21st Challenge No. 33

Real-life dialog-box alerts: Are you sure you want to ...?

By Charlie Varon - Jim Rosenau
Published April 22, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

Are you sure you want to exit? delete
this document? close the application
without backing up?

With dialog-box messages like these,
our computers show they are worried for
us. They fear that in haste we'll do
something that we'll live to regret.

What if our computers began cautioning
us about the reckless decisions we
make in the rest of our lives?

Are you sure you want to ingest a muffin
containing 1.7 grams of partially
hydrogenated cottonseed oil?

Are you sure you want to marry someone
without asking for references?

Are you sure you want to vote for a
candidate whose wealth exceeds that of
Nova Scotia?

Readers are invited to submit up to five
"Are You Sure ...?" messages, each no
more than 40 words. You may choose to
include the name of the person on whose
screen the message is popping up.


Send your submissions via e-mail only to
salon21st@salon.com. Please include your
full name and an accurate e-mail address
so we can contact you if you're a
winner. By submitting your entry you
give Salon Technology permission to
publish it. Deadline for entries is May


The winning response will receive a copy
of Salon Technology senior correspondent
Andrew Leonard's book, "Bots: The Origin
of New Species."

In two weeks we'll publish a winner and
some selected entries -- then start over
a couple weeks after that with a whole
new challenge.

Charlie Varon

Charlie Varon is a humorist and playwright. His works include "Ralph Nader Is Missing" and "Rush Limbaugh in Night School."

MORE FROM Charlie Varon

Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau is a writer, editor and software designer in Berkeley, Calif. Jim and Charlie are also co-founders of the citizens group Californians for Earthquake Prevention and partners in Mockingbird Media, which offers a full line of comic services.

MORE FROM Jim Rosenau

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