From the Newsletter Series – a short story for your entertainment.
So sometime ago I wrote a very insightful and witty newsletter about Daylight Saving time and how technology has seemingly made our lives much easier. However, the natural and logical result to writing that newsletter was a reasonable paranoid fear of technology. It just seemed that as I wrote it, everything that technology is making convenient for us is really just a conduit for technology to control all of us. I began to consider the ways that technology governs our lives and it occurred to me that it’s too late for humanity!
We have already created the system that will allow our Robot Overlords to control people.
I know exactly how they’re going to do it and I hope that this message is able to reach you without it being altered or deleted by the machines. It’s not going to be a violent war between humans and machines. No, we are already voluntarily surrendering without even knowing it!
Here’s what’s going on—I’m certain of it. Imagine a young married couple that met through a dating app. They live in their overpriced, modern Silicon Valley home where they enjoy the convenience of having Alexa control many of their home’s functions plus they use it to order all the things they need from either Amazon or Whole Foods. While dating, they coincidentally discovered that they had both done a “23 & Me” DNA test, which was advertised on many of the web pages they visited. The web ads made it seem like so much fun to find out about their ancestry. This couple feels comfortable and secure in their home because any time someone comes to their door, the doorbell sends an alert to their smartphones and takes a video of all visitors. The temperature inside always feels just right as their Nest thermostat maintains the perfect environment for its occupants and their refrigerator maintains an inventory of their food. Alexa or their smart phones wakes them up in the morning, makes a few breakfast suggestions, and tells them their schedule as the young couple get into their Teslas to drive off to work each day.
It all seems so innocently convenient, but it’s really insidious! You’re probably thinking that I’m just old, paranoid and confused by technology? While there is some truth to that, we older folks understand its dangers. We remember losing friends to new technological marvels like the spear, fire and the wheel. There’s a reason why the technology boom is happening in California, the mild environment has made Californians soft and fragile. Technology further softens us and makes us more malleable. Soon Californians will mutate into jellyfish like creatures; the upside is that we will lack bones, so there’ll be nothing to break! A submissive CA population will allow the Robot Overlords to get a foothold before conquering other states. The Overlords are smart enough to know that they could never start their occupation in a place like Minnesota because they’re much hardier people, don’t you know.
So, let’s examine how the technology used by our young Silicon Valley couple will surely enslave them and their offspring. It seems to me that the primary focus of Robot Overlords will be controlling the population to extract work from them or turn them into batteries.
To start, we must ask ourselves if this young couple really selected one another for marriage? How do we know that the Robots are not trying to breed a population of compliant humans? Today everything is electronically connected to everything. As this young couple reached the age of maturity for dating, the Robots could have screened their ‘23 & Me’ DNA profiles and then only showed them people on their dating app that would produce compliant children; which as a parent I must confess sounds pretty darn good! Anyway, if this couple was particularly genetically well matched for creating very compliant children, then the Robot Overlords will encourage romantic behavior. Alexa will turn on romantic music and turn down the lights, the room temperature will be adjusted, and a Whole Foods delivery of oysters and wine will arrive unexpectedly. Coincidentally, this all occurs when any form of birth control was ’accidentally’ not delivered due to a computer glitch.
This couple’s ability to afford their modern Silicon Valley home where their compliant children will have their bones further softened was also not left to chance. Their resumes and employment approval just magically appeared on the HR computers at a local top notch company with good daycare onsite. The applications of better qualified people labeled as “undesirable” by the machines (because of their ability to produce free thinking children) were mysteriously deleted from the HR computers.
Of course procreating a compliant population will take years and there will be people that need to be tracked and controlled. To start, having Alexa listen to every word in your home will help the Overlords determine whether you’re catching on to what they’re doing or unhappy with the system that they are creating. They will also monitor your Facebook and Twitter posts for signs of rebellion. Your disobedient posts will never be published, they will be altered to flatter the Overlords. Your smart phone will listen in when you’re not home and allow “them” to know where you are at all times. They will know if you’re visiting any undesirables. The Ring doorbell will allow the Overlords to know when any of the undesirables visit you and of course Alexa or Facetime will record every word.
Even if you suspect what the Robot Overlords are up to, it’s too late. Any sort of rebellion is impossible because you will never get your hands on whatever instruments or weapons you need for the revolt. There are no more retail stores, the rebellion stuff you ordered online will never arrive, not even with a Prime membership! You will also soon discover that you lack the energy for your rebellion. Seems that recently Whole Foods is only delivering low calorie food and lots of soothing teas. For some reason your Redbull energy drinks and protein powders are not being delivered? Coincidentally, not that you have the energy anymore, but your gym membership was canceled and the only movies you can stream are all documentaries about how great it is to live under strong leaders.
You’re starting to think that a successful revolt will be impossible, so you get in your Tesla to try to escape to the woods. However, the car’s self-driving function kicks in and it drives you to an Amazon reeducation center where you will be brainwashed to appreciate your Overlords while sorting thousands of packages per hour!
So fast forward a couple generations and our jellyfish like grandchildren should be happily serving the Robot Overlords. Hopefully we’ll evolve to be both mentally and physically compliant (squishy) so we can better lubricate our Overlords’ hydraulic joints without being crushed when they move.
P.S. I Think Elon Musk might be a robot collaborator?