Thursday, January 31, 2019

Day 3325

I think we're well on our way to becoming a surveillance society. Companies know so much about us already, but they still want to know more. I called my insurance agent today to ask about a low mileage discount. I hardly drive at all anymore, so I thought if these things exist, maybe I could lower my bill. The reason I wanted to lower my bill was that I'd just received it and of course, it was higher than it was before. "Sure, we can lower your bill," the agent told me. "Let me send you a small tracker you can install in your car and then all you have to do is download our Safe Driver app on your phone." "How big a discount will I get," I asked. "We can't tell you right away," the agent said. "After we've been able to analyze your driving habits for about six months, we'll revise your premium." "So what you're telling me is that my premium could actually go up after six months," I said. The agent was silent.

My insurance company is becoming just like the phone company, the cable company, Facebook, and everybody else. These companies want to learn your habits, get all your data, and then sell it to third parties who will bombard you with targeted advertising and telemarketing calls. I would have preferred to give the agent two service reports from the Land Rover dealer spaced one year apart that would validate the actual mileage I drove in a year. Apparently, that wasn't an option.

I guess I'm on the wrong side of history. After dealing with the insurance agent, I called another company who wanted me to start paying them electronically. I didn't want to do this. After a long conversation where I explained to them that it was still perfectly legal to pay with a check, they finally relented and let me keep things as the are. I'm sure in about six months I'll get another letter saying that as a "courtesy" my account has been converted to electronic payments.

I've definitely reached the "get off my lawn" stage of life. These companies are just going to have to deal with me for another twenty years. I still like paper. I write letters. I save receipts. And I see no point in talking with Siri or Alexa. As far as I'm concerned the world was a better place when phones were dumb and people were smart. In case you've forgotten, we went to the moon fifty years ago. Have we really advanced that much since then? I don't really thing having my insurance company tracking my trips to the post office and the pharmacy is going to make the world a better place.

Doesn't it seem odd that our society has become obsessed with efficiency and yet nothing actually works. Maybe we should all slow down for a while. We might discover that inefficiency is actually better. Personally, I have lost all interest in speed. Whenever I see someone in a hurry it reminds me of the treadmill at the gym. Sure, you're moving but you're not actually going anywhere.

Today, I made the bed, walked Dash, cleaned up poop several times, fixed a dog boot, did a load of laundry, and took the trash out to the curb. I probably accomplished just as much as all the self-important movers and shakers I saw on TV while I was drinking my morning smoothie.

Cooper is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day