There be dragons

A few weeks ago I was on my way to a two day seminar in London. Almost exactly half way there where the A12 meets the M25 the queue started. Being only twenty or so cars back from the start of the blockage my phone hadn't had time to update the route and hemmed in I couldn't move.

as time went on the phone occasionally commented. "You are on the quickest route" over two hours later the phones last remark was "I'm sorry, but I don't think I can help you any more".

How we laughed! I almost wet myself, in fact had to act on the call of nature by the side of the road while others were popping out of their vehicles looking for the same relief. Easy for a male but there were also women looking cross legged with no easy method or place to go.

I had missed most of the meeting and half way there equated to halfway back so when eventually the broken down lorry was remove and progress resumed I went all the way round the round about and headed home.

Musing that the navigation app developers must have thought about a situation where although on the right road when no forward motion is detected for n hours other updates are a waste of time so cue the final message. I wonder if there is a similar message in self drive vehicles? For as long as the systems are still turned on software will assume that all is well, ready to resume at any second.

It brings to mind a Ray Bradbury Sci-fi story were a catastrophe occurred but all the automated home systems kept tidying the house, feeding the animals, making dinner and clearing still full plates until... well until everything ran out.

Not the situation I was in but it did make me wonder if London or home was still there. Like Schrödinger's cat I was in the box trying to make out if the world was outside or not.

As ancient cartographers used their imagination to fill in the unknown, the sight of Dragons would have been somehow reassuring.