Something for the weekend, sir? “Sign with the devil here.” Do what? “Church of Satan. Write your name on the form and we will email you the details.”
It’s good, I said, to be able to sign up for Demonic Influence sent straight to your inbox.
“Oh no no no, not at all. We don’t do demonic stuff.” The practitioner explains that satan represents free thought and alternative lifestyles, and these are the things they worship. He is very eager for us to join. Not evangelical, of course, but not particularly, uh, demonic either it turns out.
So, no sashaye in a red caftan in a ruined mansion cellar? No skyclad kids with raving virgins under a full moon? Not even a little dubious goat worry?
“No.” He looks disappointed when he says that. We both know Dennis Wheatley played this pitch 90 years ago. Sigh.
Devil-worshiping hipsters aside, it’s a matter of guesswork why the Wheatleyesque villains were so determined to end the world. What would be the goal? So you can step back with your hands on your hips and say out loud, “Now that was a good job…” as the world ended before your sentence could? Or was it the journey to get there? If that were the case, I would have shifted the emphasis in favor of the skyclad virgins and I would have given up on the goat worry altogether.
The true occultists of the early 20th century did this for the sake of pure chaos: the desire to raise (literally) Hell for the (literally) Hell of it, and fuck the consequences. And the goat, probably (literally).
Hmm, that rings a bell. Doing things for hell without really thinking about the consequences… Isn’t that the very definition of disruptive design? Isn’t that the core value around which the entire modern IT industry revolves today?
Evil entering the “hereafter” physical plane via the Demons of Disturbance may be obvious or subtle, deliberate or accidental, conscious or unconscious. Apple recently had to admit all of this all at once once the company realized that a number of its gadgets could inadvertently interfere with medical equipment. Yes, we all know we’re not really supposed to get into our cellphones while wandering around hospital wards looking for grandpa after his heart surgery, but we might not have imagined that slipping an iPhone 12 in his top pocket could actually shut down his pacemaker.
That would have made a great Columbo episode – Think differently about death. How did the killer commit the act without even making a phone call? You can imagine the troubled detective getting worked up with a smartphone and ultimately solving the case with the help of a 13-year-old “computer whiz” called Randy who, it turns out, is also the only person in Los Angeles. who knows how to turn off Maps notifications to ask if he’s going to work.
It’s easy to poke fun at Apple for admitting that its products are potentially harmful to its own health, and not just the foil hat brigade. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and all that. This is definitely a far cry from the digital bad guys who hack our digital wallets to steal our digital money. On a related note, this report is intriguing in that it seems to suggest that Lt. Columbo is significantly less hackable than young Randy, as the one-eyed crime solver doesn’t have a clue what a wallet is. digital, but he suspects Ms. Columbo might have one.
On the other hand, Randy is probably escaping the clutches of these modern day criminals due to the fact that he’s a virgin. In the old school devilry, that would have made him a scarred child; in the modern world, being too young to have a driver’s license for counterfeit hackers is his salvation. Good for the virgins, bad for the wicked, and I’m afraid the latter will prey on the goats.
Evil is also relative, and many evildoers have absolutely no idea what they are doing that might be frowned upon. A story all over the regional papers here this week was about a children’s slide disappearing from a playground only to end up – hastily repainted in a different color – in the council’s deputy mayor’s garden. Apparently there had been a problem with the slide and it needed to be fixed or replaced, so the advisor in charge of fixing it or replacing it must have been thinking, “Damn, I’m going to take it home and put it on. cheap red paint before anyone finds out. “
Reading the reports, you would think it was the crime of the century.
The most insidious of evils, however, is the innocent repetition of promises that are never quite kept: perpetual near-completion disguised as fulfillment. Do you know those nightmares where you run down a hallway but never make it to the end, or almost finish your exams only to find you have to repeat a year of school?
Now, they started to promise air taxis and flying cars again.
These engineering projects are no more likely to be completed than any that came before – we know this from experience, time and time again. But we let ourselves be persuaded that “this time, it could”. This will not be the case. It is torture from the very depths of Hell.
I’m starting to wonder if buttering the devil with a little hero worship in Satan’s Church might make him want to let one of these endless projects achieve his goal. You know, a little flattery, he turns his horned head and presto! – the next thing you know, he missed something.
The flying car would be nice, but I don’t want to be too demanding. Maybe he could just let Apple install enough USB-C ports. Or let Huawei update the version of Android on its old handsets. Or, Christ on a bike, let Evernote release the features of its next version All at the same time.
My devil-worshiping hipster always gazes at his own shoes in contemplation.
“You know,” he reflected, “if you want to spread evil over the face of the Earth, you don’t need to summon demons anymore”. It lights up a bit as it warms up to the theme: “You just got a job in finance!
Or in computer science, I helpfully suggest.
Alistair Dabbs is a freelance tech enthusiast, juggling tech journalism, training and digital publishing. He hopes Neil Gaiman doesn’t indulge in hellish teasing by announcing a second round of Good omens supposedly based on his midnight conversation with Terry Pratchett in the 1980s. Notice, if he is, it would be totally in the message. More at Autosave is for wimps and @alidabbs.