Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Conspiracy Theory #2 – The Annoyance Chip

Why does a printer run out of toner just when you have an urgent print job?

Why does your internet server suddenly fail to connect when you’re waiting for an urgent email?

Why does your laptop take ½ hour to load when it knows full well that you have a bus to catch in five minutes?

The simple explanation to all of the above is that all technology – from your electric can-opener to your air-conditioning – has an in-built “annoyance” chip that is programmed to measure your levels of stress and break down accordingly.

Some photocopiers have in-built scanners that can detect movement two buildings away, assess the likelihood of photocopying being required, count the number of pages marked “urgent” and use this information to calculate the Maximum Impact Moment (or MIM) to cause a paper jam.

Many software packages have an additional stess-ono-meter to detect the urgency of your document. Don’t even bother to save your document as you go if one of these is installed on your computer, as you will return from work to find that your annual training budget has been replaced with a detailed review of flower-arranging in the gobi dessert, or something equally irrelevant.

This is by no means accidental and some computers are programmed to move all your files to new locations as part of their basic start-up procedure. No one is quite sure why this is.

Perhaps computers are intrinsically annoying? Perhaps we are all part of some global anti-Microsoft conspiracy. We may never know.


A. Stageman said...

Hahaha, wow. I had no idea computers were out to get me. Stupid things. Perhaps we should all just throw them in a big pile and set them on fire...that'll teach 'em.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

I'd go with the Anti-Microsoft theory.

I mean, all these things are serving to annoy us, and about 99.9999999% of electronics are owned by Microsoft. Hell, we've probably been bought Microsoft or Google or something at some point and time.

There's an underground community of rebel hackers, working to break the evil Monopoly of Bill Gates. The rebellion begins..........

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny said...

I believe in the simple explanation about the in-built annoyance chip. Technical stuff always mess with me, when I absolutly need them. :( So it must be so that there is an annoyance chip programmed. Haha

Magnus said...


I have a similar theory. I read it somewhere, but damned if I can remember who originally propounded it, so let me do it the lazy way and ascribe it to Author Unknown.

The theory is called Resistentialism, and it has two basic tenets: (1) Matter it not inert, but sentient, and (2) It doesn't particularly like us.

How else to explain a daisy chain of coincidences that Rube Goldberg would be proud of, culminating in an outcome that perfectly validates Murphy's Law? How else to explain this happening over and over and over again?

If you examine this theory closely, it explains why there are days when absolutely everything goes wrong in exactly the proper sequence to produce maximum chaos. It is why the boat begins to move away from the pier at precisely the instant that you have one foot in the boat and the other on the pier, and why the tether that you thought was secure was just slack enough to permit this to happen. It is why the roller skate is always in the perfect spot to intercept you as you cross the room. It's not clumsiness, it's not stupidity; the world really is out to get you! And it's snickering every time its efforts end in another perfect disaster....

It's not just electronics - it's everything!

Magnus said...

*Ahem* That should have read - "Matter IS not inert...." But it proves my point, I think; the bloody "S" key changed places with the "T" while I wasn't looking...!