Souls, glitches or just plain evil intent.
I had a conversation the other day with other DeFT team members about whether technological gadgets have souls. Don’t be silly they said. They are just pieces of metal stuck together, or objects. Does a chair have a soul- or this bottle?
The conversation stemmed from an experience I had had recently with our cutting edge technology. I had taken an ipod to one of our schools to experiment with a QR code reader. QRs are central to this teacher’s project. I had downloaded a QR app onto the contraption. This was a marathon in itself because the name and password I entered refused to be recognised until I threatened the machine with expulsion through a glass window. When it finally downloaded, the QR reader worked perfectly- probably because the devise was still reeling from the strict talking to. It swung its little red line over our DeFT QR code, and with a cute little beep revealed our blog website. Fine, I said, you’ll do.
But on the way to Halfway it changed its mind. Unaware of this, I met Guy and Rob, and proudly presented ipod with app ready to go. But it would not work. These two highly technical people spent quite a long time trying to persuade it to cooperate, holding it expectantly over a selection of QR codes- but to no avail. In the end I had to bring it back in disgrace. I will talk to Anna about it, I said firmly. On the way back it must have heard, because back at base camp it worked perfectly again.
Now if I had been on my own with that thing- the ipod- I would have thought it was me. Something in the way I touched it was wrong: un-technological. However because I had witnesses and fellow victims, I can only deduce that the contraption was in a bad mood, and did not want to play.
Ah said Richard. It was probably because it was a shiny QR code.
These positivist non believers always look for a practical cause.