Our Technology Future: SkyNet… or the Stone Age?

I’m having a bad day. First I couldn’t figure out how to auto-post Bacon’s Rebellion posts to Facebook. OK, I’m technically challenged, so I’ll hire someone to do it. Then I updated WordPress, which I do know how to do, but all the comments disappeared. I didn’t know how to fix that but, thankfully, my Internet host provider did.

Now my iPhone battery has died.

It’s the old Can’t-fix-A-because-of-B, and Can’t-fix-B-because-of-C problem.

To get a new battery installed, I went online to set up an appointment at the Richmond Apple Store. To set up an Apple store appointment, I needed to schedule an appointment online. When I tried to schedule an appointment, Apple asked for my username and password. I provided those. Then Apple required a double authentication. It wanted to send me a verification code to my iPhone. My iPhone was dead, so I couldn’t get the code.

Apple offered these three alternatives:

All dead ends.

Apple failed to consider the possibility — which must happen, oh, millions of times a year!!! — that their customer’s friggin’ battery has died.

And to think that Apple is now a $2 trillion company.

Such is the world we live in, ladies and gentlemen. I don’t worry about computers and AI taking over the world. I worry about our technology-dependent civilization getting so complex with so many bugs and feedback loops that one day the whole thing collapses us back to the Stone Age…. with the added disadvantage that none of us knows how to survive in the Stone Age.


Update: I tried contacting the AppleStore the old-fashioned way — by telephone. The Richmond AppleStore does have a phone number, but it kicks you over to the Phone Tree from Hell. The Phone Tree from Hell also wants to send an authentcation code to… my friggin’ dead iPhone! There is no way to explain this to the Phone Tree From Hell. After I cursed and shouted enough, the Phone Tree From Hell said it would connect me to a real person. Then it put in my extended hold. I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait.

I guess I’ll just drive out to the Apple Store and hope that in this COVID-constrained era, someone can work me in. I wonder how long I’ll have to wait. I think I’ll take my Kindle Fire so I can read a book while I’m waiting.

I hope my Kindle Fire battery doesn’t run out.

End of the story… I went to the Apple Store, stood in a queue for about 10-15 minutes, and they made a reservation for me to come back in an hour and a half.  I went to Starbucks, stood in a queue, got a latte, found a seat outside, and read Ann Applebaum’s book, “Twilight of Democracy,” about the ruse of authoritarianism. My Fire battery almost ran out (about 5% left), but it last until I made it to my Apple appointment.

Here’s the crazy thing. There was nothing wrong with my battery. It was the connection. The plug receptacle was jammed up with “flocculant” which blocked the transmission of electricity. Apparently, this happens a lot. Apple employees have special tiny cameras on their keychains they can use to look inside your receptacle and little tiny plastic scrapers they can use to scrape out the grodu without damaging the receptors. The phone is working again!

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21 responses to “Our Technology Future: SkyNet… or the Stone Age?

  1. Them Amish types looking pretty darn good… my fall back solution [bourbon [makes me happy], bullets [i can get whatever i want when it’s needed], solar panels [AC, refrigeration during the day], and kerosene lanterns [light after sunset].

  2. shades of the digital divide! It’s a bit scary how “involved” phones have become. Many places that use two-factor authentication give 3 choices – cell phone, email or landline phone. Surprised that Apple does not.

  3. I hate dealing with the Apple store. Normally, the on-line technical assistance is fine, but if you have to go to the store for some reason, to replace a battery, for example, I have found that the best approach is just go there. They will ask you if you have an appointment and, when you say no, they will put you in queue. Normally, they say that they will notify you by e-mail when your name comes up, but, of course, they can’t do that for you, because your phone is dead. You may just have to hang around and play with all the neat new gadgets they have on display.

  4. From the New Yorker:

  5. There seems to be a new feature on the blog; I assume that it is the result of the update. We can now “like” a post, rather than respond to it? I am not sure I “like” becoming more like Facebook.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      I gave you a like Mr. Dick. I always pay attention to what you have to say. Maybe we can start a pool to see who gets the most likes everyday. I remember that was a big deal to the teenies I taught last year.

  6. With Facebook you can see who “liked” a given post. This WordPress ‘like’ button is anonymous, which seems to me inappropriate for a blog.

    • It isn’t on other WordPress sites. It may be an option, but elsewhere when it says “⭐️ liked by 2 people” if you click on the “2 people” it shows who.

      If you click on the ⭐️ then you will like your own post. This is universally bad form.

      I just liked your post. See if it works.

      • Not the button I’m looking for on your’s. 🙂 This is not a positive development…..

        • I have no buttons. Well, one, and no, you cannot press it.

          The “like” is a “no value added” feature. Some of you will develop more of a mutual admiration club than you already have, if possible.

          This is a fun site, getting rid of the “like” will be more beneficial than detraction. The majority of you are Conservative whack-jobs and occasionally the posts are more bash Northam, or Democrats than informative, and we all know who she is.

          At least, it’s “Bacon’s Rebellion” and not “BaQanon’sRevenge”.

  7. Ditch the Apple phone and get a Samsung… anybody with a fingernail can pry off back and swap battery..

  8. “Our Technology Future: SkyNet… or the Stone Age?”

    It’s not mutually exclusive, ya know.

    Hire someone? Don’t you have an 8-year old kid? Nephew? Niece?

  9. Wait. Won’t the iPhone work on the charge wire even with a completely dead battery??

    Life hack — buy one of those 8 amp lion jumper batteries for your car. They’re about the size of a paperback and they’re terrific!

    I bought one for my daughter when she left for college. She used it a dozen times. Once for herself; the rest for other students. I’m sure she cost service stations in the college town $$hundreds in road calls.

    They also charge cellphones or can act as a backup battery to any USB device. You might look strange carrying the phone in one hand and the battery in the other, but you’ll still be functioning.

  10. There must be something in the air. WordPress has been giving me fits all week. At one point I couldn’t post on my own blog. Now my phone insists I don’t even have a WordPress account. It’s been a very frustrating week. I hope you and I have put the worst behind us.

  11. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Last man alive without a cell phone. No problems. Two working rotary dial phones. Wired myself to work with the digital age. Darn things ring so loud you can hear them ring a full block down the street. I fixed my mother’s Windows 7 computer the other day. I actually thought it might say “syntax error” for a minute.

  12. Mr Fix It replaces iPhone batteries faster than the Apple store. Give it a try the next time.

  13. I am still not seeing the old comments pre-yesterday, and I can not “like” a post.

    There now *seems* to be two (2) different places I have to sign onto WordPress: one sign-on location allows me to post comments, the other sign-on location may give me the “like” button function and maybe the old messages….not sure. I do not recall how to sign-on to the second sign-on location.

    PS- in general, nobody ever likes my posts, so just know that is not my goal in posting. Liberals think if you get 57 liberals liking post, that means it should be national mandate.

  14. Wait! If your means of communications has bit the dust, then how are you… uh…

    Like the sign says, “No dogs allowed except seeing-eye dogs”. Wait! Who’s reading that sign?

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