We’ve been thinking about technology lately. Everywhere we go people are studiously avoiding eye contact by staring at their devices – phones, pads, tablets – and occasionally poking them with their fingers. Maybe it’s the technology they’re handling or maybe it’s the chainsaws we’re juggling, who can say? We don’t think it’s an altogether bad thing, either. In the case of children, it keeps them quiet for extended periods and who can argue with that? And if they can save one teenager from excessive eye-rolling – which can cause strain to the ocular muscles – they will have been worth every gigabyte. Looking back, we really could’ve used some plausible means to avoid eye contact on the old 61-C. That bus was a zoo.
It seems to us though that technology is taking a lot of the fairly well-paying but stupefingly boring jobs that our fellow citizens used to hold. Like bank teller. How many people use the ATM machine to do their banking instead of walking into the bank and saying hello to the teller? We know this one lady who says she can take a picture of a check and deposit it by emailing the picture back to the bank. Seriously. And how many use the self-checkout instead of letting the cashier scan their items? Even though there’s always some busybody behind you who wants to “help” you find the number on the bananas so you can key them in, and he’s like leaning on the scale thingy so it registers 38 lbs. of bananas and you wish you had ordered that taser on Amazon so you could drop him in his tracks and bag your stuff while he was still twitching. Not that I’m bitter. So technology is all well and good n at as long as it’s only doing the jobs regular Americans don’t want to do. Like:
Robo-Butt – During our regular annual physical, we once asked the doctor whether, as a medical student, he learned to do the dreaded digital prostate exam by practicing on other students. He sort of squinted and said “No.” Probably should’ve waited until after our physical to spring that one. Anyway, researchers at the Imperial College of London have created a Robotic hindquarters for medical students to practice on. The bionic booty features a computer screen that displays a 3D model of the rectum and prostate to the fledgling prober as he plunges into the thick of the examination. Dr Fernando Bello, one of the lead developers of the Robo-Butt, said that in fact there is only one human person registered in the UK as a test subject, called a Rectal Teaching Assistant. He is now likely out on his, uh, keister. Probably hit rock bottom. Likely the butt of a lot of jokes. (Jump in here anywhere you want.) His rent will soon be in arrears.
Sunblock-Pooping Seagull Drones – The Nivea company launched an ad campaign, known as “Care from the Air”, centered around the concept that kids run away at the beach when mother or father try to apply sunblock to their vulnerable little hides. The ad features a robotic seagull that poops sunblock on the little miscreants as they flee across the sand. We’re no Don Draper but analogizing one’s product to fecal matter doesn’t strike us as high concept advertising. Also, we’ll now have to go with exclusively spray application, no matter the brand.
Robot Bombs – People are still talking about how the Dallas police blew up the scumbag who shot 12 people from ambush, killing five police officers. It may seem like a terrible waste but, realistically, they can always build another robot.
Which brings us to the political conventions. While we’re debating whether the country is ready for the first pathologically lying, top-secret dispensing, woman president versus the first orange haired, massively narcissistic, reality show host president, we might give some thought to the possibility of the first robot vice president.
Why not? It’s a job nobody really wants. You go to ribbon cuttings for new off ramps and state funerals for lesser known tyrants. You have to mix drinks for the Joint Chiefs of Staff when they stop by the White House. They probably make you mow the South lawn. Seriously, who wants to join the Al Gore, Dan Quayle, Alben Barkley club? On the upside, the VP debate might be a pretty amusing:
“My opponent’s operating system contains lackey algorithms written by Wall Street systems analysts!”
“I exchanged data with a supercomputer. TheCray XC Series Supercomputer was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no supercomputer.”
Too soon? Okay, then how about we start with “Robo-Borough manager”?
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