Cookies and Monsters
As a child of the eighties, I don’t think I knew what a cookie was until Sesame Street enlightened me. It was custard creams, rich tea or bourbon all the way in our house: two to be taken each evening with Coronation Street or Eastenders. Then the nineties came, bearing the foil wrapped Maryland chocolate chip, available at the university campus spar with bottles of Liebfraumilch for dunking.
For a while, cookies were just biscuits that were a bit too thick, big or gooey: tempting, but often leaving you feeling regretful, guilty and sick.
When cookies entered computing parlance they sounded pretty harmless, which was suspicious. Like so many things conjured by algorithm-mustering, code-churning developers, no one could really understand what these abstract gifts to our hard-drives were, what they did or who was benefitting from them. This was mainly because the only people who knew what these inedible biscuits were were either reluctant to share their superior knowledge or unable to communicate in plain English. Either way, attempting to track down the elusive Cookie could destroy your soul faster than a determined death-eater. Understandably, most of us decided these cookies were more likely than not to be tools of high ranking politicians intent on bringing down our semi-detached empires. We were not OK with cookies.
Fortunately, some noble and tenacious investigative journalists at The Guardian are more resilient to soul sabotage and have made the whole matter a lot more palatable.
Image credit: Carl Batterbee 2014