Is Your GPS Driving You Off A Pier?
GPS is one of those clever tools you never thought you needed. That’s if you were born pre-GPS. Otherwise, it’s one of those “always there” things.
You never question it.
Because, thanks to satellite triangulation, GPS (or Global Positioning System) is much more than some fancy geegaw. It’s actually useful. Except when it goes a bit bananas.
“Take the third exit now.” “Take the exit.” “Leave at the exit now.” (Did I mention the exit?) “Turn back.” “Turn back. Now!” While these compelling orders keep us on the straight and narrow, they’ve probably also killed hundreds and injured thousands of people.
When the GPS – let’s call her Linda – is tasked with the duty of finding a route for you through unfamiliar territory, she tells you where to go. Obviously.
Thing is, she’s not (yet) a person. And she hasn’t got the smarts to care two hoots about where you’re going, your safety, and what the heck you really want in life.
But, Linda’s makers have programmed her sound authoritative. Think bondage and discipline. Slaves and masters. That sort of thing. Kind of a Madam Lash trained to dominate your actions as you travel.
And some of us… well, most of us, tend to do as we’re told most of the time. So, it’s hardly surprising that GPS errors have ordered people to drive into rivers and onto collapsed bridges.
When your soft sultry GPS au pair suddenly turns dominatrix, you do as you’re told. So, people dutifully turn into oncoming traffic, drive onto piers, and whatever else that kills you whilst driving.
All thanks to GPS, Linda, and her kind.
Now isn’t it interesting that most of the world’s GPS systems have a female voice? Why do you thing that is? Some have scornfully insisted that it’s because we expect a woman to be in a subservient position (in this case, sitting on top of the dashboard talking to you while you’re driving).
Or, it could be more primal. We all tend to obey our Mother. And, typically, she organises your life whilst you’re growing up. So, innately, we follow Mum’s instructions. “Take your dish to the sink”, “Pick up your things and put them away”, “Do as you’re told!”
“At the next intersection, turn right.” GPS’s talk to you like that... But it could have been something a Mother would say (Along with, “Slow down! You’re going to fast.”)
Before portable GPS’s were invented, we carried maps and got lost a lot. Simple. Except when you had to fold up the map. That part created more arguments than anything else I can think of (except, maybe, trying to put up a camping tent in the dark).
GPS’s – which I have to say are getting and better – have literally been a lifesaver for many travelling through unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous places. Meaning, GPS’s save a lot more people than they kill.
And whether she’s a GPS dominatrix or not, we can thank Linda for that. A lot.