A day in the life...NY Times today

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 21 06:35:31 PDT 2003

"We have taken a real national
resource, our youth, and trained them to act as mindless droids, devoid of
even the minimum reasoning powers possessed by small insects, and I am,
inexplicably, astounded."

Hence the photo on the first page of today's NY Times.


>From: "J.A. Terranson" <measl at mfn.org>
>To: cypherpunks at ssz.com
>CC: antisocial at mfn.org
>Subject: A day in the life
>Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 16:07:58 -0500 (CDT)
>Well, summer is here, and I've just come off > two weeks without a day off,
>so, I thought Itake this wonderful day, and use it like "normal" people
>might. You know, a nice breakfast with my wife somewhere, maybe a little
>casino time.  The standard speil.  But today turned out to be George Orwell
>Day instead.
>Submitted for your inevitable nodding of heads, and grumbling of "well, of
>course!  What did you expect!" replies.
>Breakfast was kind of cool actually - thanks for asking.  We trotted off to
>the local Ameristar casino's Open Trough, er, "Buffet".  The food was
>universally overcooked, sometimes to the point of knife-resistance, but the
>great dessert bar more than made up for it.  And it's relatively
>inexpensive.  Recommended for when lots of food at a low price is all you
>care about.  Not recommended for impressing anyone with your gastronomic
>knowledge ;-)
>After breakfast however, we decided to spend some time, and likely the
>~300.00 we had on us, at their casino.  Mind you, this may be the first 
>I've been to *this* casino, but it's nowhere *near* my first time in *any*
>casino.  This is far, far, FAR from the norms I'm used to.
>Like good little state-sponsored-units, we stood in line for a few minutes,
>waiting to show our ID and begin our excersize in negative economics.  When
>our turn came, however, I presented my ID, and was met with a blank stare.
>She looked at the ID.  She looked at me.  Back to the ID.
>I'm getting ready for the SWAT team to make their entrance at this point.
>"Sir, Where's your Amerstar Winners Card"?
>"Don't you have a Winners Card?"
>"I don't do loyalty cards. Thank you for thinking of me though."
>"Sir, you can't get in without a Winners Card"
>So much for a day at the casino.  Thank you Ameristar!  You saved me about
>$300.00 today.
>For those of you who are wondering, yes, you need detailed ID to get one of
>their loyalty cards.  And while I wasn't able to get in to verify what I 
>standing in line, it looks like they track you table by table with these
>So, being $300.00 richer, and having worked for over two weeks without a
>break, *and* being 250 miles over my oil-change limit, I figured, aw, you
>know what I figured!
>Now, let me start off with some background here.  I've gone to the same
>mechanic for almost 6 years now - for tires, oil, you name it.  The only
>thing he doesn't get is the brakes, and then only cause my Subaru has some
>kind of brakes-from-hell that even he says can't be serviced safely without
>going to the dealer.
>This mechanic, who runs the shop for the local Dobb's chain, is great.  
>had a problem.  Never had to show ID either.  Doesn't care if Telecheck 
>me or not, he just takes the money, and gets my business.  And he gets a
>*lot* of it.  His business is thriving, and he recently added 4 new bays to
>his shop, and started taking Sundays off - hence, my problem.
>So, we took the scenic route home, figuring there would have to be a
>oilchange shop somewhere along the way.  And there were several.  The first
>two were closed, but finally, we found a JiffyLube open and waiting.  With
>two bays.  And no line (baaaaddd  sign on a wonderful day like this).  But 
>*need* the damn oil change, so in we go.
>"Good Afternoon Sir.  What can we help you with today?"
>"Hi. Oil change please.  Synthetic blend please.  No extras, just an oil
>"Sure, leave the keys in the car, and step over to the counter, and John 
>be right with you".
>When I got out of the car, the kid who was going to do the actual work 
>to know if I had a loyalty card he could punch/swipe/whatever.  Nope.
>"Well sir, just give me your name and address, and I'll get you a card".
>"Thanks, but I don't want a card."
>"They're absolutely free sir!"
>"I know.  Thanks, but I don't want a card"
>"I can't change your oil without a card"
>"You're kidding.  Aren't you?"
>"Sir, I need a card."
>"John Smith.  123 Anywhere Street.  Anycity, Arkasas.  12345".
>I almost died laughing when he asked.  I mean, where's Monty Python?  
>the storage shed?
>"Thank you sir.  If you care to have a seat in the waiting room, we'll call
>you when it's ready.
>Into the waiting room we go.  With the little 8 inch TV mounted 12 feet in
>the air, where nobody can actually see it, even though we have to listen to
>it [at warp-volume].  There's some super overacted action-drama going on,
>lot's of shooting, a car chase, and a guy jumping into an airplane which is
>taking off - he jumped from a moving car to the plane - allin the ten 
>we were waiting.  Thank god I threw out the television in '90.
>Finally, a guy comes out from the shop.
>"Sir, if you'll follow me, we can go over your car for a minute."
>This is the upsell - I can just see it coming.  Wipers?  Air filter?
>We walk over to a monitor sitting in this big red box made up to look like 
>diagnostic center.  It's really just a sales terminal in a big red box,
>sporting some pretty pictures of the products this guy is trying to talk 
>into buying.
>"Sir, would you like some engine cleaner?  You should have it once a year."
>"No, I just want the oil change.  no wipers.  No engine cleaners.  Nothing
>but an oil change"
>"Sir.  I'm just doing my job - I have to ask you all these questions, since 
>can't check you out and close out your ticket without asking."
>Yes, he is an automaton.  He just can't take a blanket "no" and punch that
>into each request, so we went down the whole list of radiator flushes,
>transmission fluid checks and replacements, hoses, filters, etc.  Finally,
>*thankfully*, we're done: he tells me I can go to the register to pay.
>"Sir.  The total comes to $46.00".  As he says this, he notices that the
>screen hasn't filled in my name, address, etc., from the swipe of the 
>"Sir, I need your last name."
>"Your first name?"
>"Whatever makes you happy.  Pick one."
>He looks lost.  So lost.
>"That's a nice name.  Use it."
>"123 Anywhere St."
>He dutifully types it in...
>"Pick one."
>We wait.  He looks at me waiting, looking even more lost and
>confused.  Finally, I can take it no more, and I blurt out an answer, 
>beyond hope that he'll "get it".
>"New Caledonia."
>"Sir, would you like a Jiffy Card for next time, so you won't have to wait
>while we get this information?
>Oh god...
>So I have seen two separate businesses today who are just shooting 
>in the head over the acquisition of data in the face of obvious
>refusal.  While the Jiffy Lube is the more obscene example from a
>bang-for-the-buck perspective, the casino was (for me) the real
>shocker: casinos have, from day one, been very careful to protect
>privacy.  You ever try to bring in a camera?  Forget it!  To have a casino
>turn me away for lack of a loyalty card strikes me as, wel, preposterous!  
>cannot [literally] give you hundreds of dollars, asking nothing in return 
>a chance to gaze longingly at the asses of the floor wait staff, without
>divulging my entire pedigree?  Have we, as a society, completely lost all
>touch with reality???
>Those poor kids at the Jiffy Lube - obviously they *have* to get this data
>for the corporate office, but they too exhibit an amazing amount of
>programming here.  Not *one* of them had enough of a clear head to simply
>fill in "refused", or "John Smith" on his own.  We have taken a real 
>resource, our youth, and trained them to act as mindless droids, devoid of
>even the minimum reasoning powers possessed by small insects, and I am,
>inexplicably, astounded.
>I am what anyone with an IQ of 12 or higher would call a hard core
>cynic.  But even I am surprised.  Appalled even.  And oddly embarrassed to
>find that things are not as bad as I constantly claim, but they are *worse* 
>MUCH worse than that.  They are...  I don't *know* what they are - but
>whatever it is, it is truly fucking evil...
>J.A. Terranson
>sysadmin at mfn.org
>	"Every living thing dies alone."
>	Donnie Darko

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