The Washington Post

Composite applications

A little while ago I was more or less daydreaming and my computer cursor was wandering around the screen and rested on a little icon that looked like a, well it didn’t look like an anything, and out popped the words “Composite Applications.” It was like having a panel in the wall open and a monster face grinning at me.

You see, this is telling me that the world is full of things that I will never understand. I am rather certain that I will never, ever, EVER be using that feature, a feature that someone somewhere spent some time working on so it would be available to me to use when the need arose for composite applications. The last time such a need arose was when I dressed up as Honey boo Boo for Halloween and applied both eye makeup and lipstick, for that composite Boo Boo look. But there this feature is, lying in wait under that icon, and NOW I KNOW IT’S THERE. Ignorance was blissier.

It seems that life has become infested with composite applications. The words themselves are near-genius level in their ambiguity. Composite: =Multiple? Or =Combined? Applications: =Something you do? Or =the computer does for you? Since there are approximately billions of computer applications now, the number of possible “composites” is truly quite the thing to contemplate. Are they all there under that icon? Multi-tasking is another composite application, of your limited attention to tasks that are unimportant in themselves, but added together are monumentally inconsequential. Mixing business and pleasure is a composite application that eradicates the pleasure. Texting or checking for messages while you are talking to a friend is a composite application that is probably not going to deepen the friendship. Coming to Washington to do good things and also advance your self-interest is a composite application that, well, you just guess how that usually turns out.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.

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