Star Trek's transporters. Star Wars’ death ray. The Jetsons’ flying car. Back to the Future's time machine. Stargate’s (and many other) cloaking devices.
Science Fiction has a myriad of cool gadgets and gizmos. So my question to 2014 is: Why did I end up with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's appliances?
Maybe it is just me, but every appliance these days, from dishwashers and washing machines to blenders, seems to have been programmed with Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Genuine People Personalities.
We, my friends, are no longer content with doors. We want self-satisfied doors, dang it, and we want them today! When I first encountered this phenomenon, in the adorable specimen of my friend’s washing machine, I thought it was so cute I could not stop pressing the buttons. Then I spent nine days with one. What initially I found to be one of its most endearing qualities….began to rankle.
The thing is, you end up with a Genuine People Personality, and instead of some nice hard-working dishwasher who is just happy to fill your every desire without asking for any attention in return, I got THAT dishwasher.
“I just had my door closed.”
“Now I am being opened.”
“ I just finished the dishes. More experience points for me!”
Hopefully I can sign it up for its own Facebook page so it can tell all its dishwasher friends what it is doing, and leave me alone. Perhaps what I find so confounding about all this is just how difficult it is to get the dishwasher to remain silent. It’s not in the manual.
Finally, after roaming around the Internet, I found a specific sequence of button pressing, reminiscent of middle school secret handshakes and probably known only to the select elite. The other suggestions scaled from covering up the speaker to a full-on laryngectomy. I am all for giving it a frontal lobotomy, because if you don't like a personality, why not wipe it out? Dealing with the specific issues is just too demanding. Plus it sounds like an interesting job to open up the front panel and trying to figure out how I can get it to just stop making noise.
Poking around the brain worked so well for 1940s psychology patients, why not the dishwasher?
My name is Caroline Storm Westenhover. I am a Senior Electrical Engineering student at the University of Texas at Arlington. I am the third of seven children. I enjoy collecting ideas and theories and most enjoy when they come together to present a bigger picture as a whole. Perhaps that is why I like physics and engineering. My biggest dream is to become an astronaut.
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