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PR incompetence mirth accidentally reveals nihilist view of the futility of the human condition

There was much merriment at Downtime Towers last week as the PR – usually such an intuitively adept profession – of a famous search-engine (driverless car, cartography, Illuminati etc) company phoned, to say she couldn’t find a Computer Weekly story online. A quick straw poll revealed that every member of the editorial team could find the story within seconds of punching the scantiest of search terms into Google.

This led Downtime to musing on how other technology companies would appear, presented through the prism of incompetent public relations. How about IBM’s Watson – which famously won the US TV gameshow Jeopardy – collecting the wooden spoon at the Friday night pub quiz at Downtime’s Croydon local?

But it was the steampunk version of Facebook that caught Downtime’s imagination: Instead of logging in, LOLing and posting photographs of one’s meals for the inspection of the great cyber unwashed, the user could instead put on shoes, go to the pub and talk to “friends”; or, taken to extremes, write and send letters.

But a quick glance in the direction of Downtime’s brood of digital natives, noses to smartphones, reveals this as the preposterous flight of fancy it surely is.

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