CLEANERS COME CLEAN
Coconut’s friend who owns one of those wrist-worn activity monitors is seriously thinking of ditching it, following stories last week, vigorously denided by the company, that a robotic vacuum cleaner was capable of spying on you. Is nothing safe any more? Apparently, the story went, it is capable of sending data about your house back to some collection point that cares about such things. Why anyone would care about Coconut’s Dickensian lodgings at the boarding house, which are very meagre, is beyond him. The smart home of the future it will never be. People are becoming very wary these days. A friend of Coconut’s never gives his real names to anyone, always changing it by one or two letters. somehow in the year 1735 that Londoners had not already foreseen the rise of social media and its great gouts of abuse. A journal of the day includes a small account of an episode between letter writers, one of whom was wondering why a certain clergyman hadn’t answered his critics over one of his sermons. In his defence, the journal offered words so desperately needed today: “Tis the effect of that just pride which every Man owes to his own Innocence, not to wrangle with every little Informer that barks after him”. A new age of civility may yet dawn in social media, but don’t bet on it.