just a security risk.
Allen: She’s disabled on my 7S, but I ain’t havin’ that shit. It’s unnatural, it’s unholy.
Adie: Amen! I try to convince my mom the same with the Google Home, but she likes it. She thinks it’s funny when it does that creepy shit. I mean, I laugh, but because if I didn’t I’d cry.
Allen: Yeah, a nervous, butt-clenching laugh is not the same as amused laughter. It’s like the laughter you give when you’re being put into a straight-jacket.
Adie: I will admit, I did kind of lose my shit when my mom asked Google if she confused it and it said, “Yes, sometimes.” Even Google can’t make sense of my mother.
Allen: A 6″ cylinder of plastic and wires should not be able to understand that! It’s not natural!
Adie: Right?! I mean, it was funny as fuck, but also it shouldn’t be able to be confused. It is a machine.
Allen: Mmhm. Or understand when being asked if it was confused! Also, what if the playlist it starts playing spontaneously is some creepy haunted house/horror movie soundtrack shit? I mean, our robot overlords are coming and this is just the first sign, people! Wake up!
Adie: OH MY GOD NO WAIT! So, apparently my mom listens to some radio station where they do a bit called Rude Siri or something and they asked “Siri” (an actress) what she thinks about Google and she said that Google is a rip off of her, blah, blah, blah. Which of course prompted my mother to ask Google what she thinks of Siri. And Google said, “I like her. I’ve been trying to arrange a meeting with her and Alexa.” AND FUCK ME IF THAT WAS NOT THE MOST TERRIFYING THING I HAVE EVER HEARD.
Allen: That sounds like Google wants to have a gang war in a back alley. That bitch is packing a straight razor, I tell ya!
Adie: Like, no! No, I do not want all these AIs coming together! Do you want Terminators? Because this is how you get Terminators!
((pause for Allen to make a food run))
Topic Three: Online, subscription-only books and course materials for college classes.
Adie: So, the reason this is on my mind is that I recently spent $107 purchasing not a book, but a code for my statistics class. This code grants me access to the Pearson Online Statistics Lab which is required for the class. It comes with an online version of the book (not an ebook or PDF), which I lose access to after I finish the class. These Pearson Labs are required for almost all math and science classes. All work is done through them. Codes for these Labs cost about $100 a pop, or come with a new (not used) version of the book, which runs anywhere from $120-$175 (and sells back for about $50 if you’re lucky). You can’t sell back a code. It infuriates me. It feels like extortion.
Allen: When I was finishing up my Bachelor’s, these motherfuckers only allowed digital versions of most of my books. And the “materials cost” for each class was over $200! My neuropsychology digital book was nearly $400–and all of them expire once you’re done with your program, so you can’t “sell” them back or keep them for future use. It is extortion. They all need to lick my logcutter!
Adie: The thing that kills me is Pearson has contracts with the schools so the schools only use Pearson products. Teachers can’t decide they don’t want to use the Lab or whatever, even if they really don’t. And I’ve had teachers who really don’t want to use it.
Allen: It’s a racket. This is why we need education reform and student loan reform. It’s just big companies fucking poor students up the poop chute without buyin’ ’em dinner first!
Adie: That’s how I feel! Especially when I end up paying $130 for a “required” book I never even crack open once during the semester because literally everything is covered in the lecture. Plus, big offense to Pearson, but those “Labs” don’t work. They just promote slacking off.
Allen: Truth. I remember in my neuropsychology class, the text itself wasn’t really all that important because it was mostly lab research and going over academic papers and studies and that was the most expensive book!
Adie: That’s insane! Besides, you can find most studies online now. If you contact the people who did the study directly, they’ll probably even give you a free copy.
Allen: Amen. They’re actually pleased as shit you want to read them and will shoot ’em your way as soon as they find out you requested them.
Adie: Seriously. It’s a shame more people don’t realize that. Researchers don’t get paid for any copies of the study that get sold, so they lose nothing by giving it to you for free.
Allen: Preach. Even the journals that publish them pay them nothing but charge other people to read them. It’s insane. So, basically, universities and colleges, the government, they’re just out to bleed every last red cent out of poor people trying to garner more knowledge. KNOWLEDGE SHOULD BE FREE! Or at least affordable.
Adie: FUCKIN’ AGREED! This is why libraries are so important and why, while 90% of it is a sea of douche-bros playing video games, so is YouTube. You can learn to do anything on YouTube and it won’t cost you a dime.
Allen: Right? People get onto me for freely sharing tricks of the trade I’ve worked hard to learn about blogging and writing and publishing, but I’m like, shit, people should be able to get this information easily. Just like when people ask about health care and insurance, I’ll be glad to give any information I have without anything in exchange.
Adie: Well, that’s because if you’re sharing it for free, then they can’t make any money selling their bullshit SEO classes. And then they’ll have to go out and make money using skills instead of just emailing a $50 PDF out saying the same shit everyone else does! But don’t get me started on SEO and “blogging classes.” We’ll save that for another chat lol!
Allen: I cannot wait for that one. Lol!
And thus concludes this installment of Adie and Allen Save the World. Don’t forget to check out Allen’s topics over on Das Midnight Goose, which include Elf on a Shelf, mashed potatoes, and snooping through your significant other’s phone. It’s a raucous good time!
I love you all.
HEY! HEY! HEY! I WANT TO RECORD A Q&A! I’ve become enraptured with the idea of posting a video Q&A. With my actual, honest to goodness face and voice. Here’s the thing: I need questions! If there’s anything you want to know about me, ask it in the comments below and it will probably be included in the video. You have until January 26th to get your questions in!
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