Eric Carlson c1998


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Automatic sink, retracting toilet, verbal instructions, self-cleaning floor, digital readouts - all computer-controlled from San Francisco, our sworn enemy. Paradise or short-sighted, irresponsible stupidity?

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."
John Olson



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