Volume 8, Issue 12; 28 Jan 2005; last modified 08 Oct 2010

If you think we're going to record your answer accurately, please press 1, otherwise…

A computer called me this morning. It was conducting a poll for some non-profit in the Boston area. Now, my natural inclination in a situation like this is to hang up immediately, but this was a poll about one of those hot-button, litmus-test sorts of issues and I figured I'd go ahead and weigh in.

So I let the computer keep rambling. If you're a moral conservative with a vindictive streak, it says, press 1, if you have any common sense, press 9. Ok, I'm paraphrasing a little, but you get the idea. So I press 9.

And the friendly computer voice thanks me for supporting the narrow-minded, puritanical, self-righteous position of the organization running the poll and asks me if I'd like to give them money to support their grotty little enterprise. Sigh. And people wonder why electronic voting machines are a bad idea.