January 15, 2013

Now that dictation works...

Apple's dictation software works. Is it perfect? No, but it gets the job done. So what good purpose can we find for this new technology?

I think one use is staring us in the face. The US houses about a zillion inmates in "super max" prisons. They are kept in tiny cages for the sole purpose of driving them mad. (At least, that's my assumption. After all, it's the inevitable result of constant isolation.)

I say let's give the dictation technology to these men. They have absolutely nothing to do in their torture cells. Why not install the software throughout the prison? Let the inmate push a button and record. This tiny improvement could make the lives of these men bearable.

They could tell their life stories. They could write poetry or letters. They could write a book. This would give them purpose and improve the emotional tenor of their incarceration. For many inmates, it would change hell into purgatory.

This is within our capability, so why not do it? Once a year, the prison could print out what the inmate dictated -- and give it to him as a printed book. Let the inmates publish, if that's their wish. After all, everyone has the ability to self-publish these days. Why not offer this simple option to these men whom we brutalize each day through the very nature of their confinement? 

NB: Prison authorities need to back up the inmates' work on a regular schedule. Unless they want to torture the men in new, terrible ways. "Sorry, we lost the book you've been working on for 20 years."

I'm serious. Let's do this.

1 comment:

Artichoke Annie said...

That sounds way too much like rehabilitation to me. We better stick with tried and true methods like enhanced incarceration.