Confused Gadget Owner Told Manual Should Be Interpreted Metaphorically


SILICON VALLEY, CA— After receiving the suggestion to interpret the instruction manual however he liked, a local man was able to get his new gadget up and functional at last.

Local man Gulliver Gable was informed that he had been chosen to receive the greatest gift from the local Apple Store, the omnipresent technology shop. They had offered Gulliver the newest edition of its most famous and longest running gadget – and the gift had no strings attached because it was wireless.  After signing an unconditional contract with the tech company that required Gulliver to freely choose between following the terms or to face legal action, he excitedly brought the box back home:

“I had opened the box and there I was, staring at this magnificent, complex piece of gadgetry. It was so advanced that I felt like I could not possibly understand its purpose and function. So I opened the booklet hoping to find some clues, but I was confused, you see, because the manual did not superficially match the gadget. For example right here it says to flick the left switch, but there was no switch on the side of the gadget labelled ‘left’. The more I was puzzled, the more I became fascinated by this gadget because such an apparent contradiction was a clear indication of a very complex, deep and intelligent machine.”

Unable to figure out the gadget on his own, Gulliver decided to call customer service by proclaiming loudly for a representative until an Apple employee just happened to walk by his street, hearing his chanting. The employee was a technician named Randy Moore, who would not help Gulliver until he was satisfied with Gulliver’s compliments and begging. Randy Moore had this advice.

“So I told him, I said, this new gadget is a very complex piece of machinery, you cannot simply do what the manual tells you to do. The manual doesn’t tell you everything, it isn’t supposed to. I realize many of you bought our new gadget to enhance your productivity, or to safeguard earthly possessions like your money, or your land, or your women and children, but like it or not – with our gadget sometimes you won’t get what you want immediately, or at all. Despite what it says in the manual, you will not find the meaning of our gadget there- you will find it here.” Randy motions to his heart, “But you will need to read the manual many times in order to find- that. However you use this gadget, and what you use it for, depends on your interpretation. Trust your instincts, whatever it is, as long as it agrees with the manual, which is metaphorical some places and literal in others, there is no clear indication so use your judgement, and trust that Apple designers do not mess around.”

After receiving this advice, Gulliver says that his experience with the gadget is much improved.

“It was such a relief to hear Randy’s advice, his voice was so soothing and magnificent. Fellow users and I have formed communities to discuss how to use our gadgets, and I feel that we are making progress. The manual does warn that misuse has serious consequences, but it is difficult to follow that rule when there are so many possible uses for this gadget, so we just pretend it doesn’t exist. Well, there are other users who do take that rule seriously, but they are so close minded, it is obvious that we are the correct authority on whether that rule is metaphorical, indeed all of us use the gadget in our own way… at this point I don’t think there is a right way to use the gadget, all we know is that there are wrong uses, such as uses that harm people… of course the National i-Gadget Gun Association would advocate weaponizing it but there is a part of the manual that prohibits violence, so the GGA are perverting its original meaning.”

“I think, despite all the ups and downs, I am definitely benefiting from the gadget. I mean I still can’t be sure exactly where, but my life feels improved sometimes so the gadget is working. I think it’s not really tangible. I mean, I am still in the process of figuring this out so some problems caused by misreading of the manual is to be expected… but I mean, I got this for free. Apple has won my faith with their display of boundless generosity. So no, I will be keeping the iHoveh. What have I got to lose?”

Gulliver Gable’s non conditional contract legally binds him with the iHoveh for all eternity.

July 22, 2015

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