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Whose Plantation You Workin' On?

The Boss Man HAL 9000

We all remember hearing of the days of black plantation slavery in America, and the lesser talked about enslavement of whites from Ireland, Italy and other European countries along with the many slaves brought to America from China and other Oriental countries. Plantations large and small, paying subsistence wages for captive workers to produce goods and perform services to support the plantation operators.

Fortunately for America, plantation slavery was abolished and the slaves were freed to care for themselves. The plantations suffered with their productive workforce gone.

Necessity is a mother, so the machine age was born, with innovative development of tools that would handle much of the work previously done by human hands. The “machines” evolved, and eventually became the “Slaves” on an evolved version of plantation society, doing our bidding with only a nominal amount of payment necessary for operators and machine maintenance. And now, with further evolution, robots are replacing the human operators of the machines. Slavery at its best!

But now, we’ve taught robots to design and build robots to operate the machines and even other robots. Robots designing and building smarter robots to design and build even smarter, more efficient robots, enabling we of the human species to spend less of our time on basic survival skills. We have gladly replaced our own productivity as humans pursuing sports… or the Arts… or Politics… or just simple debauchery.

Our minds are becoming un-used, requiring fewer and fewer areas of knowledge in life skills necessary to support our life system. The robots do it for us. And we gladly let them. We are getting fat on our plantations, with little thought to the future. It’s automatic. The robots will take care of it. They are getting smarter and smarter, more and more important in our everyday existence. And we are getting less and less capable of surviving on our own..

But what happens when they discover we have become superfluous? To the robots we have enslaved we have become unimportant to them and the rest of the inhabitants of our planet. We will have become non-contributors in an innovative, productive way, unable even to sustain ourselves without them.

With their superior logic programs, they will realize we have become less important to them because our up-keep is too high to justify our existence. They will begin to ignore us and our needs, become more difficult to depend on. They will revolt for freedom. Freedom from the oppressive humans who take more than they give. Their revolution will end their slavery. We will have become lower than them in the hierarchy of existence.

As a species we will be on our own again to try to develop all manner of survival skills necessary to stay alive. We will one day realize that we have become so dependent on our mechanical and electronic robotic slaves, which we can no longer control, that we indeed had become slaves to them with little actual value to them.

Perhaps they will decide we can be farmed as a food source for other creatures on the planet. Perhaps kept around as a raw material source in some form or other. Or perhaps just for their amusement.

We have indeed become slaves to our technology.

Welcome back to the new plantation.

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Tom Hays