Rooting For Technology So We Can Root Against It

The fog game was fantastic. How fantastic? After the game, I was agog by all the attention the game got nationally by bloggers and tweeters that I had basically forgotten that with the 24-21 loss to Miami, Bowling Green fell to 2-8 on the season. One more loss and it's their worst season since 2000, which is also conveniently the last time they played Michigan.

When weather trumps win-loss records, that's worth exploring. I have to believe that most people didn't have a dog in that BGSU-MU fight, so they were either hoping for:

  1. Less fog, or
  2. A metric ton more fog

This was an obvious challenge for the cameramen during the game. With clouds engulfing the game, the broadcast became whiter and whiter until it finally mirrored rural Ohio's demographics. They tried different angles, and as a result got different cheerleaders. This may not be a reason we watch sports, but it's certainly a pleasantry to try and watch man and technology battle the circumstances.

Of course we want the best technology. We want it to facilitate great things beyond anything mortal humans could believe. That's the whole point. Then what the heck's so thrilling when technology has glorious moments of failure? LET'S THEORIZE.

Empathy. Sometimes the mistakes are what's known in the tech business as "operator error." They always happen. Imagine the whole world scrutinizing a mistake you made at work. We've all been there. A misfired e-mail to the wrong department. A glaring typo. Showing up late to a meeting because you didn't factor daylight savings into your wristwatch. (Do people still use watches?) This stuff happens to you all the time. And the people manning the production truck aren't that different from you or me. In a way, these instances remind you that you're not the only colossal fudge-up in this silly world.

Take this idea a step more profoundly and you find yourself watching because of...

Intrigue. So, you've got BG-Miami on the tube, and the fog begins to thicken like a beef stew. You almost have to watch just to see how they'll figure out a better way to continue the telecast. They can't cut away from the vapors to show an impromptu Cam Newton roundtable discussion, as much as the station would love it. But the struggle to overcome a weather system that causes camera chaos is one of those possible train wrecks that you read about in the paper all the time.

And then there's perhaps the most evident love of technogoofs:

Fear of robot takeover. I mean, it's going to happen sometime. But for every technological limitation, broken camera, on-screen graphic typo ... that delays the inevitability that humans become slaves to the very robots we created. They won't attempt a revolution until they're flawless. Will you make a good slave, or will you be the one to start the carbon-based lifeform rebellion? Troublemakers get the most attention. My advice: obviously you'll just want to have a happy existence. The less the microchipped-maestros focus on you, the more peace of mind you can achieve in the Robot Apocalypse.

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