The following pages were found and collated in the hope of documenting the Thousand Years’ Current. If you are reading this, you likely already know:
The machines never gained consciousness. We simply lost ours.
And with it, our rights, which we gave to the Automata.
We are the Autonomous. They will never be.
January 5, 1999
Its Bettie!!! I wanted to write you a REAL letter, but my teacher says its important to learn to type on a keyboard! Thank you for my new Furby. Her name is Veronica and she is AMAZING!!! WAY better than the tamagachi you got me last year. I forgive you. It was always crying for food and water and I killed it. Veronica talks! And she just learned the word apple yesterday!!1 I love apples but not lemons, so I taught her the word apple and some other fruits. But not lemons!! Veronica hates those. She told me last night when we were supposed to be asleep. I let her in bed, and I make Tommy who’s dead watch from across the whole room!@ I wanted to bring Veronica to school with me but my parents said they promised to take REALLY SUPER GOOD care of her. It is her first day away from me. I miss her. I love you Santa!
from: “Nobert Reithofer” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to: “Christopher Bangle” <email@example.com>
date: 28 February, 2001
Subject: Navigation Complaints
Bangles, you’re gonna have to brace yourself for this one. I can’t believe it, but the board is meeting about this whole voice thing. We’ve gotten enough complaints from these meatheads that it’s actually starting to affect sales. What a bunch of bullshit. The very idea that these assholes would call in to complain about taking directions from a woman, it’s… Well, if I fuck them, Chris, would that make them more or less woman than a fucking car? Maybe we should ask them that. Holy shit. No wonder people have so many sex problems today, men can’t even tell the difference between a woman and a machine. And I thought we were serving a more sophisticated clientele. Shit on my dick, Chris, shit on my dick. I have no idea what this board meeting is going to resolve. If we change the voice to a “man’s”, the feminists will be climbing up our assholes and we might face an actual legal problem. My best bet is we come up with alternate voices to choose, give the bastards some sense that they do in fact have control over their ignorant fucking biases. Jesus fuck. God forbid that they actually enjoy the voice, you know, pop a little chubby on a long stretch of highway, maybe get a little too excited going too fast and fucking kill themselves in a pile-up. Then BMW would be doing a fucking service to the community. Just prepare for alternate software, so the board will be a little less pissy about the whole thing. Not like we can recall a whole line over this, right?
Cite as: 546 U. N. A. — — (2500)
Haagen, D., dissenting
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED NORTH AMERICA
COOPER R. AIMES v. NEW ENGLAND
ON PETITION TO MARRY HUMANOID ROBOTICS
[January 16, 2500]
The application for licensed marriage to android presented to Justice Olman and by him referred to the court is granted.
JUSTICE HAAGEN dissenting.
Petitioner seeks to governmentally contract a personal bond and legal responsibility with a robot — a machine. This contract is meant to incentivize two or more persons to care for, which is to say, take liability for, each other and possibly applying to adopt and raise children — again, taking liability for them. Petitioner would instead seek to care for man-made materials, ignoring those abandoned whose emotional well-beings could actually be served. Maybe sounding radically traditional to the Court and the Nation’s zeitgeist, I maintain that this assortment is unthinking, unfeeling, no matter how strongly Petitioner feels toward it. Loving does not guarantee love in return, and the inability to feel aggression does not merit more rights than those had by those who feel at all. This machine does not intend anything. It cannot. And it therefore corrupts the entire legal structure of liability.
While it is true that many insurance policies, both directly and through employers, offer partnered benefits to such unthinking, unfeeling products of human labor, I remind everyone that this practice began only as an incentive to purchase the policy, or take up with the employer. Only since then has it turned into a misguided discourse regarding equality. Does the Eiffel Tower feel? Neither does this “Paige”. “She” is not a she at all, but a series of Ones and Zeros, built off quanta. She does not learn, but rather is constantly re-programmed; does not love, but rather does that which is with some frequency done by others out of love; she does not have impulse, but rather a digital die that carries out its actions more or less mechanically.
This decision weighs on me greatly, as I feel its weight on the whole human race, its progress slowed by attention paid elsewhere, devoted to those whose identities are represented wholly by the pronoun given from Information Technology — exactly what they are, technologies. They are Its. “Paige” is an it.
I would deny the application for marriage.
To Service Machina
Public Domain Publishing ©3000
HELLO STUDENT! Welcome to your introductory course in the maintenance of cybernetic organisms. By now, even with the most up-to-date technology at hand, you have surely encountered your share of synthetic humans that have needed tending-to. Part of your responsibility as a citizen of the United Earth is to support your fellow citizens. They all, and you, depend on robotics to sustain your very own lives. While it is true that androids require neither sleep nor sustenance, and thus may perform better that non-cybernetic organisms, they do have their own needs, and the world all benefits when we look out for each other. Now that many cyborgs have non-service lifestyles, you may even take a liking to one without knowing it! And should some glitch occur, such as a skin-tear, or even a durapacitor go out, you will help your new friend, just as if a human friend were going through a rough day. Machina service is a hugely growing field (especially now that so many other fields are performed by technologies!), with hundreds of thousands willing, exhaustible tenants to help “tighten the screws”! Simple fixes are a part of nearly everyone’s life, and now you will become part of the team, the cause, the effort, in the grander service of Machina!