More and more these days you hear about the coming singularity (expected 2040?) when machines will surpass us in intelligence. Shortly afterwards, we are told, the machines will enslave us. Well, I don’t know about you, but I already feel enslaved. I come home from shopping and begin to carefully load my perishables into the fridge, after what seems like 20 seconds an alarm goes off; the only way to stop it is if I shut the fridge and wait until it decides that sufficient time has passed for me to gain access to it again. So I shut the fridge and open the freezer for my frozen goods. But just then the washing machine finishes and starts to bleat; either I go and turn it off or every 15 seconds it will complain with an ear-piercing “bleep, bleep, bleep”. So, I shut the freezer – thus denying me access to that appliance for a couple of minutes, and turn of the washing machine. Just as well that by the time I come back the fridge has condescended to open again! I don’t drive but I understand that the same sort of stressful experience takes place inside a vehicle if you don’t do what it wants.
My wife has a theory: she says it all started with tamagotchis. 20 years ago the New World Order (or whoever) started to train us to be subservient to machines. The message of the “egg-watches” was simple: this creature will die if you don’t answer to its demands. As machines get cleverer expect more alarms, more mechanical admonitions, more stress. I caught myself apologizing to the freezer the other day! They say a war between humans and machines is coming; I say we’ve already lost.
 to enslave – make slaves of, condemn sb. to servitude
 to load – fill
 perishables – food that can decompose quickly
 goods – products, (in this case) food
 to bleat – protest (like a sheep)
 to complain – protest
 ear–piercing – loud, cacophonic
 thus – as a result
 to deny sb. access to – not let sb. into
 appliance – device, gadget
 to take place (take-took-taken) – occur
 to be subservient – be submissive, be obedient
 admonition – reprimand