Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Enterprise - 20

Brett lurched across the floor one morning, grabbed an empty chair, swiveled it around and sat facing me.

"Sex," he stated.



"What about it?"

"Exactly! What about it?"


"I type in 'sex.' How does the application respond?"

"I see."

"I see?"

"No, I see. The application, let's see, I mean, uh..."

"What does it say when someone says 'sex'?"


"Because that's the first goddamn thing everyone's gonna say to it."


"It might not be the sort of thing you pick up in Judy's fucking usability testing. But trust me."

"I suppose you're right."

"Faced with a blank screen. A keyboard. People are gonna type S-E fucking X."

"People are predictable. We're in the business of predicting people."

"It's the first and the last thing on everyone's goddamned mind." He gave a sly smile. "You know what's everything in between, of course."

"In between sex?"


"Death. Wow."

"Death is the other thing."

"Yeah. I don't know how we sh–"

"We got death covered already."

"We do?"

"Someone says, 'I want to kill myself.' What do we say? In your opinion."

"Don't do it? There's so much to live for?"

Brett closed his eyes and shook his head.

"Please type your zip code and I will provide you with the phone number for the nearest suicide prevention hotline?"

He shook his head a little harder. "Nope."

"Then what?"



"Someone says they want to kill themselves. We say nothing."

"We change the subject? We present the home screen?"

"Nope. Nope. Nothing."

"We say nothing? In other words, we don't say anything?"

"Precisely," he stated, satisfied.

"Blank screen?"

"Empty space."

"Wouldn't that constitute a tacit endorsement?"

Brett shrugged. "Lawyers told us."


"They examined the question and determined that in order to fully protect ourselves from any conceivable liability, we should go dark."

I pondered this a moment.

"So forget about death. Sex."

"Right, so–"

"So what does it say?"

"What does it say?"

"The application. I came over, I sat down. I said 'sex.' What do you say?"

"That's very interesting."

"Really? Interesting."

"What an interesting thing to say."

Brett thought it over for a little while.

"I like it."

And so I began writing my first domain. The Sex domain.