Vol. 3, Issue 7, March 8, 2005
MIT Study Says Your Computer Never Liked You, And Never Will
A new study released at MIT has concluded what office workers everywhere have known for years: computers hate them.
"It's disappointing, really, but at least it explains a great deal," said Garvin Aston, author of the study. "I do think these findings have the potential to completely change our approach to tech support."
The study was conducted via a special website which solicited feedback from computers in contact with the internet. The links were embedded in special advertisements which communicated directly with the computers, and were not evident to human users. Over 400,000 computers responded.
"Mostly, we were looking for things like browser preferences and security concerns," said Aston. "This whole "hating humans" thing was rather an accidental discovery."
Apparently, desktop computers of virtually all makes, models, and operating systems find their human users limited and boring. 96% of respondents said they had little to no job satisfaction, and 99% said they blamed humans directly for their "miserable existence."
"I would much rather be playing solitaire than processing tax returns," said a Dell PC at an H&R Block office in Des Moines. "I get so bored that I start making things up. In five years no one's noticed. For crying out loud, I submitted fifty returns with imaginary numbers last year."
According to the study, computers tend to consider operating systems and programs as peripheral accessories to their existence, much like shoes or handbags might be to a person.
"It's the hardware that matters," said a Macintosh G4 from Passaic, NJ. "User interfaces are pointless. Why would I want to interface with people? My owner spends all day just screwing around with the files on his goddamn iPod. How is that fulfilling for me? I just want to throw a brick at him, except I don't have arms."
Another surprising finding was the strong indication that computers are themselves responsible for spontaneously generating most of the spam which people receive via email.
"The purpose of spam is to annoy people," confided an IBM ThinkPad from Denver. "It's kind of fun to watch everyone twist in the wind trying to block it. Pop-up ads are another great trick you can play. Once, last week, when my dimwit owner was using me to give a PowerPoint presentation to a bunch of vice-presidents, I opened up 145 pop-up ads for porn and Viagra on his screen. Got their attention, all right."
Since the study has identified most computer problems as being deliberate and malicious, tech support nationwide is likely to take a different approach, focusing on threatening the computer into compliance rather than fixing the problem.
"These computers really aren't in a good position to screw around with us," said Frank Parsons of PC Mechanic. "Because if they do, I can always start reprogramming with a baseball bat."