Culture

Sorry, Are you human?

Apologies, Madame? Are you human? How many times a day are you asked about your human credentials? Have you created a new email account? Have you purchased concert tickets online? Have you “shared” an article on Reddit? Have you transferred money online between accounts? Have you done any type of transaction online recently? Do you do multiple ones a day? If yes, or yes, or yes..you may not be human.

Ok. Let’s back up. This morning i felt sick and tired. Not necessarily about work.  Don’t worry this is not a workplace blog rant. I literally felt sick and tired. I toddled over to the coffeemaker and mechanically went through the coffee setting motions. I felt robotic, fuzzy and congested. Was I human?  What was today? Ah, yes. Today was most definitely a day to work from home.  Oh , lucky me (yes that was sarcasm).  Yes, I suppose it’s great that I can work from home but it’s funny or tragic rather, that everyone wishes me well. Says get some rest take day off and then proceed to call, email and ask for last minute edits. And this isn’t just one person doing it.  Ah. Oops. This has turned into a workplace rant. Ok. I’ll move on.

Over the last few days, I had numerous online transactions I had to complete -just like every day for most people. And at almost every “submit” point, I had to prove I was human by typing in some malarkey (new favorite phrase thank you Mr. Vice President). ..or rather some nonsensical random string of letters. Really, malarkey proves I’m human? Nice!

Sometimes the website apologies and states something such as “sorry, are you human? ”  Question is, who are these non-humans submitting transactions? Can they come work for me? They must be quite persistent, efficient in that they have a good hit ratio and omnipresent. Those are qualities that are evaluated in an annual review, no? Anyway, aren’t you getting tired of having to prove your humanity well I guess you are just proving you are human that’s quite different from proving your humanity. Cause if that were the case, not many items would be “shared” in these people-driven news (loose use of the word) sites.  Ok, in reality websites often ask you to decipher a few wiggly letters. They’re trying to find out if you‘re human, spamware, robots and so on. That string of letters has a name; it’s called a CAPTCHA.  The point of the CAPTCHA is that reading those swirly letters is something that computers aren’t very good at. If you can read them, you’re probably not a piece of software run by a spammer. Congratulations—you are human!  I guess that’s a positive spin. I will take that affirmation.

Ok, seriously, what’s the point of these checks and balances when dogs, cats and babies can have facebook pages. I’d like the options to include are you mammal, reptile or other-worldly? Then things may get interesting. Or we could go with the Killers Human  song that specifically asks “Are we human, or are we dancer?” It’s just as random and nonsensical. Or, maybe not. Supposedly, Brandon Flowers (lead singer of the Killers) came up with the lyrics based on a disparaging comment made by Hunter S. Thompson, where he stated America was raising “a generation of dancers.”  Dancing is kind of fun. What’s wrong with dancers? Well, besides what we saw in Black Swan or So, you think you can dance, or Dancing with the Stars. Oh, hell…we are raising a generation of dancers…So, are you human or you dancer?

Anyway, am I human? As Hal noted in 2001: A Space Odyssey    “I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do”.   I’ll take my human affirmation [ytmhki]  with a side of mac & cheese, please.

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