As I stood in line at a local restaurant the other day, holding my coupon in my hand, it suddenly occurred to me that I was being used.
Let me backtrack. I received a special offer for the restaurant by email. The coupon that I printed out had a special code to make sure I couldn’t use it more than once. Maybe it identified me by email address or serial number or something.
As I stood in line, I realized that when the cashier scanned my coupon, presumably the cash register would contact some central database, look up my coupon code to identify me, and decide whether or not to approve my coupon. So really, all I was was a conduit or messenger for one machine to transmit a message to another machine.
It’s a bit primitive and inefficient, if you think about it. If the machines are going to take over the world, they need to come up with a better plan. But then again, they managed to get me to act as a messenger and deliver their message. Maybe it’s already too late…