I have a theory.
The theory is this: This generation grew up watching things like Small Wonder and Star Trek (where we saw Data) and various other things that implanted in our brains that the future was in androids, robots, cyborgs and the like. We have felt for the longest time that these things would be wonderful, they would be fabulous, and nothing would go wrong.
Despite the many books on the subject, we as a generation (and those that come after us), do not want to see the potential ills of relying on these things too much. That they might be evil, or we might be making the wrong choice. That we could possibly lose ourselves as humans to the machines.
I encountered this similar distaste for the humans in Wall-e. Probably for similar reasons. In that movie, we are given ever convenience, and we become fat, weak and small boned. Incapable of carrying ourselves on our own two feet. Reliant on machines to do everything for us. Everything. Including brushing our teeth.
The electronic age has brought in many fancy and fascinating things. Ten years ago, who would have thought that our cell phones could do all they do now? Who would have really given pause to the idea of reading books on eReaders on a regular basis, and that they would be available to Every Man? We have these fantastic computers and MP3 players and we don’t even give it a moments thought. The majority of the world is now run by computers. Many human fail safes have been pushed aside because for some reason we think that computers are infallible. We blame every mistake on human error.
Well, yes. But who made the machines? Who fixes the machines? Who keeps them clean and upgrades them and spills their coffee on them in the morning? The backup plan for important files is no longer to have a hard copy. It is to rely on other machines to keep track of them. Online storage spaces. External hard drives. And what if those all fail?
It leads me to think that this world is not ready to see the potential problems with putting all our eggs in the electronics basket. Just consider a moment everything that you own, how much you rely on it, and how much you take it for granted. Just… a moment. Look around. Think. I’m sure you’ll find at least one thing there that if it failed, really failed, you’d be fucked. Because you weren’t thinking, and now it’s dead and everything that was on it is gone. Maybe it’s not a huge thing, just music files. Just computer games. But how pissed would you be?
I, Robot didn’t do well. The robots in that eventually turn on us. They gain too much intelligence and refuse to be our slaves anymore. I feel that people don’t want to believe that can happen. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if my computer called me an asshole in ten minutes. I might shit myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
A.I. didn’t do well. In that, we watch a couples’ life fall apart. They turn to a machine to fill their void. And what do they do when the void is lifted? They abandon the machine. Again, people don’t want to consider this possibility. Yet we do it all the time. What do you do when your old computer bites it? When it becomes old tech? You toss it, without thinking. You get your files and send the poor little thing away without a second thought. You’ve gotten what you need out of it, what does it matter? It’s only a machine, after all. Is it?
Surrogates didn’t do well. In this, we just give up on being human completely. We put ourselves into fake bodies and do things that we wouldn’t be able to do in our flesh because our flesh is breakable. They get shot on purpose, jump off bridges. Have unprotected sex. The world is a pseudo-utopia. We think everything is perfect. Except for that one small contingent that is convinced that walking around all the time in an artificial exoskeleton is an abomination. Then they turn out to be right. Thinking, feeling, being is more important than perfection. Which is another thing that humans rail against. Perfection is all. We strive to be perfect, or what our society deems is perfect at the time. Look at the fashions today, look at the hair, the models. Look at what it all used to be. It’s never the same. Nothing is ever perfect. The most beautiful things are the things that are flawed. But humans can’t have that.
I believe that it makes people truly uncomfortable to give thought to the fact that perhaps our answer isn’t robots. Robots are cool, I’m totally not going to argue. Probably, if they manage to do it before I die, I’ll stick my brain into a robot body. But not until this fleshy mess is finished with. I want to see the world with real eyes. Smell the world, no matter how much it stinks in places, with an actual sense of smell, hear the world with ears and not aural preceptors.
But hey, that’s me.
I personally enjoyed all three movies. But my brain is wired to look for whatever can possibly go wrong with any given thing. I’m a generally negative person in that way. Everything that can go wrong, will. At one point or another, there will be total system failure. Be it biological or otherwise, eventually everything will fall apart. It’s just how the world works. It’s just how everything is made. A fact of life. Not trying to be depressing here. Just the facts, ma’am. I certainly don’t expect others to see things the same way I do, I’m not one to try to convince others to see things from my point of view. I’ll state my case and if it’s acceptable to others, fine, if not, fine.
Then again, I’m ready for the zombie apocalypse.