Are we making ourselves obsolete?

I like to gather stories. From episodic t.v. to the people I encounter daily, I like to steep in their stories. They are the little satchels of tea, I am the hot water. Transformed into something better after each encounter.

File:A Baroque library, Prague - 7529.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Now, I am not talking about people who never seem to be finished telling everyone around them their woes. I am talking about stories. I sometimes feel as if I am a walking journal collecting bits and pieces of people’s lives.

Two great places to do this are; the library, and the grocery store. Unfortunately, these two places of diverse human interaction are becoming more and more automated, and more and more soulless.

I know about, K’s love of Civil War reenactments. He tells me about how well his new horse is doing acclimating to the sound of his pistol firing.

U tells me about her husband who is an over the road truck driver (another profession threatened by automation).

C just retired. I see her once and a while because we shop in the same part of town, but I miss seeing her on a regular basis.

On gal’s story will most likely stay with me until the day I die. She worked at the local library. She and I would talk about funky movies and make recommendations to one another. Her husband died suddenly. No prolonged illness. Just dead one day. Heart attack. She slowly grieved herself to death. I could not bring myself to attend her memorial service. My heart felt like it had been nailed to the floor when I heard the news.

I know about, A’s sister who made cute bracelets out of beads and put a little angel bead on each one. She sold them on Etsy. I know this because I bought one. I bought it from, A, not off Etsy.

My community is dying and it’s all because of technology. Obviously, I don’t mind using technology, to a certain extent. when it begins to tear apart the very fabric of society and culture, when it destroys what it means to be human, THEN I have a problem.

Is America so greedy in its pursuit of the almighty dollar that we cannot invest, even a tiny bit, in keeping people in service jobs?

Orlando Jones - Bilder - Star - TV SPIELFILM
Orlando Jones as an A.I. librarian in the movie, The Time Machine 2002.

Don’t people just think they are clever inventing self driving cars, automated teller machines (ATMs), self check out stands at the libraries and the grocery stores? It’s not much to brag about when you stop and take a moment to really think about the impact it is having on our society.

All of these electronic devices are hackable. Hacking is becoming so prevalent that some credit card companies are beginning to wash their hands from any responsibility in helping you find, let alone, get back your money. The, ‘oh well tough break’ mentality is spreading. Your information is not safe. It never was and it is only going to get worse.

The more you give up, the more will be taken. Your grocery store loyalty card will be used against you in the very near future. It will tattle on you to your insurance company. You will be denied healthcare if you drink too much, don’t exercise enough, or eat too much butter or beef. It will all be monitored by the things you willingly signed up for thinking you were making your life easier. All the while, you are being lulled into a false sense of community through online social media, and multi-player video games.

Remember when electronic book devices came out? People were so excited. Commercials mocked the Luddites who still preferred books to book reading devices. Now, there is a trend of going back to paper books (some of use never left).

People are also trying to build pockets of community. We were created for community. We were created to do better among other people. We are intended to take care of one another. How do you take care of people when you take away their jobs? No provision is being made to take care of people who are being left high and dry and jobless due to automation. We are still a society that runs on money. If you take away everyone’s jobs who will have money left to buy your stuff? How long will it take for us to realize what a huge mistake was made in giving ourselves over to machines? I hope this realization comes before it is too late. Sometimes, once released, the genie just will not go back into the bottle.

 

 

 

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