Posts Tagged ‘technology’

When Will The Robots Arrive?

June 9, 2009

When will the robots arrive?
We’ve all been waiting so long for the robots to arrive.
They’re so efficient, so precise, there are no temper tantrums with a robot.
No, “I’ve got a headache”.
No, “The way you eat your cereal makes me crazy”.
No, “I’ve always hated your friends”.
Imagine, someone living in the same house as you, but
they never tell you they’ve heard your stories before.
They look at you with those wide robot eyes and there’s absolutely no shred of
disappointment in them,
or sadness,
or contempt.
They seem interested in everything about you.
You are the most fascinating person in the universe.
You are subject to moods, of course, but the robot factors that in.
The robot pays no attention to your moods.
The robot understands that you are an emotional human, and it is to be expected that
you will say and do completely illogical things.
The robot understands the algorithm for that.
The one that says humans will every once in awhile go crazy.
Some of us will want to be robots, be part of that clean, precise universe
where there is no randomness,
no yawning emptiness,
no fear, no tears, no grief.
It is such a lovely way to live, isn’t it?
Some of us will long for that, in our ham-handed human way.
The robots will understand that, and will take into account that we’re being human
and stupid, of course.
They will understand that we can never be like them,
even if we don’t understand.
They will clean up after us, pull the sheets tight when they make our beds, straighten the room after we’ve broken some plates in a frenzy of lust, or rage.
They will be there always, ever ready to make things right again.
And neat, very neat.
We might imagine them shaking their heads,
perhaps with a certain tilt of the head
as if to say, “look at these ridiculous humans,
how did they ever get to this point;
how did they ever build empires, probe the heavens, unlock the secrets of the universe?
How did they ever build us?”
But then again, that would be irony.
And irony is impossible for robots.
Which is another reason why we’ll love them.
They’ll be the most wonderful machines,
And our lives will never be the same.
Some of us will grow fond of the robots,
Adopting them as members of our family,
Giving them nicknames, like “Binky” and “Toots”.
Putting bunny ears on them,
Or aprons.
The robots won’t care.
They’ll just keep doing their jobs,
immune to the drama,
while each of us leads our
comic
and poignant.
magical
and messy,
fabulous
human life.

Don’t Need No Progress

April 29, 2009

Everywhere I see the news:
“The future will bring such wonders.”
Magazines and pundits all enthuse,
And tell us we’ll live to a hundred.

New discoveries, they proclaim
Will change us dramatically.
Technology will our lives reframe;
We’ll be living ecstatically.

Robots will do the dirty work;
Medicines will make us healthy.
We’ll grow new limbs, we’ll never get hurt,
We’ll all be very wealthy.

It all sounds grand and glorious,
And I hope to see it come true,
But I don’t take it very serious,
I’ve got a skeptical view.

I’ve lived too long on this Earth
To get caught up in the hype and the bluster.
I remember with some sense of mirth,
Predictions that didn’t pass muster.

Gardens on Mars, remember them?
Or affordable cars that fly.
Or the most ridiculous one, ahem:
Teleporting in the blink of an eye.

I’m not begrudging our progress,
And I love predictions so bold,
But I’d be happy with no more, no less,
Than a cure for the common cold.