The Rise of the Machines

Two incidents today pointed out to me how much we are at the mercy of the machines, and by machines I mean this this cyberweb we live in and sometimes convince ourselves we are a part of.
First, I must say, I do a lot of Sudoku. I got into them as soon as they appeared on the scene, doing the one in Metro every day. Then, when I got it on my phone, I started doing them more frequently and it became my go-to time waster for while I was on public transportation. Now, in quarantine, it has blossomed into a full blown addiction. I’ll sit and do it for hours, one after another. Oh, I kid myself that I’m trying to get better at it, but I’m not. It’s just killing time, which is a thing I don’t like myself for doing. Time is precious, and I should be doing more productive things.
This morning, when I woke up, I did one, and surprised myself at how fast I did it. So, I had a cup of coffee and launched right into another one. I beat my best time ever by over a minute. It was like Bob Beamon at the Mexico City Olympics. I was in disbelief. I checked to make sure I hadn’t done one at the easy level by accident, or intermediate, but no, it was set on hard. But, here’s the thing. It wasn’t a hard. You can tell the difference.
For some unknown reason, whoever programs those games had decided to put a couple of easy ones in at the hard level, maybe to try and convince me (and all other users) that we are smarter than we really are, like all of the Facebook IQ tests. I still felt pretty good about it.
This afternoon, while browsing through Facebook, I came across a site which interested me. It said ‘for serious poets only.’ Now, if that means only people who write serious poetry, maybe it’s not my place because I write plenty of stuff that’s not serious. If it meant, however, people who are serious about writing poetry, then I wanted in.
So, there was an application, and you had to check a box or two, and it asked “Why are you interested in joining this site” but there was no place to write an answer. None. So, I just have to wait until I hear back from them, and if they accept me as a member, it almost automatically indicates that they are not just restricting it to serious poets because they don’t know me at all.
But, like in the Sudoku case, there’s nothing I can do, no human I can talk to to unravel the mystery, to figure out what the hell is going on.
We are in uncharted territory, and it’s only going to get worse.

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