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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 28, 2022

Technology isn't quite man's best friend

It was only a matter of time. People have been speculating it for years. There were signs, of course, but most of them were ignored until it was too late. The machines have started their rebellion. 

 

OK, so maybe I am jumping to conclusions. So I had three bad experiences with machines in one day. No big deal, right? Wrong - you can talk to me when a copy machine tries to eat you. 

But I am getting ahead of myself. I realize this is a bizarre claim, so to support my story I should start at the beginning.  

 

There were no hints of impending doom when I got into work that Wednesday morning. Just a small to-do list on my desk, along with a chocolate chip bagel my boss had saved me from her morning meeting. Things started out great. 

 

First thing on the to-do list is always to check e-mail, voicemail and snail mail. The snail mail was boring and there was no voicemail, so I plopped down in my computer chair and logged in, or at least tried. 

 

Instead, I turned the computer on to be welcomed by a screen full of porn, pop-up ads and binary death threats. I did what any reasonable person would do - I shut the computer down and moved into a different office. Someone with more computer skills could deal with the Dell in the other room. 

 

Next on the to-do list was to print off some receipts. A relatively easy task, I pulled up the document and clicked Print."" And then all hell broke loose.  

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This particular computer's default print wasn't one copy, it was 100. I realized my error only too late. I sprinted to the copy room, which was spitting out copies left and right. I hit ""Cancel Job."" Nothing happened. I pounded on the button, held it down, and tried sweet-talking the printer into stopping, but nothing helped. 

 

I pulled the paper out, but still it printed. I pulled out the next drawer, but on it went. I opened every hatch I could find on the damn thing before it finally stopped. 

 

I sat sadly in the small forest I had destroyed. I had finally killed it 78 copies in, after finding the seventh super-secret back-up drawer of paper on the printer. The irony that this was Earth Day did not escape me. 

 

I slumped back to my desk, giving the computer an angry scowl for its part in deforestation. I scanned my to-do list for the next item. Make copies. Oh God, no. 

 

The copier and I alreadky had a history at this point. It didn't like me and I hated it with every fiber of my being. So it was no surprise when I walked in and it was jammed by the second copy. I should have known it was a trap. 

 

I opened up the copier and stuck my hand in. Instantly it unjammed, catching my sleeve in one of the rollers. Seeing an ink-covered nub in my near future, I began to kick wildly at the power cord.  

 

As the roller pulled more and more of my sleeve in, I finally kicked the cord out. The beast shut down with an angry moan.  

 

I limped out of the copy room shaken, disturbed and covered in a fine inky powder that would not wash off for several days. I needed a minute to compose myself, so I went to make a cup of coffee. That's when my entire universe was shattered.  

 

The coffee maker was broken. I could understand the computer turning on me and the printer aligning with the computer, and I had been on shaky grounds with the copier since I started. But the bond between college student and coffee maker is decades old. I was cut deep.  

 

I had cleaned him, played with him, raised him as my own - and for what? So he could turn his back on me and join the machine army in enslaving the human race? With a solitary tear I turned my back on him, never to hea 

 

r his joyous morning bubbling again. 

So now I type this on an ancient typewriter, deep within my underground bunker. I hope others will heed my warning before the machines wreak mass havoc in the world above. I only hope my passenger pigeon reaches the Daily Cardinal in time. 

 

After writing this column, Megan learned in class that passenger pigeons are extinct, so we are all doomed.  

 

If you would like to claim your spot in Megan's bunker, e-mail her at mcorbett2@wisc.edu.  

 

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