Q. I ask Google on my phone for help doing crosswords. Is that OK?
R.M., Glen Iris, VIC
A: Years and years of using various computer devices is causing a weird change in us. These devices are becoming part of our bodies, as vital as our pancreas or kidneys, but even more vital because we can use our devices to watch every day of the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial on YouTube. Can kidneys do that? Nuh-uh.
Maybe this is the next stage of our evolutionary development. We’re turning into humano-techno hybrid-beings with search-engine brains and AirPod ears and a little coax hole around the back for data discharging. Our devices do everything for us: they do our work, help us communicate, store our memories, monitor our health, keep us informed of important newsworthy issues like whether an ex-lover who dumped us in 1998 got really ugly or failed in their business.
So if we are turning into these humano-techno hybrid-beings, why wouldn’t we use Google to help us solve a crossword puzzle? Not using Google would be as crazy as not using our lungs to breathe, or not using our gallbladder to help us travel around ancient Gaul (or whatever the hell a gallbladder does).
Sure, there are probably a few purists out there who still insist on solving crosswords using only their primitive, rudimentary human brains (even writing their answers on flattened tree pulp with a handheld scribble stick – kind of quaint, actually). But people like you and me have fully embraced the destiny of our species: we no longer need our feeble brains to solve puzzles, we no longer need to know what words mean, and we no longer need to experience the thrilling sense of satisfaction in working out something all by ourselves. Exciting times ahead.
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