In recent years our electronic wizards have dazzled our greedy eyes with an abundance of chips in the shiny shapes of apps, widgets, even inserted parts for our cranium. We are now the most interactive, interpersonal, interdependent generation in history. There are so damn many sounds and images colliding in our lives, the very notion of silence, like cursive writing, makes no sense to our kids.
But beware, for the blue-jeaned wunderkinds of Silicon have at least one more chip up their electronic sleeves: The what-are-they-thinking-about-me chip. You know, the one which might at last gratify our need to know what people are thinking about us. That’s right — not just what they’re saying about us, but what they’re privately thinking about us. Walk into a room, dial in your chip and Shazam! you’ve got yourself an instant reading on what those guys laughing and scratching in the corner are thinking about you. Or those gals smiling and powdering at the table.
See where I’m going with this? See why I say no one dares make a chip like this? It would not only be the ultimate boon to human communication, it could well be the ultimate blow to our entire sense of well being. I mean lets face it, does anyone dare know everything everyone is thinking about them? I think not. What’s more, I think our psychiatrists would tell us the same thing.
Our species has evolved over millions of years in order to survive side by side with one another. Possibly two of the greatest tools in this development have been the smile and the lie. Duplicitous as that may sound, the well placed smile and lie have perhaps avoided more broken hearts, broken relationships and breakneck fights than most anything else I can think of.
So lets be careful what we wish for. We just might get it…..
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