Saturday, January 30, 2010

It is undeniable: we are living in the future.

posted by Joe Ardent @ 4:11 PM

When I came back to the US in 2008 (the year 2008 is IN THE PAST), I got a phone with a new-to-me phone number. The previous owner of that number is some Spanish-speaking dude who owes a lot of businesses a lot of money, so occasionally, I get calls that are related to that. I wanted to block the number of one that did robo-calls (PHONE CALLS, MADE BY ROBOTS), so I initiated a real-time chat session with a support human who could have been in India. Here is a partial transcript of that session:

~William D: May we please know why you would like to block calls?

Joe Ardent: Because once upon a time, my phone number belonged
to someone else who, as it turns out, is a very, very bad credit
risk, and since I've had the phone, his creditors have called
me. Also, he seemed to only speak Spanish.

~William D: We do apologize for that. It must be frustrating
when your handset has calls coming in that are not welcome.

Joe Ardent: You correctly infer how that must feel.

I know Christopher appreciates the irony that sending text with a phone is considered high-tech, since the bandwidth required for voice is so much higher than for text. And yet, it really is super high-tech, since it requires so much base tech to support, such as good batteries and very cheap, very low-power electronic memory (not to mention the enormous radio-tower and fiber-optic underground cable infrastructure to handle the traffic). It's completely insane.

Originally, I just wanted to show off my dry wit with a tech support person, but the very fact that I was able to preserve a perfect record of the transaction made me think of all the other crap.

The fact that I'm still so awed by all this is the strongest indicator that I am old :)


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