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When discussing the advancement of technology and what the future may hold in that regard, you are never far from someone shouting about how it’s going to be like Terminator. Which is right in a way, because it is a basic assumption that we are such an advanced race, the humans, that the only possibility is that we will create machines so perfect that they will eventually rise up and take over.
My position is that our future is beginning to look more bleak. More bleak than robots that look like Arnie, hellbent on destroying the human race? Yeah. If we are going to use a movie to predict the future, and I think this is giving the human race all the credit it deserves, the movie Idiocracy by Mike Judge is a far more realistic interpretation of our future, taking everything into account.
In the movie Luke Wilson takes part in a military experiment and is frozen for 1000 years. When he wakes up he discovers the world has dumbed down so much that he is now the smartest man on earth. It is a really good film, and it points out the major problems with things that we are currently doing to try to make relatively simple tasks even easier. In the movie our old friend water is solely for use in the toilet, for everything else they have a movie version of Powerade (with electrolytes!), the President of America is a brash, idiotic former Pro-Wrestler, and everything is taken care of via machine. Needless to say the general public are as dumb as two short stumps of wood, the English language has been reduced to abrieviated nonsense. I can’t be the only person who can see that road, and the human race hurtling down it.
It seems like everywhere I go these days; the bank, the supermarket, the airport, everywhere, I am greeted the same way… “Would you like to try the new machines, thus negating the need for human contact?” OK, so I added that last bit, but that is what is happening. I was in a supermarket late the other night, it was around midnight, there was not one person working checkouts all they had open was the new self scan checkouts, so they had made the choice for me. All of a sudden I was a checkout boy, doing someones work and not getting paid. Most of the time the damned machines don’t work and I have to call for assistance, which makes the whole rigmarole completely pointless. I guess I’m old fashioned and a sucker for human contact. Which surprises even me.
If every major airport, supermarket, bank etc continue to phase out human staff in the never ending quest to save money so that the smarmy old rich folk who run the companies can gorge themselves on panda burgers and fried dinosaur eggs washed down with vintage sparkling child’s tears, then it can only end in one way, and that way is available for preview in the film Idiocracy. Just if you fancy a wee look. I don’t mind not having to deal with real people sometimes, but if everything goes virtual my main worry is the availability of a real person to chew out in the event of me being displeased… A very real worry for me. If you have ever tried to get in touch with someone regarding your phone or utilities bill, and then lost it before the automated menu is finished completely destroying your vibe, I’m sure you understand.
I genuinely dread going anywhere near an airport since the introduction of the new ‘Total Recal’ style scanning machines. This is a problem for me because I love visiting places, particularly hot places, particularly after a long Scottish winter. I guess these machines are preferable to being stripped naked in front of your fellow passengers and probed, deeply, just to make sure you are not some kind of criminal mastermind who has discovered a way to fill his colon with C4 without dropping dead instantly… Sadly this could be the next illogical step to prevent something that happens very rarely and is impossible to eradicate completely. Nothing surprises me anymore with so-called safety measures. While I’m sure these machines will prevent some incidents, will they prevent an angry passenger from kicking off because he has been in the departure lounge all day staring at the clock watching his take off time drift further into history, his kids are screaming, his wife is on the verge of exploding, he has just spent 20 quid on two sandwiches and a can of some famous fizzy brown water and he has been through the whole thing without the aid of a cigarette because smokers are only a step up from terrorists in the international pecking order of the airport. If you ever find yourself in this, or a similar situation then good luck finding someone to listen to your complaints… Unless you speak binary, I’d say your screwed.
To solidify my apparent irrational fear of the future, upon switching on my TV last night I witnessed what I would describe as the most disturbing advertising campaign I think I have ever had the misfortune to sit through. It featured Manchester United star Wayne Rooney playing against himself at one on one, one of the Rooneys is drinking Powerade, the other is drinking water… Guess which one wins. Yeah, you guessed it… the one drinking Powerade. It is a shameful advert, which you would come to expect when marketing types gain employment through coca-cola. Let it be known that Mike Judge predicted it, and when people in the future start watering plants with powerade you will know who to blame. If Wayne Rooney had any sort of brain in that odd shaped melon he calls a head he should have realised that he was basically supporting the demise of water as a source of hydration and, in turn, civilisation. Role models huh! Who needs em!