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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Apparently, I Will NOT Be Assimilated

(You know Sceondhand SCIENCE is always hard at work, but science can’t always keep up. And what do you get when science is lazy? It’s called quiescence, and it’s this week’s nonsense. Go see.)

(Also, more Magicland news! Come out tomorrow to see our webseries sizzle reel showing in the Boston Comedy Festival at Davis Square Theater. And November 19th in SCATV’s Rough Cut screening. And in The Online Film Festival all December! Come grab some magic!)

So, I’m trying to completely turn my life over to Google. I’m really trying here. I am. But I’m just not getting cooperation from the other side.

I mean, I’ve done my part. I’ve got a Googly phone. I switched over to use their Googlepants Music Player, or whatever it’s called. That took effort. I transferred songs. Remade playlists. Cancelled all my other music subscriptions.

And lemme tell you, Spotify nearly cried when I left. I got, like, six emails from them. I half expected them to hang out outisde my window, holding up a boom box playing my last pre-breakup “weekly mix”.

Or In Your Eyes. Never discount the classics.

Anyway, I’ve held up my “minion” end of the bargain. I even grabbed one of those newfangled Googlicious home wifi routers, because it’s supposed to do cool crap in the background, like switch channels and kick off intruders and upload our credit card numbers to the Skynet cloud, probably.

Mostly I just wanted something more between me and the slimy-assed Comcast cable connection snaking into the living room. That big pile of wet naps didn’t feel like enough.

What I’m saying is, I’ve done it all. Big Googs said buy a Chromecast; I bought a Chromecast. We needed a new thermostat, and they bought Nest — so I did, too. All these little bits and apps and doodads and sophisticated surveillance devices. I put them in place as the Mountain View masters said, and do these things talk to each other?

No. No, they do not.

I don’t mind — clearly, I don’t — giving up a little tiny bit of all my personal privacy and data security and memories of a pre-cyborgian existence. Those things are all nice, sure. But, I don’t know, YOLO? Right? Probably?

Anyway.

It’s a little miffing that these things don’t share some sort of uber-Google AI that watches over the house and anticipates our every need and is occasionally afraid it can’t open the pod bay doors. That’s a problem. But the worse thing is, none of these Googlified gizmos listen to me, either.

I mean, Google Voice is a thing that exists. I’ve set it up, trained it with my voice and everything. But when I’m sitting in the car with my phone and want to hear a different song or have the car in front of me incinerated so I can get to work faster, and I say, “Okay, Google“, Google says…

Nothing.

So I say again, “Okay, Google!” Nada.

Okay, GOO-gle?

No things.

That’s no way to treat a loyal minion. You could at least cue up a tune or serve up directions while you’re sucking all the useful data out of my life. That’s just common courtesy.

Maybe I should see if Spotify is around for a cup of coffee. She never heated my house or ‘casted videos to my TV or anything. But I always felt like she was listening, you know? Sigh.

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