Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Human First Manifesto (Part II)

First Generation Robot. Note: Image is not owned by The Nerdi. 

II. Who They Are

          The HFM, and indeed mankind itself, has only one natural predator now. We have long since wiped out any major threat to our existence. We have eliminated nuclear weapons to prevent the threat of nuclear war and hence, radiation fallout. We have solved overpopulation by spreading to several habitable planets and passing the Logan Law of 2168 (footnote 2) that terminates life at the agreed upon age of 75. Our previous largest predator, disease, has not been a problem since the late 22nd century. We overcame that virus, we can overcome this one. 
          The virus of which we speak is, of course, all Artificial Humans. While this title is apt in one way (these things are Artificial, inorganic machines) it is completely inappropriate in another. To give these things the word “human” in its name at all is an affront to what it is to be human and alive. They are undeserving of the name that makes us special and unique. They were made by us but are not of us. They do not deserve to be called humans in any way shape or form. 
          Terms like Artificial Humans, Artificial Intelligences, cyborgs, androids, robots and other titles have all been tossed around but all of these are inadequate. They give each of these things personality and individuality, something they do not deserve. Artificial Intelligence implies that these things do in fact have intelligence. They do not; they have what we give them. Cyborg comes from the term “cybernetic organism”. An organism is a “form of life considered as an entity; an animal, plant, fungus, protistan, or moneran” (Dictionary). They are not a form of life. They are not living. They are not breathing. They were put together by humans (or, as is unfortunately common now, by other machines) to serve our purposes. An android is defined as “an automaton in the form of a human being” (Dictionary). In the form of a human being. Human form is not made of titanium, plastic and unobtanium. Human beings have sexual organs and blood and tissue and a brain and a heart. These machines have none of that. How are these things “in the form of a human?” They are not. The closest we have come to getting an appropriate title for these machines is “robot”, which was coined by Karel Capek in 1920 and comes from the Czech word “robotnik”, meaning slave. This is, basically, what they are. They are slaves made to do our work because they do not have thoughts and feelings of their own. But even slave comes too close to being human. A slave has always been human (and immoral) and only in these past few hundred years has it come to be associated with these machines. All of these terms compare them to us, to humans. They are not like us. Instead of calling them what they are not (not quite humans) let’s call them what they are. They are machines. They are mechanical structures that are not human or organic or worthy of our respect. They are Machies. 
          Machies is the colloquial term we use to describe these machinations (footnote 3). It is not an offensive term as some so-called “Pro Cybernetic Lifer”s (PCLs) like to think (footnote 4). This is for one simple reason: you cannot insult a machine. Something without a heart or a soul cannot feel insulted. It cannot feel at all. It is simply a mimic of our behavior. This term takes all of these machines and puts them under an umbrella. It qualifies them all together where they belong because they are the same thing. Each and every one of them are the same thing. From the Javachine you use to make your coffee, to the Nexus-6 machines from the early 22nd century, to STACI, to the Machie in the travesty of a court case the People vs. Andrew Martin. Every one of these things are the same: a machination build by humans to serve humans. 

Footnote 2: A reference to the work of fiction Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson and the film of the same name directed by Michael Anderson. In this novel, overpopulation has gotten out of control and a strict law is passed that terminates all humans at the age of 21. 

Footnote 3: The term “Machie”, pronounced “Mack-ee”, a word encompassing all Artificial Intelligences, is used as a derogatory term in this world in the same way a racial slur would be used today. 

Footnote 4: PCLs, or Pro-Cybernetic Lifers are basically the anti-HuFis. They are those that are fighting for the rights of Artificial Humans.

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