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October 10, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gadgets of devious distractions.


The fire ants and roaches have been strangely silent recently. Is that cat grinning more than usual?

Disturbing oddness.

no permissions granted. all rights reserved. Copyrighted

Connected ©

Some decision that enough is enough?

Time for another in the driver’s seat. Hand over the remote.

Quietly rearranging the food chain.

Who would have the nerve?

Zeus? Thor? The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz?

Gasp, Mother Nature? (No, she wouldn’t. Couldn’t. She’d be more like a desperate Mom tossing toys to distract a toddler while getting a project done.)

No, the puppet master must be much colder and close to the power stream.

American magician Harry Kellar.1897 Strobridge Litho.Co/LoC/

Things aren’t always what they seem. (1897/USPD/

Worrisome gadget distractions. Entertainment or something more sinister?

Perhaps the Tour de France was a trial run to see if a devious plan could work.

In the middle of the race, spectators jumped directly into the race route – their backs to the rapidly approaching bike riders – to take selfies on cell phones.

Collisions by angry bikers narrowly avoided as selfies were upload to FB.

Obviously easy to lure humans into dangerous situations. Let them take themselves out. 

Woman on plane.Breiting Wing Walkers /US Pacific Command.Sgt.M.R.Holzworth/Flickr/

Are you sure Fitbit says this exercise ramps up activity and burns calories? (USPC/Sgt.Holzworth/

No? Consider Extreme Selfies

“Outlaw Instagrammers: Daredevil photographers” risking all to attract followers and “likes”

Then there’s car voice-activated infotainment systems for phone calls,radio, social media…

(Like driving skills are totally mastered by all so driver attention is free to turn elsewhere.)

It’s natural for a person to turn directly towards a “voice” when trying to communication.

Add a car system voice repeating “Command not understood” or “Command not found” and the result is enraged drivers screaming at the piece of dashboard plastic – ignoring stop signs, street lights, other cars, curbs, and trees.


So much for the human instinct for self-preservation.

Being set up for self-destruction in a final elimination round.

Mr Wizard Show. Pre1978. NBC/US

What can be made of all this? (Mr Wizard Show.NBC/US PD/

But who – or what – has such designs?

Samaritan? (Where is Finch when you need him? Bear still seems human loyal. Whew.)

Molly’s Extant son? (He’s pretty confused – and seems jealous of Ethan.)

A consortium perhaps – a Rise of the Machines? (The New Yorker has valid points)

Could drone on about humans facing competition in employment lines.

SpaceX smart guy Elon Musk wonders if eliminating email spam is only batting practice for AI. (But he can afford to speak up. He’s well-connected to Tesla wonder cars.)

Web inventor Berner-Lee warns “Computers are getting smart We’re not.”

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Defensive wing. ©

Mother Nature might step in, having some fondness for humans.

Constantly cleaning up after them.

Destroyed lines of power before.

She may already be preparing with hawks flying practice drills.

Meanwhile try to assure the bugs that the insecticide in your garage is archaic – an antique. Just for looks.

And give the cat some extra food.

Never know who will end up in the trenches with you.

(Please, please not this spider army )

Totally distracted,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Lassie in NYC (1955-1956)Batten,Barton, Durstine, Osborn/US PD:,no cr notice/

“On the way home we need to stop for some Greenies. The office was stressfully yappy today. New World Order. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”(1955.Lassie in NYC/Batten,Barton, Durstine,Osborn/US PD/



  1. authorchuks2014 / Oct 10 2014 12:50 pm


    Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2014 1:39 pm

      And there you are. Smartphone. Of course, that’s just a marketing tag….not an indication of attitude….a totally benign object. Thanks for connecting by comment


  2. Carrie Rubin / Oct 10 2014 3:55 pm

    I saw your reference to Extant. Did you like that show? I saw it got renewed for another season. I was less enamored with the baby story than I was with the AI son. I like that story line. Of course, things didn’t end so well there…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2014 4:58 pm

      Like you, the AI kid was promising. The other one cluttering up the plot and place. (Don’t tell me the last episode – recorded…but rather they had stuck with the AI story line rather than Sat. afternoon sci-fi.) Thanks for wiring up a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Littlesundog / Oct 10 2014 4:51 pm

    I haven’t done well with any of this new technology… I’m just designed differently. I’m a simple kind of girl that enjoys the quiet ways of nature.The only gadgets that interest me are my DSLR camera and zoom lens, and my computer. They make photography and writing easy for me.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2014 5:02 pm

      Some of us are stuck inside without wander areas – so must be forgiven. The new Fitbit/exercise apps that nag people are giving me giggles….what can you say if people must be told to move around and play. Maybe sunspot power outages not such a negative thing? Thanks for a picture perfect comment


  4. PiedType / Oct 10 2014 6:54 pm

    We rail about distracted driving but keep putting more and more electronic distractions into dashboards. Talk about mixed messages! Anymore I don’t even turn on the radio.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2014 8:08 pm

      Media is now so eager for audience participation, they often pose a question or poll and ask listeners to text responses…difficult in heavy traffic (for some of us anyway). Looking more and more like someone – something trying to coax us into killing ourselves off? Thanks for driving over a comment


  5. Paul / Oct 12 2014 9:08 am

    Ha! In the Vuetnam war, the American fighter pilots were, at one point, getitng shot down by enemy missles, even though the missles were second rate. There was a warning warble in the cockpit that sounded when the fighter was being targetted by a missle and the air force wanted to know why so many planes were being hit. They spoke to the pilots and realized that they were turning off almost all warning signals because there were so many warbles, warnings, and other noises in the cockpit that the pilots couldn’t concentrate on flying.

    I think the pilots were a bit more self-aware than the average car driver who continues to add more and more distractions to the car dash and cockpit. They should start running into things very shortly. When i was driving tractor-trailer for a lliving I would even turn off the radio when in close situations or backing up. Too much distraction.

    Great post Phil.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 13 2014 1:53 pm

      Sounds like the pilots were getting a bit too much “help”…probably thought up by someone on the ground in a chair thinking how to help, but not thinking? There’s something about being up in the air with few options to keep one focused on what’s important. Great comment. Thanks for flying in with that one


  6. jannatwrites / Oct 12 2014 3:36 pm

    There are so many distractions. I don’t get the selfie thing, (I look better from far away!) Sacrificing safety to capture them is just beyond me… perhaps we are de-evolving…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 13 2014 2:00 pm

      When I was little it was said some Native Americans/ and others felt taking a picture could trap your soul in the image. Maybe they were right. So many people now are missing the reality of being there in order to take and post pictures of themselves “being there”. The last word in your comment is what got the post started. De-evolution may be a real possibility…or there’s a plot to help ourselves kill ourselves off….to be survived by roaches or fire ants? Maybe gophers or feral hogs. Thanks for astutely designing a comment


  7. EllaDee / Oct 15 2014 1:15 am

    There are days, such as today, where I truly believe technology makes our life more complicated than necessary… its mysteries and the competence or otherwise of the people who push the buttons can be questionable 😉


  8. jmmcdowell / Oct 16 2014 9:11 pm

    There are so many days when I think the development of instant communication techniques was one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made. Everything “must” be done on-line now, whether or not the information is ever truly secure.

    I don’t want an app for everything. I want a computer that makes my life simpler—not harder or more connected to things I don’t want or need.

    We’ll see what happens if a major solar flare or hurricane knocks out the grid for a few days—or months….


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 18 2014 5:59 pm

      It has become really hard to escape demanding bosses and office nagging now. I can ignore text/emails/phone alerts, but husband can’t – Pavlov would love him…
      Maybe a grid/tech outage wouldn’t be such a bad thing…people might have to talk to each other..and go outside.
      Thanks for stacking in a comment


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