I was listening to NPR yesterday and they were doing a story on robots and how they can now be used as security guards and even soldiers. It was a very interesting piece on an up and coming technology, but it freaked me out. This man was talking about how these robots feel no pain, nor do they feel remorse so they can just kill and get the job done.
And then he made the comment that pissed me off, “And with these there are no condolence letters, or grieving families to support”. What does this mean? My logical mind knows what he was getting at, but what a ridiculous thing to say…ridiculous with a touch of arrogance. To make the inference that human beings are somehow a letter that needs to be sent or an burdensome group of relatives left behind. What a stupid, stupid thing to say.
Why are we so ready to sterilize our world and avoid human contact or emotion all in the name of convenience and a nice neat package. Perhaps soldiers should be human and think and even feel. As traumatic and awful as war is, perhaps we should not be in it if thinking feeling human beings should not participate. Don’t get me wrong, I think the robots are a great idea for checking out suspicious areas and maybe my issue really has nothing to do with the war ( I will not pretend to know enough about warfare to make an informed comment). I am just so tired of our society making everything easy at the expense of the personal. Hell, you do not even need to remember to send a birthday card so it gets there in time. You can just send an electronic, impersonal e-card. What has happened to our messiness? Where is the romance and where are the obstacles in life? What happened to signing your name with a pen or sitting at a table on an awkward first date?
I was getting something out of my wallet the other day at work and a colleague saw my stamps and ask me, “What are those for?” My reply was to send the occasional bill, but mostly to send cards or letters. “Who still sends a letter?” My hope of all hopes is that many people still do and not just people from our parents, or grandparents generation, but from my generation (thirty-somethings). I can understand sending your bills electronically, the vendor is an institution, but I am all for looking people in the eye, saying “I Love You” rather than typing it and most importantly sending cards.
What will future generations look back on? Our e-mails? Life is messy and full of great complications like standing in line at the movies (talking with the people around you) and even hiking your own mountain instead of the one on World of the Warcraft. We are putting everything in neat, easy sterile packages (she says as she blogs on her computer in the comfort of her home).
I like mess (certainly not for our soldiers, but if there is a mess we need to face it as human beings) and I am bewitched by love notes. This is the stuff life is about. We need to use technology to make some of the mundane things in life move a little faster, but showing your wife that you love her should never involve a keyboard.
I just had another thought…look at the way children communicate. Children are up in your face, always wanting contact, drawing pictures, writing notes and holding hands. What happens to us when we become adults and especially adults in this age?
Here’s hoping your life is messy and full of strange dates and lots of handwritten notes and cards. By Stamps!
That is all from the Laundry Room tonight.
“If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me! If I do wake, some planet strike me down, that I may slumber in eternal sleep!” Shakespeare (definitely a man that would own stamps).