Sunday, June 10, 2012

Are you sure?

Warning this post contains strong language.
So you're here to read another rant by me. Are you sure? Yes. Ah good. Shall we continue? Are you sure? OK, let's go. There is strong language, do you wish to continue? Yes. Are you sure?

One thing that irks me above all other stupid things that technology does is when it asks me if I'm sure.

For instance, I've played a game on the computer and now I want to get off it. So, I save my game. Then I quit to the menu. Are you sure you want to quit to the menu? Well, yes, I did just click on that button. Then on the menu I click Quit Game. Are you sure you want to quit the game? Yes, yes I do - why else would I have clicked the quit button?

OK, so it is making sure I didn't accidentally click on the button. However, to quit to the menu required me to:

1. Stop playing
2. Navigate my mouse to the menu button
3. Click the menu button
4. Navigate the mouse to the save button
5. Save my game
6. Navigate to the quit to menu button
7. click the quit to menu button

Now, I would say that I'm pretty damn determined that I want to quit to the menu. Otherwise I may not have done step 1. It's not like the game has its buttons really close. They are nicely spread out so that any imbecile could click on the button they wish without missing and hitting the wrong one.

Then once I've quit I am faced with a full screen menu that contains 4 buttons on it. One button in the top right corner is the settings button. It's pretty far from the other buttons. The two in the middle are New Game and Load Game. The exit button is right at the bottom. Far, far away from any other button. So why do you insist on asking if I am really sure I want to do what I'm pretty obviously sure I want to do?


So, now I'm back on my desktop. I want to turn my computer off. So I press the start button (which is an odd name considering my intentions) and press the shut down button.

Do you want to shut down Windows?

Yes, yes I do.

Now it starts asking me if I've saved all my documents. Well I would, but I have no documents open. This leaves me faced with saying yes and forever wondering if I had documents open that windows was evilly hiding from me, or saying no and going back to check. So I say no. I root around looking for any open files and run through the procedure again.

Do you want to shut down Windows?

Yes I do. Of course I fucking well want to shut you down. What other shitting reason could I possibly have for pressing the fucking shut down button?!

Have you saved all your open documents?

I don't have any blasted open documents! And what fucking use is there specifying that I should save my god-damned open documents? I'm going to be able to save any documents that are shitting well closed am I?

The only good thing about all this is that it is a computer. You can swear at a computer. You can't swear and shout at a person for doing something that is seen as social convention.

I'm sure everyone has had this, you're at somebodies house and they ask if you would like a drink. You say 'no thankyou'. Their response is almost always 'Are you sure?'

Well, yes I am sure. As you spoke your voice caused sound waves to travel from your mouth into my outer ear wear it was funnelled into the ear canal where it vibrates my ear drum, which in turn vibrates some bones in my middle ear. These carry the vibrations into my cochlea which agitates a series of cilia which triggers a signal to travel down auditory nerves to my brain. My brain then undergoes complex processes where it passes the electrical signal all over the place so I pick up a memory of the individual sounds so I can piece it together into a question which my brain can form a response to.

My brain then undergoes further complex processes piecing together bits of words to form the response 'no' I even remember to be polite and add a 'thankyou' on the end. This is then converted into electrical signals which are finely tuned for each of the hundred or so muscles involved in speech. I then utter the phrase 'no, thankyou'.

Therefore if I say 'no thankyou' I damn well mean 'no, thankyou'. Don't underestimate the power of my brain and its ability to comprehend your first question and form a perfectly valid response. The brain uses about 128 watts of power during a conversation, that's enough to power a lightbulb or two (depending on the power rating). By asking 'are you sure?' you are asking me to waste further energy to re communicate to you my original response which was a polite 'no'.

The thing that is really weird is that if, for fun, when they ask 'are you sure?' I respond 'actually, I will have one' the person who asked the question looks at me funny as if to say 'that's neither convention, nor polite'. If you don't want me to change my mind don't give me the fucking chance!

Of course you can't say any of this to the person who asks you because that would be more impolite. Perhaps I am not the best person when it comes to social convention, but for god's sake don't ask if I am sure.

Of course I'm fucking sure!

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