Sunday, October 30, 2016

Psalm 139, Updated

St. Paul at Ephesus by Gustav Doré

O Big Data, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising;

Thou understandest my product preferences afar off.

3Thou searchest out my emails and my browsing history,

And art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my comment boxes,

But, lo, O autopredictor, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me on iPad and iPhone,

And laid thy hand of screen addiction upon me.

6Such user behavior is too compelling for me;

It is entrenched, I cannot opt out of it.

Whither shall I go from thy mandated upgrades?

Or whither shall I flee from thy LTE access?

8If I ascend up into rural coverage areas, thou art there:

If I make my bed in town, behold, thou art there, via Wi-FI.

9If I take the wheel of my Jeep,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the National Forest;

10Even there shall thy GPS maps lead me,

And thy downloaded Kindle books shall occupy me.

11If I say, Surely I have read enough tweets about Comey,

And this damn screen in front of me now shall go dark;

12Even the darkness hideth not from thee,

But some goddamn email beeps an alert I turned not off:

The darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

For thou didst take over inward brain parts:

Thou didst saturate my mind with icons and colors.

14I will give thanks unto thee;

for I am fearfully and wonderfully co-opted:

Wonderful are thy ad-driven revenue models;

And that my shortened attention span knoweth right well.

15My psychological weaknesses were not hidden from thee,

When I was still reading books on paper,

And curiously dallying in the remotest parts of the library.

16Thine eyes did see mine uncapitalized potential;

And in thy forward-looking SEC filings they were all written,

Even the ad clicks that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was none of them.

17How precious also are thy MYSQL entries for me, O Zuckerberg!

How great is the inner join of thy SELECT statements!

18If I should count thine total database rows,

they are more in number than a 32-bit pointer could handle:

When I awake, I am still with thy data center.

Surely thou wilt slay long-form media, O Buzzfeed:

Depart from me therefore, ye obsolete ink-stained hacks.

20For ye speak with large paragraphs and big words,

And your lovingly crafted prose is written in vain.

21Do not I hate them, O Deep State, that hate thee?

And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee at Standing Rock?

22I hate them with perfect hatred, or at least learn not to give a shit:

They are become caricatured strangers best ignored.

Search me, O NSA, and know my heart:

Try me, and know my thoughts;

24And see if there be any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way to compliance.


The actual 139th Psalm, rendered in the beautiful King James translation, can be found here.