Computers predicted two possible outcomes for me

Friday, December 30, 2016

 

LETTERS

From Phaedra Kelly, Ryde:

My thanks to the CP for having helped with publicity for my Unusualisms art exhibition at Ryde library throughout November, when on its opening night computers were changed over, and for two weeks were off and then when they returned, remained a variable.

I should have expected this as there is a history to why computers hate and fear me.

I was between jobs in my native Dorset when social security in the early 70s got an influx of keen sociology post grads, BBC computers and a new vocational test from USA which they called me to do in a big office in Bournemouth.

It was two pages of A4 with no right or wrong answers, multiple choice questions in sets of three, to be answered by pricks with a stylus in a column which made data tape.

Winfrith atomic power station was offsetting the cost of its big mainframe by renting them an hour a week, and I was told, that because it was all new, whizzie-bang fast, it would take only 20 minutes. I sat waiting for more than an hour in a big empty office and when the man returned, he was grey and shaking.

Apologising for the delay he informed thus: "We don’t know why this has happened, but when we fed your data through the mainframe it went mad, and there has nearly been a nuclear melt down.

"Winfrith have saved the day but it is very cross with us, and with what data we did get back, I’m obliged to assess you manually; you will either rule the world, or, you will be the most successful tramp in human history, there is no middle ground."

He then left to lay down in a darkened room and I to deliberate on my vocational future; I have no wish to rule your world, it does not go with anything I choose to wear.

So that’s why the lady is a tramp, and why, whenever I go anywhere near a computer, it only gets a nervous google.

It seems that they just don’t like gender transient creative artists.

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