Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jobs lost to inhuman aliens.

As if we weren't in enough peril of losing our jobs, and voting for crazy people out of rage over losing our jobs, Boston Dynamics has come up with a robot that they say will mean the "end of manual labor." (Hat tip: IMAO.)

Yeah, thanks, ya big bunch of boffins! We didn't need those jobs and that sense of purpose anyway. Hey, how's the novel-writing algorithm coming along?

Don't you guys remember that episode of Super Friends? Well, maybe not, since the ageism in the technical fields is so strident that most of you were probably chewing your pacifiers while watching the first season of The Suite Life on Deck.

But some of us recall "Professor Goodfellow’s G.E.E.C." In this episode, a nice mad doctor comes up with the Goodfellow's Effort-Eliminating Computer, which eliminates all need for everyone to have to work by controlling machines, including robots, to do the work for us. Everybody starts getting dumb and lazy, and when the computer malfunctions, only the Super Friends can save the day.

All the early seasons of this show were pretty stupid and very preachy (you can watch the whole ep for a couple of bucks here, if you must give Google money), but this one had a pretty good message on self-reliance and the value of effort. Also that computers would fail you and cause people to die.

Well, no one died thanks to the Super Friends, but they're not real, are they? But Boston Dynamics is, and it's owned by Google, which sounds pretty similar to G.E.E.C. to me, don't you think? Hmmmm?

I know this is a situation with tragedy built into it; remember, Goodfellow was indeed a good fellow and meant well. But by trying to help humanity he damn near destroyed it. Before all the novels on Amazon are replaced by computer-generated blather, I suggest you check out Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano, the only novel of his I ever liked, but I liked it a lot.

It came out in 1952, a couple of decades before the Super Friends. If Goodfellow had read it, Wendy and Marvin might have been saved a lot of trouble.

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