At least, I don't think I'm a robot. It's the kind of philosophical question to which there is no answer of course. I could have been programmed to believe I was human and given the capacity to accumulate memories and develop my skills and abilities through experience. However, with regards to the suspicion I encounter regarding my potential robot status, I am of course talking about the prove you're human boxes where you have to type a copy the encrypted word into a little box.
Over the last few years these encrypted words have become more and more unintelligible. I have failed a couple and had to try with a different word. This week a strange sound emerged from the fiancé's computer; he had abandoned the written word and was attempting the audio version. If the written form is a blurry mass with obscure dashes, then the audio version is akin to a zombie several tequila's down.

When I was at high school I was very interested in the theme song to Friends. I'll be there for you by The Rembrandts was on a compilation album I bought when I was fifteen. Aside from the cult status of Friends which made the program essential viewing, the lyrics made me wonder what my future would hold.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's DOA
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
And it hasn't been your day, your week, your month or even your year

Upon reflection I wonder what some of my peers are complaining about in the present climate. Friends told us our twenties and thirties would be tough and that it was down to us to form the relationships that would see us through. Remember Monica's job as a waitress where she wore foam breasts? Remember Joey's dependence on his wealthier room mate? Remember Rachel's distress when she calculated how she'd deviated from the time scale she'd always seen her life following with regards to marriage and children? Rubbish jobs, not enough money, not finding the perfect partner. We all consumed these lessons once we had finished our essays and pages of algebra.

Friends was full of happy endings. We were shown that while we would face periods of unemployment, have our hearts broken and experience periods of wondering what we were meant to do with our lives, we would bounce back and fall in love again and find another job. That while the end result may not be what we thought we wanted, once we got it we'd be happy with it.

So I feel I was warned that life would be this way and while I won't pretend I haven't had moments of fear and unhappiness, I've generally tried to look at the series and not the episode. Right now I'm on an upswing, I love my job, am doing ok financially and am newly engaged, but I know that if that  heads downwards, I'll cope.

Still, when it comes to tequila soaked zombies moaning at my fiancé I am left feeling that nobody told me life was gonna be this way!

It's important to note however, that we cannot predict the direction of our consumer lives. This is particularly true of technology. This week news has been buzzing about Virgin's super fast broadband. To illustrate the speed we are told that a film could be downloaded in 90 seconds and a song in 5 seconds. Hitting the street in search of mouth breathers with opinions, one individual sourced by Radio 1 said he didn't download that much stuff so didn't need it. Similarities to Thomas J. Watson aside (and yes I know he probably never said the world only needed five computers but when do facts get in the way of a good story?*) , the muppet entirely missed the point – which was after all the Beeb's objective as they want to get people all interested and engaged in their news – namely, that until such developments are presented as a consumable product, the majority of people fail to appreciate application.

Take WAP. I remember checking cinema times on my first mobile phone about a decade ago. It was pretty useful but an expensive thing to do. Ultimately WAP failed but there was a nugget of something great there. Had you asked me at the time I'd have said that internet on a phone was pretty pointless. Today I have a Blackberry. My point is that until someone took a technology I neither understood nor saw practical usage for and sold it to me as a desirable product, I was in no position to make an evaluation.

I'm of the watch and see camp. As an endlessly impatient individual, ever faster internet is obviously a very good thing but what Virgin are really doing is facilitating developments that the like of me are unable to comprehend. I've no idea what will follow faster broadband but I look forward to the future and who knows, it may enable a way around word recognition to prove that I am not a robot!

* Never on this blog (obviously!)



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