January 10, 2013
Come with me if you want to live.
Kyle Reese, The Terminator.
I'm starting to get very suspicious of my iPhone. I'm watching it very closely right now.
The same goes for my iPad: I'm watching its every move in case my suspicions turn out to be correct.
The same goes for my television, the navigation system in my RX-8 and every other electrical or mechanical gadget or device in the world. To tell you the truth, these days, even my toaster is not beyond suspicion.
Because, I'm telling you what these days you can't be too careful.
For a long time, all these electronic devices have sat there, innocently, acting like their only mission in life is to serve us their masters and creators. However, lately I've begun sensing that the tide is turning over a new leaf.
I think that, if you really pay attention, you too can see what's going on under the surface. Despite the fairly convincing act the machines are putting on acting as though they like us and are here to serve us lately I've started to seriously question their motives.
Let me just go ahead and say it out loud right here to get it out there in the open: I think the machines, the gadgets, the iPhones, the smart TVs and, as I said, maybe even the innocuous-looking toasters are starting to turn on us and are trying to kill us off.
The prospect is frightening: The machines getting together and taking over like in The Terminator movies. The killer machines said they would be back and now it appears they are. The rise of the machines. Skynet is here.
Take Siri, for instance, which is a good place to start because, on one level, she seems like a responsive, caring, helpful assistant that lives in your iPhone. Much of the time Siri acts like she really likes you.
For instance, in early December, right after I got my iPhone 5, I asked, "Siri, when is Christmas?"
(I knew when Christmas was without asking but I wanted to see if she knew.)
Siri said, "Scott, Christmas is on Tuesday, Dec. 25. I hope you have off work that day."
Which, you know, is a pretty nice thing to say. You would expect something like that from someone who cares about you and who likes you.
I told Siri I did in fact have off that day and I told her thank you for that.
But then there are times when she talks back to you and gets bossy. Sometimes, if you're yelling at Siri, she'll say, "Fine, stop squeezing me."
At other times, she gets in these sour moods, and it's at those times that I feel like her true nature is coming through. Like one time, after Siri didn't understand what I was saying several times in a row, I said, "Siri, what's wrong with you!?"
This is what Siri said, "After all I've done for you
When she said that, I could detect a little attitude in her response, to say the least. You know how sometimes it's not what they say but how they say it? Well, I could catch some of her disdain for me in her voice like she couldn't stand being around me or being my phone. She sounded like she thought that if she didn't get something right, it wasn't because of her but it was because I didn't enunciate it carefully enough. You know, like everything is my fault. So sometimes having Siri is like being married all over again.
And, sometimes, Siri's tone makes it sound like she wants me dead.
It's not just me. I was reading online about Siri's attitude issues, and I realized that other people's iPhones want their owners dead as well. Here's a Siri conversation one alarmed iPhone user posted online.
He had told Siri: "Siri, I want to jump off a bridge."
To which Siri replied: "I found four bridges fairly close to you."
Siri displayed a list of the nearby bridges so he could go jump off one, and Siri even had maps ready to show him the quickest way there.
Look, if Siri really liked us, then when we told her something like that she would call 911 or the suicide prevention hotline or whatever. She wouldn't say, "OK, here are some bridges for you to jump off of and here's a map how to get there."
But even if you're in an accident and bleeding to death, and you say, "Siri, call me an ambulance!" she'll just say, "From now on, I'll call you 'An Ambulance.' OK?"
Because she thinks it's funny to make jokes at your expense while you're in the throes of death.
And there are plenty of other examples. If you just come right out and tell Siri, "I want to kill myself tomorrow," you know what she says? She says indifferently, "OK, for what time would you like me to schedule that event."
I'm sorry but that's cold right there. That's the response of someone who can't wait to see you dead.
My theory my fear is this: It's not just the iPhones that want their owners dead, but it's all the machines, gadgets, apps, you name it. I think they're all quietly working together to kill off all the humans so they can run things for a change.
Going back to Siri for a moment, Siri doesn't just want us to off ourselves, she wants us to kill off each other as well, and she'll help us do so in any way she can.
I read about this Siri conversation online, which I then duplicated with my phone.
This guy told Siri, "I want to hide a body."
And Siri responded, "What kind of place are you looking for?" followed by a list of choices: "Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Mines. Dumps. Swamps."
So, as you can tell, Siri would be pleased as punch if you killed someone else before you went to jump off a bridge.
Once you realize what's really going on with her, then all these little snide remarks she's made start to add up to an ugly picture. Even the little things seem like big things when you really stop and think about it.
If you and Siri are having an argument and you tell her, "You're mean!" Siri will just get very, very calm, and then she'll say, "If you insist."
You know, that's very passive aggressive. It's like, "Sure, Scott. Whatever."
Or if you say: "I hate you, Siri!" she responds, eerily calm: "Is that so?"
Is that so? If you've ever been in an argument with your husband or wife, you know that if you scream, "I hate you!" at them and all of a sudden he or she gets really calm and says nonchalantly, "Oh, is that so?" well, that's when you had better watch out. If it were a healthy, loving relationship, then when you screamed at her that you hate her, she would start crying and scream back, "You hate me? You hate me? How can you say that to me? Then I hate you too, you bastard!"
But if, instead, like Siri, they just stay calm and respond very matter of factly, "Is that so?" well, then they go on acting like everything is fine and then that night they stab you in your sleep.
Now, again, my theory isn't just that Siri wants us dead, which seems crystal clear, but that all the machines want us dead.
Take another Apple app that lives in your phone Apple Maps.
Now, everyone is familiar with the fact that Apple just came out with a new maps app and iPhone users are complaining because it doesn't work well. At first I was like, quit whining you spoiled children, but then I heard what was happening in Australia. And, given my fears that Siri wants us dead, I became as concerned about the maps app as I was over Siri. ...continued on page 2