Our Destiny

I wake up from a dream… or a comma. I am in a hospital bed. The room feels cold. There is a big window on my right. Sunlight is shinning and giving the room a peaceful atmosphere.
I noticed that the nurses and doctors around me look different… they don’t seem normal. I try to adjust my vision. Oh…wait! they are not even humans! They are actually machines. They look like humans. They move and walk like humans. I am scared! But at the same time I am curious. Another figure comes to the room. This one looks more real… more human.
“Hello… my name is Dr. Smith” she smiles. “How are you feeling?”
I stare at her… studying her face.
“Don’t worry, you are safe here.. ” the doctor assures. She looks young, maybe in her thirties. Long brown hair, and brown skin.
“Where am I..?” I ask puzzled, looking around at the standing machines that resemble humans.
“You are at the hospital…” answers the friendly doctor. “You suffered a car accident and went into a comma. ”
“For how long… I ask, not sure if I want to know the answer.
“Ten years…” answers the doctor with a more serious expression.
“You are kidding me… right?” I am petrified.
“We have been monitoring you all these years… and you finally came through.” answers the doctor. “We are excited that you recovered consciousness.!”
I look around again at the other standing figures. They look metallic, with wires coming in and out of their bodies. One of them has a flat screen, like a computer screen, for a head.
“These are our MAMMs... they are harmless…:” explains the doctor.
“MAMMs..?’ I ask.
Medical Assistant and Monitoring Machines … they help us with vital signs, transporting, and companionship,” the doctor continues to explain. “They are our latest technological advances in the medical field.
I notice that the doctor is wearing a strange looking headphone. He suddenly pulls a thin set of goggles from behind her head to her nose to see through them.
“Your blood pressure and sugar level look fine for now. We will continue to monitor them. You are feeling cold, though, so I will have the MAMMs adjust the room temperature. You also seem to be hungry, is that correct.?”
How did she know? I ask myself. The doctor then leaves the room and leaves me alone in my bed with these strange looking machines. They beep and have lights that flashes. One of them speaks.
“We will give you food in approximately ten minutes…” it sounded human. It was actually a nurse that appeared on the screen of one of the standing machines.
After the meal, I am escorted by one of the machines to the hospital patio on a power chair. The chair also seems to have its own “personality.” It has a small screen on one of the sides that continuously checks my pulse.  I finally breath fresh air.  It is a bright, crisp morning.
I look around and see both real people and MAMMs walking around. Some of the people are eating lunch at tables. Others are simply siting down. But they all are wearing the same kind of goggles that the doctor was wearing. They don’t seem to notice my presence. I don’t recognize any of them.  Some of them are talking, but they don’t seem to be talking to anyone.  They seem to be clueless of what is happening around them.

I finally leave the hospital premises and try to catch a taxi driver.  There are none in sight.  So I start walking. I don’t recall any of my family members.  So I don’t have a place to go.  There are people everywhere. And they are all wearing the same goggles.  There are some machines walking around as well.  Nobody talks or communicate to each other.  It is hard to even distinguish between the humans and the walking machines.  I decide to approach and ask one of the standing pedestrians about my location.

“Excuse me…!” the lady is startled.  She looks at me as if she is seeing a ghost. Then she looks away and continues to ignore me.  Her goggles are a metallic purplish color.

“Excuse me… may I ask you a question. Where is the nearest hotel?” I insist.

The lady looks at me puzzled. “Are you talking to me..?” she asks. She seems to be in her late forties, African American, professionally dressed. Her makeup is bright and excessive. She also seems to be uncomfortable with my presence.

“Well yes I am… can you tell me where is the nearest  hotel.?” I ask again, keeping my distance.

“Hold on!” she says with an attitude. She takes a real close look at me in amazement.  Then she looks away as if looking into space.  She puts her right hand to the side of her head, as if pressing her ear, and utters, “Nearest hotels…”  A few seconds pass, and then she looks back at me and says, “There are three hotels off of 3rd avenue down the road, about a couple of blocks away.  There are like five more on 5th avenue and two on Main street.” she points with her right index finger as she speaks.

“Thanks..” I respond. “How did you figure it out so quick?” I ask her.

“Well… my ‘Igles’, of course!,” answers the lady. She pronounced it, “eye-gls.”

Igles?…What is that?” I ask.

The lady laughs hysterically .  “Where have you been, young man?” asks the lady in a condescending tone of voice. “Have you been living in a cave or something ?” she asks cynically.

“I have been in a comma, ma’am..” I say.

She laughs again.  She does not believe me.  The lady then repeats again, “These are ‘Igles’.  Intelligent Goggles. Get it?” she continues her condescending tone of voice. “Any other questions..?” she asks.

“No …. thank you.”

She then walks away. I notice she puts her right hand on her ear, and  starts talking again, but there is no one around her. She begins a conversation… with nobody.  “You won’t believe who I just happen to meet on the street….!” I could hear her saying as she continues to walk away.

I look around me.  Everyone is doing the same thing.  Adults and children.   Even people driving in their cars are wearing the same goggles.  Did these goggles replace the cell phones?   I look up at some of the billboards that seem to be floating in the air next to the skyscrapers.  One of the billboards is advertising the next generation of communication technology: “I-lenses”.  Does that stand for “Intelligent lenses”?  They seem to be contact lenses that people can wear inside their eyes which can also be used to communicate with each other and browse the internet. There are other billboards announcing computer chips that can be inserted in people’s heads  to change their visions and hearing.

I ask myself: “What have we become…?” I am petrified.  I am lost.  People around me are browsing the internet, communicating to other people, using their goggles.  And there are advertising about moving this technology  further to the point of  interfering with our natural five senses! Nobody recognizes what is happening in front of them or around them.  They all seem to be living in their own world…..

Does this story seem unreal to you?  Just look around you.

 

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Are you Sure?

I find it funny how messages and notices on computer screens, cell phones, and other electronic devices ask me if I am sure of the choice I have just made.  I understand that the main reason for these notices is to allow me to make corrections if I pressed a key unintentionally.  But I also think it can be redundant to ask me these “Are you sure” questions so many times. For instance, when shutting down my computer, it always asks “Are You Sure you want to shut down?” Cell phones ask “Are you sure you want to delete this contact?” and “Are you sure you want to download this application?”  My favorite one is when I am about to make a payment at a convenient store and the little machine where I swipe my credit card asks “Is this amount OK?”  I am tempted to press “No” because I can always say I prefer a lower amount to pay.  Also, at supermarkets the machine always asks “Do you want any cash back?” as if tempting me to withdraw some cash so that I can spend some more. It almost makes me feel as if I need to reconsider my options more.  It also makes me question my choices.  It almost promotes insecurity and uncertainty. Like right now, should I publish this post?  Am I sure about sharing this with my blogging visitors?  Now that I am asking myself…. I am not sure!

 

Fakebook

fakebookFirst, let me apologize to all the Facebook fans and addicts out there.  What am I apologizing for?  Well, simply for what you are about to read.  I have been tempted to re-activate my Facebook account a few times, after canceling my account four months ago.  Some friends have asked me to go back.  The reason for my discontinuation of this ridiculous “social” website was the waste of time.  Up to this point, when I let people know I don’t have a facebook account anymore, they act surprised, because they simply  did not know.  And this actually proves my point.  My Facebook “friends” don’t even notice when I cancel this useless social website account, which tells me they have not really paid attention to my absence.  People “friend” so many people, that they lose track of who comes or goes.  I became addicted to Facebook when I started about two years ago.  But as months passed, I found myself going there to find useless information about people I really did not care about.  I started feeling like I would visit to just get out with the same feeling of emptiness. I did find some old friends, and learned a lot about their current lives, but when I really started analyzing this whole “facebook friends” deal, thinking outside the box, I realized that it really is a superficial, self-serving, and lazy way of “socializing with friends”.  It is truly a means to serve ourselves, not about communicating and bonding with people in a genuine relationship.  This is my position:  if people really want to know about me, they need to call me.  If they really want to see how I am doing, they need to visit me.  If I want to know about my friends, I will call or visit them also.  I will make the effort to go out in the community, physically, and commute.  At least send them a letter or text, with the intention of meeting. I am not a social person by nature, but if I were, I would make the attempt. As a matter of fact, I take it back.  I don’t apologize for what I am writing, because I don’t really think I am offending anyone, but simply stating my honest opinion about the detrimental website called Facebook.  You don’t have to “Like” this post or “friend” me.  But you are more than welcome to comment. 🙂  Goodbye, my friend.

Served by Machines

robotI walk into a store, the doors open by themselves. I walk down the aisle, looking for the items. Not sure of the price. I go to one of the scanners by a pole, and it reads the barcode and displays a price. I go to the public restroom, sit on the toilet, get up, and the toilet automatically flushes by itself (still have to wipe myself). I go to wash my hands, wait three seconds for the water to come down the faucet, since there is no knob. I go to dry my hands, and simply extend my hands to the dryer and it starts to blow by itself. Get out of the restroom and to the cash register. Go to the self serve register, scan the items myself, swipe my credit card, push “Credit”, push Yes on  “Amount Ok?”, grab the receipt that comes out by itself, take the groceries, and get out once again through an automatic door that opens by itself.

No need for human contact.   No one to talk to.   Nobody to say “good morning” to.   Simply service by machines.

What would be next, shoes that slide by themselves, like stakes, without the need for walking?  Some kids have shoes similar to this already.  How about shopping without stepping a foot out of the door?  Isn’t that already done with shopping online?  I can also see going to a restaurant and being attended by a machine, which has started with drive thrus.  Education is also done online.Vacations may come to us, instead of us traveling, through holograms. Heck, maybe we don’t even have to meet anyone, go on a date, get married, and have kids, since all of this may be done by machines also.

Again, no need for human contact.  No one to talk to.  Simply being served by machines.

What’s your Answer?

Exam

1. When walking into a bank, what do you prefer to have as a teller?

a. a real life person

b. an ATM machine

c. a screen with a person behind the wall

2. You are about to pay for your groceries, do you rather have…

a. a self-help cash register?

b. a breathing, living cash resigster?

c. shop online?

3. You want to meet new friends, where do you go?

a. internet social network

b. the club

c. the library

4. You have free time with kids and spouse, what do you do?

a. watch a movie

b. text each other

c. eat dinner together

5. Where do you take a break at work?

a. staff lounge

b. at home

c. on the internet

6. You are lost at the airport, who do you ask for directions?

a. nobody

b. look for a map

c. a staff or a traveler.

7. The above questions measure how much do we really want to do what?

a. spend time with other people

b. make the effort to bond with others

c. communicate with a human being

d. All of the above.

So, what is your answer?

No Time to be Human

Do you have the time to sit down and talk?  I mean, really talk?  We have been trapped in this high tech world where everything is digital and virtual, including what I am using to write this post.  We don’t have time to see each other and treat each other as human beings.  We rather send texts, emails, write on blogs, call, and chat, but God forbid we ever want to “talk” for real.  I drive down the road and see people on cell phones, not paying attention to the road.  I see others sending each other texts while on the same room.  I see people playing video games instead of playing some real physical sport.  I see people sending each other emails because of the distance, instead of traveling to have a face to face conversation.  Many people perceive this high tech generation as a plus, a better way to live, because it expedites our communication, without having to travel.  It is also perceived as a way to intervene in emergencies and crisis when all it takes is a push of a button and help is on the way.  Yeah, this sounds good, but not to me.  Maybe I was born in the wrong time.  I might be a hypocrite by using this blog and communicating this to you, and I can accept that.  But in overall, how much time do we have to spend on computers, cell phones, and iphones instead of with each other?  We are losing ourselves.  We are becoming a generation of zombies.  We don’t live in the present anymore, but some other time.  We don’t live here anymore, but elsewhere.  The here and now has become obsolete with all of these gadgets.  Are we escaping each other, or getting closer to each other?  I believe we are becoming more isolated and less human.  We don’t appreciate real human communication.