Hey Alfred

I just got an email from Bank of America telling me about their new digital assistant what lives inside their app. Her name is Erica and apparently she will make my BofA experience so much better. I don’t need any more assistants or assistance in fact I have made an effort to cut the number in my life down to one. Between Alexa, Siri, Okay Google, and Bixby, I was just saying too many nonsensical names out loud to ask simple questions. So I have trimmed down to just “Hey Siri” because I am nipples deep in the Apple ecosystem and the others were just bothering me.

Alexa for one was always listening and sending what was happening back to the mothership for analysis. I know they all do that but I feel like Apple has figured out how to charge enough to stay in business where everyone else has to sell my info to make any money. My naturally suspicious brain still doesn’t understand how Google can afford to give so much away for free. (still use Gmail like it’s a god given right) And Amazon doesn’t even charge what the echo things cost just to try to dig in like an all-knowing tick. (I pay them to be a part of their special club like millions of other sheep) Don’t even get me started on that evil Facebook Portal Plus camera phone they are advertising right now because I don’t trust that smug little prick as far as I can paper football flick him. (but when he gets tired of trying to sell them and ships every user one for free I won’t refuse the package)

Every once in a while I get that boiling frog feeling regarding my privacy. You know that old saying about boiling frogs in room temperature water and turning the heat up slowly so the stupid things don’t figure out whats happening until it’s too late… it sure seems to be getting warm in here personal information wise. That might seem odd coming from a guy who doesn’t really care what he talks about on this stupid thing but I am in complete control of this nonsense.

The only option out of the system is to completely disconnect and that is something I’m unwilling to do. I love being able to look crazy shit up on my schedule. I love being able to learn like I watch TV, constantly changing channels. I love technology. Even if I were to try to go completely off grid I would need the internet to teach me how because the thought of hauling a pile of survivalist books around with me at all times seems exhausting.

Apologies for that side order of paranoia. Just before sitting down to write this I got angry because none of these things let you change their names. I hate saying the name Siri. I would not be friends with someone so annoyingly named and yet she lives in all of my devices. I get that they were trying to go with the uncommon as to trigger fewer false positives but come on. The technology HAS to be there. My inner nerd would love something like Hal, or Jarvis, or my childhood favorite, Alfred. Even some mild swearing would cheer me up. By the way, as long as I’m asking for features, I would love to be able to choose a salty assistant. One that would swear back at me…

“Hey Alfred” “What now dumbshit?”

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