via Daily Prompt: Genie

If you look at the old fairy tales, you will find that Genies grant your wishes according to Murphy’s law: “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong”.  To a large extent, this applies to many pieces of computer technology.

  • You can wish to control the lights, air conditioning, and doors in your house from anywhere in the world via the internet of things (IoT) and then find out that everyone else also has the ability to do so, including the burglar who robs your house while you are out of town.
  • You can wish to have access to a site that will build your web site without your having to think, and then find that you have created a site that clearly shows the amount of thought that goes into it.
  • You create a web site because you want to be widely known, and find that the most avid readers are people who want to sell you resort timeshares and a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • You wish for web site development frameworks that will drastically reduce the effort required, and find that everyone can now hack your site and obtain all your personal information, including your credit card and checking account numbers.

There are a number of books and movies that will show you that magic is dangerous.  According to Florence Ambrose in the online comic Freefall, “Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don’t understand it.”  So perhaps you should stop asking the Genie for things until you understand what is happening.  It may take some effort, but as stated by Agatha Heterodyne in the online comic strip Girl Genius: “Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!”.  So, before we go to the Genie and wish for things, we should analyze our desires and the available technology more closely.

After all, asking for a Genie and receiving an air to air missile with an atomic warhead would really be bad.

This is my first attempt at writing an entry for the WordPress Daily Post.  If you feel that it is taking the topic less than seriously, you are correct.  After all, if you learn to laugh at yourself, you will always have a source of amusement.  Or as the Cheshire Cat said in Alice in Wonderland, “We’re all mad, you know”.

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