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Communications of the ACM

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Future Tense: Chatterbox

Chatterbox, photo illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associaties; Photo by Stuart Monk

I'm not what you'd call an early adopter. I clung so long to screens that my late-model eyewear is to me shiny and new. Social media? Don't get me started. My Plodar account is still live. Phy-Skan went from hype to tumbleweed without my noticing. I prefer my social life real. So every so often I go down the steep cobbled street from my flat and turn right along Harbour Road to the Magnus. Last week, I hadn't been out for a drink for months. But I'd finished a draft, and I owed myself a pint.

A dark December evening. Sleet in my face from the wind that curls around the headland and moans through the ruined castle and makes the rigging of the sailing boats in the harbor chime against their masts. Out in the Sound a last ferry of the day chugged, its flat prow butting spray. I hurried past the newsagent, the pottery, and the art gallery, and ducked into the Magnus, throwing back my hood and shrugging my parka.


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