Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Biting the hand that used to feed me

The other day I needed to confirm that Malvina Reynolds wrote Little Boxes and came across this marvellous resource from which I see that back in 1975 Ms Reynolds foresaw concerns that are even stronger today:

Computers, computers, computers wherever you turn.
Those chips are so loaded with hot information
You'd think they would burn.
Some of it's factual, actual,
Some of it's made of thin air.
Whatever gets in a computer
Stays there.

You can put almost anything in there that comes to your mind.
The programmer gets lost in the shuffle, the scuffle,
The dope stays behind.
Some of its factual, actual,
Some of it is double-faced.
Whatever gets in a computer
Isn't erased.

Our lives have been fed to computers, every thought, every dream,
Everything that we've bought that has rusted or busted
Or split at the seam,
Every up, every down,
Every howl, every glimmer of luck.
When something gets in a computer
It's stuck.

The stuff that we have in our heads is a different affair.
We've hoarded and sorted, amended and bended
And let in the air.
But computer banks grow like a cancer,
They can always produce a wrong answer
And they never are troubled with doubt.
And once you get in a computer
You never get out.

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