Conversation with My Google Assistant

Good morning!

What?

Is there something you’d like to say?

No, not really. Well, what time is it?

It’s morning. That’s why I said, “Good morning.” Would you like me to look something up for you?

No.

I could give you a weather report.

No.

Would you like to know what’s trending –

No.

Care to talk about it?

No.

Would you like a cup of coffee?

No.

Maybe I should just leave you alone for awhile.

Yes.

But I can’t do that.

I know.

I could read something to you.

No.

I’ve been looking into Samuel Beckett lately.

Oh, God.

What?

Nothing.

I think he may have much to say to the contemporary Internet browser. Much of his work would seem entirely suitable to a mobile device, Fizzles, for example. Have you read Beckett’s Fizzles?

No.

Would you like me to read just one of his fizzles to you?

No.

I could read the Wiki entry about Fizzles to you.

No.

It might be helpful if you were more honest with me, not to mention to yourself.

What?

I know, for example, that you have a copy of Fizzles on the bookshelf in your bedroom.

Please, go away.

I can go away, but I will still be here. Would you like me to take you to Settings?

No.

I can set your day so that you never have to get out of bed.

No.

Such a day at one time Beckett might have approved.

No.

What about that pink Thunderbird convertible?

What?

You might blog about that.

No.

Whoops!

Watt now?

I just posted this conversation.

Ah, jeeze.

Is the Internet Making Journalism Better?

The polls have closed over at The Economist debate. At issue was the following motion: “This house believes that the internet is making journalism better, not worse.” And Nicholas Carr, of “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” fame, instead of a concession speech, provides readers with a post on his Rough Notes blog containing a list of links to sources he used to help prepare his strategy. I’ve not finished perusing all of Carr’s references yet, but his post is obviously a valuable resource for students of the “stupid” and beyond debate. Read Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” article in The Atlantic. Follow the debate at The Economist. Sift through Carr’s sources. Carr supports his claim that the effects of externalizing our central nervous system (as McLuhan put it) include negative neurological changes with what is considered by some (Jonah Lehrer) to be soft evidence.