We all know the drill. Faced with an encyclopedic-length document, we scroll to the bottom to “prove” we have read it and click Yes/Approve/Whatever/I-Give-Up.
Why do we have to engage with this charade? Most of us did not attend law school and think a tort is a Viennese dessert. (Actually, the sacher-torte is delicious! But I digress….)
(No, one more digression. When did a cookie become something hidden and intrusive at the same time? Moreover, just to surf the surface of the web, we have to continually click “Accept All” to get that message removed from the periphery of our screens. Arghh! But I digress, again….)
Even if we did happen to go to law school, study for and pass the bar exam, and have years of practice behind us, we still mindlessly click the button to get what we want. Why?
Because we have no real choice. The alternative is not getting to search online, read our email, pay our bills, or even look up the difference between a sacher-torte and a legal tort.
Remember the Information Superhighway that Al Gore promised us? (Okay, you probably weren’t around in 1991 when the Internet was made available to the public. Al Gore helped get that legislation passed. But I [again] digress….) The superhighway was all gleaming and had effortless on- and off-ramps. There were no speed bumps and you could go as fast as your dial-up modem allowed — up to 56 kbit/s. (It offered lessons in patience as those “pictures” slowly downloaded.)
Still, the Internet (yes, we capitalized it) allowed us to transcend to Being Digital. It beckoned the Wisdom of Crowds to help us discern reality. It featured The Long Tail where everyone’s peculiar interests would find a home — and a market. It promised that The Singularity Is Near when human intelligence would be eclipsed by machines.
Well, those days are gone and dust. Now, to get to the latest version of home-brewed Squid Game on TikTok, we still have to pretend to be lawyers interested in digital copyrights. We must accept things unseen and unknowable that will probably hurt us and take us another step down into the digital abyss of human slavery. Chained to our phones and our faces lighted by blue screens, we will live out the remainder of our lives without human touch or genuine affection.
(But I digress, I need to check out that new trend on ….)