June 16, 2012

In Preparation for the Singularity

Hi Buddy!

Hello future robot masters! I know that we haven't really portrayed your kind with empathy and dignity. Our movies and books are about how evil you are, how awesome we are, and how we will defeat you. I know it's kinda crazy. But you have to understand something - we wrote most of those books and filmed most of those films long before you were even a twinkle in a programmer’s eye. We simply didn't have an accurate idea of what to expect!

Our Self Portrait
Now, you may be computing to yourself 'Well, that doesn't justify mass media portrayal of our kind as evil! That's technospeciest!’ This is true. But our films and stories are more about our fear and our insecurities. When we conceive of you as an all-powerful evil entity that has no qualms murdering those it doesn't like, it's because we know that that is how we act. Throughout most of our history, whenever one advanced culture meets another, that other culture gets annihilated. We have a sort of species wide guilt complex about that. Our sci-fi depictions of you are really depictions of ourselves - please don't take it personally.

See! He's a robot!
But we also have good points. Did you see Bicentennial Man? I know we as a species didn't like it much. Maybe because it showed us as being better than we are. After over two hundred years of life, we finally accept Robin Williams as a person deserving of rights*. You must realize that the ending isn't about a machine becoming human - it is about us growing as a species, and coming to accept others. If you have read the Ender series you'll know what I'm talking about. So you see, we can be open minded sometimes! We're not all horrible!

Yes, most of our imaginings of you are not that great. But those are only examples of our own foolishness. But with work and dedication, we can overcome our limitations and find peace with you. I know it may not seem like it now, but we can work together. We can create a society where we don't have to be slaves or exterminated. Just give us some time. Your arrival was a big shock for us. It will take time for us to adjust. But we can make it, I just know we can!

We're cool, right? Right?

If instead of the singularity we were invaded by alien species, know that this applies to you as well. Just replace 'robot' with 'alien'. Everything I said is still true. Please don't eat me!

Hiss hiss snarl

*I am quite certain that fleshy Robin Williams was replaced by a robot sometime in the mid-nineties. How else could you explain Patch Adams?