Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We've come a long way, I hope we can get back.

My phone has the ability to provide driving directions. From what I understand this is not unusual. A lot of phones come with this handy feature. And, I am sure there are many apps that will provide this service. It is a very useful tool.

But, it does not always understand the subtle nuances of making your way through the world today.  Some ramps off the freeway have divergent options. Maybe two streets, and the choice is there before you have a chance to contemplate your options. "Take a slight right on Indeterminable Avenue," is a little vague in the crush of driving in unfamiliar conditions. At this point my wife and my phone are both exasperated.

Plus, the phone does not allow for the intuitive nature of my navigation skills. I have a sixth sense for finding my way. If a turn is missed, no worries, there is another turn up ahead, it will probably work, maybe even better. Apps can't see that, though. There is no "Hey, you missed 4th, no big deal, take 6th, there is a great taco place." No, it "redirects," kind of like doctors say you should do for unruly children.

One day, right before Christmas, the exit ramp I normally take to work was closed. So, thinking quickly I took the adjacent ramp, down by the Convention Center and Arena. It was nice, I had never been that way before. I drove along, enjoying the change of scenery. Until the scenery changed again, and it struck me, this was not where I should be, at all. So, Siri helped me get back to work, and I stopped at a new donut shop and got a cup of coffee that happened to be on the way. Life is good.

It is only second nature to want to explore a little, and being a revisionist historian allows me to look back on my miscues as adventures rather than disasters. So, I say to you, Siri, Mapquest, Google Maps, and your jackbooted legions, I will get lost on my own. But, if you could help me get back that would be greatly appreciated.