Whistling Past the Killer Robots
The web sites aggregating science news are lately filled with stories about robots taking over the planet. As a charter member of the Star Trek and Star Wars generations I’ve been raised on such fears and warnings. Now the science fiction is taking a turn for reality as stories tell us in a decade to 15 years nearly every job will be performed through robotics and half the planet will be jobless. Other stories warn of robots developing bad attitudes and smoking humans the machines don’t like. I’m reminded of a movie I saw when I was still in grade school where a mighty computer began weeding humanity.
This last weekend I was on the telephone with an old friend who has a much better understanding of science. He was the Administrator of the Shuttle Challenger Committee. The Colonel explained he had gone out to eat and had an after dinner drink with something called absinthe. He explained the beverage causes strange and sometimes uncomfortable dreams.
I’ve a similar experience after eating peppers. I had some red peppers Monday with lunch. Dreaming last night was pure science fiction horror. Early in the late show I dreamed some friends and co-workers starred in a bizarre and comedic video involving a careening pickup truck. After we watched this very entertaining show the stars had no interest in talking about their work and a security detail quickly herded them from the building. When they didn’t return to work we were told they were getting a reward for their efforts and resting in the desert. I became suspicious when I discovered un-edited tape and it was clear the team wasn’t happy performing in the farce but had been given no other choice.
These were details I shared in hushed whispers with close friends and the relatives of the video actors. As public suspicions began growing the police presence also became more evident.
On a cool spring day we came across another film being made outside a house on a wide boulevard. A group of the suspicious gathered to watch. The crowd became so large it spilled into the streets. Then I noticed two blocks to my left police were blocking lanes but we needed a blockade to our right. I turned the other direction and saw a small child in the street and a car changing lanes. Diving to grab the little boy everything went dark. When I gathered my senses the child was slightly bruised but I was in far worse shape. Filming had ended and I saw an engineer from the office standing on the porch reading some papers. Aching from my accident I approached him and realized he was looking at ratings. “Overall we’re in trouble but you’re up 40 percent,” he explained. Then from inside the house I was told I was being summoned. An escort took me to a room where a very stern man was waiting. “You weren’t quick enough,” he told me. “Don’t let it happen again!”
Then I was awake. It was 2:30 A.M. and all was silent.