Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Duo Authentication Responsible for Existential Spiral

It’s just an average Tuesday in Welty Health Center, two patients with strep throat, one with norovirus, three-and-a-half with infected septum piercings and 25 students stuck in an existential spiral over the cruel and unusual punishment of using a Duo Push to get into their email. Since the implementation of two-factor Duo Authentication in the fall, nearly 763 students have been afflicted by existential ennui befitting for 18-22 year olds at a small liberal arts college. 

“We haven’t seen anything like it before,” said one of Welty’s nurses. “We’re doing everything we can to treat it: fresh baked cookies, litters of kittens, hopecore videos. These are somewhat successful but our students have just been through so much.”

It’s true. GENS online. Quarientation. FSR. No Reid Cafe. Library closed at 11pm. Salad bar wasn’t self-serve. These students are warriors. And they shouldn’t have to log in to their email through a little green app, damn it! 

It seems the illness came on all at once in each patient. One moment they were sending a push to their heart’s content, the next they were frozen with their thumbs hovering over that godforsaken checkmark, unwilling and unable to act. The Wire had the privilege to speak with one senior, Annie O’ Meara, who just last week beat back her existential spiral. 

“It finally hit me one day: I live for robots. Baudrillard was right. You have to understand – even speaking about this to you is challenging, because I’m brought back to that place. I’m there in the library all over again, frantically searching for my phone to prove to these two computers that it’s me, I’m me … but what am I? (long pause) Who are THEY?” 

O’Meara’s bravery raises a compelling point: who authenticates Duo Authentication? Is it even a delineable being, a subject liable to authentication? Though the status of Duo’s sentience is uncertain, the time has come for each of us to rise up against our Duo overlords and reject every greedy request for a ‘push’. 

We can banish Duo from this campus, one X at a time.

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