i spy with my little i

You will be very pleased to know that this newsletter will be mainly  all about me!

It will be all mouth and no trousers, in other words, no photos.

Also it comes with a health warning, as it contains references to Shakespeare, Jeremy Corbyn, The Guardian and Radio 4.

Et tu, Brute?

Why? Why? A well-known friend and customer complained to me yesterday that he had lost track of my whereabouts because I was travelling so much. I had to pick my chin from the floor!

This lovely, elegantly attired friend should send one of his copies of Bradshaw’s guides to Mr Corbyn. The Labour leader would then learn what trains to take to avoid sitting on carriage floors. Just because you dress like a student doesn’t mean you have to behave like one!

The Guardian meanwhile suggests the route between Fort William and Mallaig, it is not run by Virgin trains as far as I know, and can be reached on the sleeper from London.

Talking of sleepers, I am being followed. Spied upon? It seems once again I cannot turn a corner without bumping into one of you. Restaurants, bars, airport lounges and street corners you are there, some of you even roping wives and your children in on the pretence!

One or two have resorted to my parenting skills when your patience is wearing thin? I know nothing about Frozen Little Ponies!

But I did pick up one or two little gems, apparently all little girls want to grow up to be princesses, and one or two of my friends have also achieved this status. They will forgive me this quip, because I am Prince Charming. Don’t put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington.

However, I imagined that later in life I would turn out to be the offspring of Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen from ‘Starman’, blessed with the knowledge of the universe and my human side would be at its best when things are at their worst.

Apparently I was an early trial of Artificial Intelligence (AI henceforth)

My mother who looms large in these newsletters and knows how to throw a spanner in the works is always confirming this by telling me that I don’t have the brains I was born with!

Mother has what is known as FI ‘Female Intuition’, an alien concept, I was not part of a trial for that!

She really knows which buttons to push!

Talking of AI, I was listening to Radio 4, stop ooooohing at the back, chimpanzees can type and according to the Chaos Theory, they will eventually produce ‘The Auguries of Innocence’, or a set of winning lottery numbers, you have to be in it to win it!

Anyway it was a piece about how one of the barriers to space travel is human anatomy and how we will develop. It discussed the addition of current and future technology to create Android beings and integrating with the technology around us to overcome these hurdles.

Cars that run on plutonium, there’ll be loads of that around now they’re not building Hinkley Point C, kettles that turn on when I pick up my phone when I wake. I may have only picked my phone up to use the torch to find my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Hang on who turned the kettle on? Am I alone in the flat and who is in the bathroom?

Then there are the delivery robots; apparently my Prime membership to a certain internet company means because of where I live I can have milk delivered to my door within the hour!

Hang on a mo, by comparison I could spend 58 minutes choosing what to wear before deciding that I looked OK to dash across the street in my curlers, nightie and slippers to get a pint (Sorry half a litre). I could then plug myself back into my sofa suit, and continue to watch my multiscreen entertainment, a little Netflix and chill, on my own, and continue with my Second Life…

And within a generation we’ll have 42,000 disgruntled Uber drivers saying that a nobody has come along a taken their job!

Talking of Android, I was converted to ‘i-things’ a long time ago. Why? Well it is all about I (me).

They were simple to use and didn’t go wrong, very often. It is true that occasionally I would have to duck as Jake’s latest iphone whizzed past my ear followed by the oft used words; ‘This is the worst phone I have ever owned’.

But ihave to agree with Jake from time to time, it is known that itravel a fair amount, a subject we will return to later. A few months ago idropped my phone and iwent to Apple store to effect a repair to a shattered screen. The screen was so badly damaged it was almost impossible to read. The person in the Apple store told me it would take 48 hours (The whole length of an eighties Eddie Murphy film) to repair. As iwas travelling (of course) the next day isought an alternative solution, and had the screen replaced elsewhere, and they did a fantastic job.

After the latest Apple ios 9.3.4 update my screen developed a peculiarly green glow, ghosting, shadows, a whole Blair Witch Project of problems.

So ireturned to Apple, tail between my legs; a long wait and then a 20 minute consultation to be told (as ihad expected), that ihad invalidated any warranty with Apple because the screen replaced by a third party.

The undertone of conversation was that ihad devalued, even defiled the Apple brand, attempting to leave the cult, it was a rehearsed conversation this person had probably had a dozen times before iwas seen at 11am. This is AI, and the future?

This was carried out as some form of ritual humiliation in front of another 8 people around a table, one or two of whom were shifting uncomfortably as if expecting the same fate!

I returned to the people who had originally replaced the screen, they did it free of charge under warranty, with a smile.

OK, so it’s taken a while to explain, but my points are these.

Firstly, from my perspective I run a small clothing business and we know we can all buy clothes anywhere. What I hope sets us apart and creates our success is the service and quality we offer, and the relationship I have with those of you are kind enough to cross the threshold every so often, the smile is extra!

Secondly, Apple has huge retail space, large numbers of staff, faster chips, faster downloads, this is immediate, that is quicker, have it today and apparently ‘it just works’ .

Well it doesn’t, if Apple had applied the principles to after sales care that they employed selling the product in the first place I wouldn’t have had to write this, and in less time than it took them to deal with me!

Project this to the future where we become Android, part human, part technology, and a vital organ that has been transplanted  fails, out of urgency and for the sake of argument a replacement that is not ‘Apple approved’ is used. The replacement fails, would we play the same games with a human life? I know it’s a dramatic argument and some people view their phones with a level of necessity that is beyond comprehension, but it is a society we are creating and a dependency that borders on addiction.

This was in part fuelled by the events of today, and the conversation I had last night with an Uber driver who was an Iraqi college professor working in Newham and was working extra hours to look after his two young children.


Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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