Eli Achieves Sentience

“So I press Tivo Man and that brings up the menu. Then I do ‘Now Playing’ and press select. Then I find ‘Wow Wow Wubzy’. Then I press select. Then I pick a show and press play.”

It occurs to me that Eli will never know a time when you couldn’t choose what TV show you wanted to watch when, or when you couldn’t pause and rewind TV. He also is used to the idea that you can listen to whatever songs you want anywhere in the house, or even if you’re riding in the car. And for him, phones aren’t things that are fixed in place.

10 thoughts on “Eli Achieves Sentience

  1. Clinton: Good point. In fact, he’ll never have known a time when there wasn’t a publically-accessible Internet.

    dfan: I hadn’t seen that. Thanks!

  2. You should get a corded landline phone, just to confuse him. Make it a rotary phone while you’re at it.

  3. Once we were listening to the radio in our car, and we reached our destination. I turned off the car and the first thing Samantha said was “could you pause that?”. They expect everything to be “pauseable” now. Anything that isn’t is clearly deficient.

  4. Ha! Same with the lizard: we once took her to visit one of Joe’s colleagues and she was utterly confused by the fact that the telly would not play Dora the Explorer on command, because she’s used to getting everything from DVDs or files on the computer.

  5. That’s something that I’ve been struggling over myself as the prospect of family-raising approaches. Leah’s expressed the opinion that our hypothetical future children should never be allowed to have a hypothetical future personal computer in their hypothetical future bedrooms, as she doesn’t want to have to be all sneaky to check their IM logs to make sure they’re not making plans to meet up with hypothetical pedophiles. Which is all well and good, pedophiles being incredibly terrible even when they’re purely hypothetical. But I’m only thirty and already I can’t quite comprehend what it’s like to be a child today — for things like personal computers and video games and such to be something that *always* existed (I’m in that singular age group that “grew up with” video games and personal computers in the *literal* sense. We got our first personal computer when I was 4 or 5. It was a 4-bit system that ran games off of a cassette. The personal computer literally matured at about the same rate I did, with stuff like home internet happening almost exactly at the same time that pornography became interesting). In light of that, in about a decade and a half, the earliest that our hypothetical offspring would reach tweenhood, I can’t help thinking that “Our child shouldn’t have a computer in their room” would be as ridiculous a thing to say as “Our child shouldn’t have that newfangled electricity in their room.”

    Is not letting your kid have a cellphone still a thinkable option? A kid with a cellphone was an utterly ludicrous idea back when I was a kid (It was actually *a criminal offense* to carry one into a school, on the assumption that cell phones counted as *drug paraphenalia*), but today?

  6. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to keep computers out of your kid’s room. For me, it falls in the same situation as TVs: I don’t want my kids to have unlimited and unmonitored access to unmetered entertainment.

Comments are closed.