Automatic sink, retracting toilet, verbal instructions,
self-cleaning floor, digital readouts - all computer-controlled
from San Francisco, our sworn enemy. Paradise or short-sighted,
John Olson offers the following:
"It occurs to me also that this new
kind of toilet heralds the further transformation of the ancient
act of defecating into new perceived needs for new commodities.
It's a further transfer of personal and community autonomy and
responsibility to the ministrations of remote experts, and I
think this always extracts a social price."
"Besides that, it also effects a net transfer of money and
jobs out of the community. It would have been better all around
to install normal toilets and hire locals with brooms and brushes
to keep them clean. So we paid dearly so the Council and the
public would not have to be responsible for clean toilets."
"Although I remain an undecided Y2K fence-sitter, I'm not
reassured by their safeguards. First, getting trapped inside
would be only inconvenient. How much more terrifying if the machine
runs amuck! Also, I happen to know that every one of the people
responsible for the phone lines and answering 911 calls will
be sitting out that evening peering through their night-vision
rifle scopes from their bunkers in Idaho."
"I got a glimmer of sympathy for those who will prefer to
pee in the river."