Resistance is futile... But it doesn't mean people won't resist...
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I got in a very frustrating confrontation with a friend of a friend tonight. I can't really call it an argument because every time I tried to respond, she threw her hands up and said, "That's not the point!"
I couldn't even say, "If you don't wait for my response, how can you know if it's the point?"
The subject was around the topic of automated cars in California. She had heard a question from insurance companies along the lines of, "If the car goes through a red light, who gets the ticket?" Her main question was, "Should we even be asking that question?"
I was supposed to be suitably shocked that there were automated cars that might go through a red light. Instead, I was trying to explain that this is the end result of decades of research and that these cars are way safer than a guy jacked up on 5 hour energy drinks, but I never got the chance.
It didn't matter what I tried to say or how I tried to approach the subject -- the subject was taboo. If I tried to say, "Have you seen a 17 year old behind the wheel?" She would respond with, "That's not the point." When she said, "Why is Jerry Brown signing this kind of legislation to let autonomous cars drive around?" I couldn't respond with, "Nevada allowed it in 2011..." because she would respond with, "That's not the point."
Her only point was that I was supposed to be shocked that there were computers controlling cars. If I had any reason not to be shocked, my reasons were invalid. In her opinion humans will always control multi-ton missiles with more accuracy than computers. Only she doesn't think of cars as multi-ton missiles.
My assimilation blog obviously has a corollary -- while resistance is futile, there are those who refuse to understand that they have already been assimilated. There is nothing natural about a human being operating a two-ton machine hurtling down a narrow strip of asphalt at 70 miles an hour but change that equation and it's unnatural and wrong.
The very fact she believes a GPS coordinated, safety controlled computer is somehow more dangerous than a one-eyed man who had a couple beers, a Long Island Iced Tea and a bunch of chicken livers (yeah, that was me driving her home tonight) means she was completely, and successfully, assimilated into the car collective.
I understand the problem with the world being too complicated to comprehend and wanting to fight what we don't know. What I don't understand is the blind acceptance of some technologies, especially one that killed over 32,000 people last year.
But the solid wall I hit while travelling at a conversational pace shows me what happens when blind acceptance is challenged.
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Be sure to see my blog over at Cloudenity. This week's topic:
The Physical Impossibility of Migrating to the Cloud