Sunday, August 24, 2008


Don't get me wrong, I love my car - except for the beeps, anyway.  Those beeps drive me crazy.  It beeps is you leave the door open while the key is in the ignition.  It beeps if you don't have your seat belt fastened (and if I do forget, it tends to startle me, then starts going faster  - very disconcerting).  It has a horrible, high-pitched whine if you leave the lights on one nanosecond after the car is turned off.  Hey, give me a full second to react!

The copy machine in my building at the college also has its beeps, quite resounding ones.  It beeps when you push its buttons. It beeps when the job is finished. It REALLY beeps if you leave an original on the glass.

There is one appliance whose beeps I do like, though - my microwave oven.  The beeps as I push the spaces on its numeric key pad let me know I've really made contact.  They're also not too high-pitched or loud.  The beep when time is done is a bit loud - but not hearly as bad as those of my car.

It seems everything beeps.  Recently someone left his granddaughter in a car.  The news report mentioned that there are now car seats that beep if an adult forgets and leaves the child in the car.  Not a bad idea, I guess.

I think I know why these beeps annoy me.  I'm just stubborn enough to not want to be conditioned by my car.  I don't want a copy machine that's smarter than I am.  I just can't help thinking that if all these machines do our remembering for us, will we humans lose our capacity to do so?

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