Can I Borrow a Feeling? Pt.1- short story

hmmmmmm hm hm hm hmmm, hmm hmm hm hm hm hmmm. Humming kept Gaft’s hands steady. Without a rhythm to work to, they would make mistakes. A gigantic glob of solder anchoring a resistor spread to two smaller blobs holding a capacitor in place. “Shiiiiiiiit, fucking balls shit.” Gaft tried to mop up the blob with a screwdriver but he couldn’t be sure the tiny passives wouldn’t short circuit off the residue. He touched his soldering iron to the cooled solid solder and angrily ripped out both the capacitor and the tiny micro-ohm resistor. “I’m great at circuit design but shit at soldering, what kind of god would allow that.” Gaft mumbled. He couldn’t trust anyone else to put the circuits together for him (1) to protect his intellectual property (2) he was a perfectionist who didn’t trust anyone aside from himself to put it together the right way. He knew it would work when assembled properly, but he needed a working prototype to prove that to other people. He didn’t need the thing to get a perfect measurement of emotions, he was just building a working version of emotion recognizing technology to prove that the Emototech meter was a sham. Gaft knows Emototech is using pieces of his intellectual property just by how crudely and incorrectly they were applied in the development of the new Emototech meter. It was like the kid who copies all the wrong test answers off of his neighbor. “God only knows how they obtained my circuit designs, but they aint fucking getting away with it”, he mumbled. Gaft knew he couldn’t fight Emototech legally, they had way too many resources. They would hire the best lawyers and obstruct the process with legal spam until Gaft’s time and money ran out. The public was already on their side, they had won the PR battle. Enough talking heads, who wouldn’t know a do loop from their ass, had touted the “cutting edge accuracy” of the Emototech meter in every god damn magazine and blog. Enough shiny commercials and celebrities had featured the Emototech meter to convince the public it worked. People build their fucking lives on rumors and publish hearsay proudly like it was a god damn mathematical proof. People are either too lazy or too stupid to actually look for the truth, so they let it find them. Most of the time they just believe whatever’s easiest or most pleasant to believe. He had to build the real thing to prove Emototech’s bullshit toy can’t really meter emotions. Or at least something close enough to the real thing to expose just how wrong all the Emototech readings are. It wasn’t just about the money, there were ethical stakes. Cops were allowed to carry these things on the street. A high reading of any emotion was probable cause for a stop and frisk. These emotional readings were being used in courts as admissible evidence. Companies hire and fire based on random emotions readings. The thing is an app in a smartphone, your boss can just walk by you one day taking emotion readings without you even knowing it. It’s fucking fascism, you’re afraid to feel angry or sad. Gaft had wrestled with the ethical implications of allowing any of these parties to use his technology while developing the theoretical basis for measuring emotions. Ethics aside, all the reading of the Emototech meters are fucking wrong! The worst part is that there’s no way to prove them wrong! No one else can measure how angry I really am with a scale and say “oh the meter is wrong.” Even if the person disagrees and says “no I’m not angry at all” people believe he’s lying and the meter is right. The worst part….god getting furious just thinking about it (I might be a little biased towards Gaft here)…is that when people see the emotion reading on the meter they believe the meter is right and actually start to feel the emotion the meter tells them that they are feeling – placebo effect. “Fuck, even if I get a working model how do I prove mine is right and their’s is wrong?” Gaft fumed. Gaft knew he could convince the scientific community and anyone with half a brain that his prototype is the real thing. The problem is, those aren’t the people with the power. Just turn on the TV and look at a commercial. Showing the product in the hands of a skateboarding cat increases sales enough to make back the hundreds of millions of dollars that commercial cost to air. You can tell the people with at least half a brain aren’t the ones with the power here. A good brain makes a man want to seek the truth. Unfortunately, there isn’t much profit in the truth, lies are where the money is. Rumors and hearsay are the currency of the morons, the truth isn’t too valuable to the general public. “Fuck.” Gaft thought, “I’m going to need help. I hate talking to other people but I’m going to need help. Actually I’m going to need help because I hate talking to other people. I can’t market and I can’t solder, but I can’t let Emototech get a hold of the new designs too. I need to learn how to lie well.”

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7 thoughts on “Can I Borrow a Feeling? Pt.1- short story

  1. You are good enough. You have a great style and keep me reading. Competitions are different than magazines or online etc…just find the right genre?

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    1. I think I actually finaled in one of them but I haven’t checked my email in a while. I hate checking my email, there’s always something horrible there. Being published and some money is the prize for most of them. I doubt I’ll win any of them though, there are writers way better than me all around us.

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      1. Remember that there will always be people better and people less talented than you, that is no reason to put yourself out there! Never stop trying, that is the key!

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