By Nury Vittachi
So what if I answered a kid’s “Where do babies come from?” question with “3D printers”?
It’s not a lie; it’s just… anticipating a probable future truth.
Technology is amazing. Dads can get home from work, flop in their favourite chairs in their oldest underwear, pick their toenails - and simultaneously be livestreamed by their children as global entertainment.
ME: I don’t think the world wants to see this.
CHILD: You’d be surprised.
I mentioned this at work and a colleague told me of a woman who achieved fame through highly unlikely use of technology.
Christine McMorrow of the US state of Massachusetts posted almost 10,000 comments on a newspaper website without making the slightest impression on human society. Until one day she was using her phone’s speech-to-text function to dictate yet another bland comment when a friend turned up - and their conversation accidentally went straight into the New York Times comment section.
The text that was posted under her name was this:
“Zero optimism that the Democrats can ever regain hello hi oh you’re there are you outside oh well let me come to the door I’m icing my knee and I’m hard boiling some eggs I’ll turn them off and then will do our meeting…”
It went on in the same vein for many lines. The post was widely celebrated and the New York Times magazine declared it
“the best comment of the year”.
This is very much a lesson about modern life: To achieve international fame, do something stupid.
Suddenly, there’s hope for all of us.
Another colleague told me that a reporter at US National Public Radio tried to share a family picture of his cute baby looking at his cute cat with friends but accidentally uploaded it as a news item on the station’s website. It turned out to be one of the most popular news reports of the day.
“Sometimes you just need to look at a baby smiling at a cat,”
said one news junkie.
But perhaps the best happy-tech-accident story of recent times came from a UK woman named Emma Perrier who fell in love with an Internet conversation partner who was a handsome 34-year-old man, judging by the ultra-handsome photograph he showed.
But it was a bit odd. After six months of romance, he still refused to meet her face-to-face. You can guess the ending. Yes, he was a creepy old man who had stolen a photo of an actor.
Yet the story, reported by The Atlantic magazine, has an extra ending. Emma wrote to the actor to tell him that his photo was being used - and they decided to meet, and he promptly fell in love with her. Thank you, creepy old man!
Talking of creepy old men, the present writer must admit that he enjoys technology. When I first got a Facebook account, I changed my name for a while to NO ONE ON EARTH.
Every time I clicked the “like” button, people got messages saying “NO ONE ON EARTH liked your post.”
Yeah, yeah, little things please little minds, I know.
On the downside, pretty much all the famous YouTubers, as I know from looking over my daughter’s shoulder, are handsome young men. Apparently there are a few Dads hoping for internet fame, but the odds are against them.
Anybody know, is there a pay-per-view site of lazy dads in their underpants cutting their toenails?
As a deeply moralistic, prudish person, this columnist most sincerely hopes not.
Unless of course they send me fame, fortune and a large cheque. One has to be practical, right?