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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Naming of the GPS - A Political Comparison

Those who know us, know that I have had a love hate relationship with TechnoMans old GPS for quite some time.

It is my experienced opinion that this particular TomTom is possessed.  It has a mind of its own, and that mind, I am convinced, is determined to make me cross.   There are many stories of how this particular GPS has appeared to have gone out of its way (or so it would seem to me) to be an ornery, contradictory piece of technology, that is quite frankly, possessed with madness.

TechnoMan will tell you - and often me - that the GPS can not possibly care about what you and I think, that it is an inanimate object - a mere technical object designed to make life easier.  Pfft.

However, this post is not about the many stories of bizarre cross country treks, strange offshoots and motorway drives that don't really exist.  No, this post is more about how TechnoMans old GPS (because the good news here is that we replaced it with a slightly better behaved NavMan a few months ago) gave me an idea and resulted in a wondering.

I thought of a name for the old GPS last week.

I was driving down the motorway, and inadvertently took an early offshoot, two stops prior to the one I needed.  Please don't judge - at the time I was quite caught up in my new role as the best 'Rock Star Car Singer Extraordinaire'.   I was paying attention - promise - but I don't drive this route often, so miscalculated when to come off the motorway.   Suffice to say, I was momentarily lost.   Fortunately I have a good sense of direction (one of a handful of skills and unknown facts about me that most people would be surprised about) and a vague idea of where to go, and whilst ten minutes later than expected, arrived where I needed to be.

What does this have to do with TechnoMans old GPS?  I know you are wondering when I will get to the point.

Well, everything.

Firstly, I did not have any GPS with me.  Secondly and most importantly, the whole incident, as I was driving along, reminded me of the old GPS.  It was the kind of thing it would do - take me off track and on some wild 'adventure' (I use adventure in its loosest manner, because what I really mean is a stress induced journey of angst).

It made me wonder what an appropriate name for the old GPS should be.  I would usually just swear at it, but thats hardly an appropriate name.   At the same time, the 8am news come onto the radio (I had stopped being a singer at this point to try to focus more on being a bit lost).  There was a scathing report on something the Government had done - again.

Thats when it struck me.  The perfect name for our old GPS.

National.

That old GPS reminded me of the National Government.

I am serious - let me elaborate on how that most frustrating of all technological of gadgets, our GPS, reminded me of the National Government.

1.   It was always taking us down the wrong road.  Despite the fact that we wanted the most direct and safest route - the GPS would find the most complex, off the main route, kind of roads to travel down.  It never went the direction that was best for its occupants.  It may have eventually got to its destination, but not without causing its weary travellers a substantial amount of stress and grief first.  Lets just say thats similar to so many policies in place I am unsure where to start comparing.  Education would be one example.  So far off track we may as well be heading towards the equivalent of a dirt road.  

2. It wasn't actually 'cheaper' to take the short cut - by the time you compensated for the 'off roading' you actually didn't make the savings you thought - much like asset sales in some ways.  There wasn't the predicted profit and over time, we've lost money on something that was making it.  

3. It is misleading.  That is to say, it leads you into thinking you are making the right decisions, going along the right road, all on track and according to schedule.  The reality is quite different.  Whats actually happening is that you are going away from the beaten track and impending disaster is only a short tight corner away.  What results is an increased anxiety and being more hyper alert because disaster is a mere mishap away.  Again, take your pick on which policy this is applicable to.  Mining anyone?

4. The maps are faulty.  They are outdated and they don't keep up to date with current thinking and current reality.  Much like Nationals policies.  The policies being bulldozed through are not mindful of what is best for the future  - the neo liberal educational drive is un researched and so old fashioned it insults the youth in our schools and neglects the need to be assisting students to be successful today in order to meet the needs of the future.  Without an up to date, innovative road map, you can never hope to get where you are going without losing the way. 

5. It promises much but under delivers.  The gadget appears to be modern, and equipped with all the mod cons but the reality is quite different.  Its like an election campaign.   Promising functionality that is not needed and at an additional expense, all designed to bribe the user.  

And so, the name for the old, faulty, GPS was born.

All this while traversing the motorway.  Good thing I wasn't going on a longer road trip - who knows what wonderings I may have had.

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