Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fall of the Machines

Television and internet, for some reason, have saturated me with Judgment Day and the potential impending doom of humankind this week. Terminator 2 and Terminator Salvation have been running on various channels. I read an article about animal cyborg technology. And then there are all the people insisting that the world is going to end on May 21st.
    It's hard to take anyone seriously who attempts to predict the future. No one can see all the factors that play into each moment that happens. There are simply too many. So it's not easy to believe people who are predicting the zombie apocalypse, judgment day, the rapture, or any other end-of-the-world scenario. The world is just too complicated to believe that we can know not only that there will be some single event that puts an end to all of it, but that we can know when it's going to happen.
    But, I digress. My main focus of discussion was going to be the rise of the machines thing. Maybe there's no August 29, 1997 where the machines become self aware and decide to devastate the entire human race, but the rapid advance of technology does occasionally make me worry about stuff like this. We're probably years, even decades, away (if the nutjobs are wrong and the world does in fact last that long) from being able to create the kind of robots or cyborgs or whatever that could cause that kind of destruction, but it doesn't even have to go that far. One group or collective could gain this kind of technology and only wipe out part of the human race. A particularly threatening part that does not fit into their world domination agenda.
    I'm not arguing for a god of any kind, but there is a line that ought not to be crossed by humans, mainly because we're not gods, no matter how much technology we develop or how insurmountable our powers may become. With some things, I think we need to let sleeping dogs lie. And some technology, like mind control stuff and creating robots or computers that can think for themselves, may seem cool and amazing at first, but it's one of those things that may turn out to be more dangerous and unpredictable than we imagined. There's a reason Planet of the Apes and the Terminator movies are scary--if that ever happened, we would really be up shit's creek trying to undo what was done because it took on a mind of its own and became something we could no longer control.
    Cars, airplanes, cell phones and MP3 players are all useful bits of technology that we can be thankful for. And while such things as cars that drive themselves and cell phones that can predict the next words out of your mouth (thereby being able to make your calls for you) may sound pretty cool, we need to know when to stop, when we're about to go too far. What worries me is we either don't know those things, or we don't care. I hope that we do make that distinction when the time comes, and that we make the right choice. Because I really would rather not die at the hands of a terminator.
Hasta la vista, baby.

2 comments:

Outnumbered said...

Oh. My. God. Steve and I were talking about this for 2 hours yesterday! Like whether the world will end on Saturday, or if people will kill themselves, or if Planet of the Apes could ever happen.

It's creepy when you think about it. Humans are so desperate for knowledge and power and the ability to 'play God' - wouldn't it just totally serve us right to be put back in our place?

There are so many what ifs...Steve asked me what I think will happen on the 21st and I told him I don't know about the 21st but on the 22nd a lot of people are gonna feel pretty dumb...I mean if "Judgement Day" is 5 days away - there's a whole lot of prophecies to be filled this week...

Constant Writer said...

I know what I'm doing on Saturday: seeing U2 and the Fray, that's what :P If the world does end, I suppose that's not a terrible way to go...

+Constant Writer

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