My Laptops and My Humanity

My Laptops and My Humanity

2020, Mar 19    

I had a smart phone before the iPhone was out. So for a long time I’ve structured much of my life around the devices I use.

One of the challenges of the moment is that I don’t feel like I’m choosing technology — I feel like it is my primary option to have significant connection to life outside my apartment.

This dependency on technology was on my mind while watching yet another sci-fi show about artificial life that fears being destroyed by organic life and then fights to defend itself. I’ve seen a lot of these movies and TV series. And they usually bring up questions about self-determination, the meaning of life, what it means to be human, and others that I find fascinating.

Often in these stories, there’s a trade off of some sort. The artificial life might be faster or stronger, but longs for relationships and meaning. The human may be able to think more creatively and spontaneously, but is more easily injured.

These trade-off usually make me feeling both envious of what the artificial life can do and happy that I am in fact human.

So if I was an artificial life form, maybe I could go out into the world today and not fear that the air might end up being deadly. But would I find the sun on my face as enjoyable? Would I smile when I see familiar faces walking down the street? Would I taste ice cream and feel like all is right with the world?

As far as I’m currently aware, I’m not becoming an android anytime soon, so I’ll likely never know the answers to these questions. But I will say, at least today, I might be willing to give a bit more up to survive a plague than I thought I would.

But I suspect it won’t take long for that answer to change. Probably just another hour of TV.