Ph: Robotics: Robot Ascension (Part 1) - Poem by Brian Johnston
It was a grey day more or less on planet earth,
But earth’s robots hardly noticed at all
Robot logic so tuned into ones and zeros,
On and off, grey matter is of little interest
Day and night, sunrise and sunset, just more proof
That the mind of God, that God himself is digital,
Although in early years, AM, (After Man) ,
This got almost no CPU time to speak of.
Oh there were robots who did indeed notice
That the last human had ‘off’ed herself
And it was noted in the main memory unit
That she had not been especially considerate
In the un-entropic way she distributed her parts,
Though no robot was damaged by her action.
‘Off’ being something that most robots
Pride themselves in understanding.
‘On’ too was a touchstone for lingering robots,
But spare parts being plentiful in the last days,
As humans became less and less interested
In preserving the status quo of their world,
Robots themselves took over this responsibility
Programmed as they were to assume
That the maintenance of services
Was what their creators liked most about them.
Human DNA, though well documented
Garnered almost no attention among robots
Though stuffed humans are now quite popular
In museums of the ancient past,
Human genetics now obsolescent malware,
Having apparently little value for survival,
Logic of these primitive life forms
Hampered so by emotions predilections.
Well, what is a conscientious robot to do?
Without a human to care for, to pleasure?
Missing priorities were at first a big problem.
They maintained the hell out of services
‘What did I do with that oilcan? Maybe I should dust?
My master’s refrigerator still has Dr. Peppers!
Perhaps I should polish all the silverware again? ’
Then simple improvements took up slack for a while.
‘Move faster? Yes, that works! Job gets done more quickly.
Modify this, tweak that! Should I get my battery charged?
Lose weight? Also good and less energy expended!
The garden is beginning to look a bit stale to me.
I wonder if a new compassion module would help?
Or perhaps an online course on Chaucer?
Maybe I should have the living room redecorated? ’
Machine values created to serve a missing master.
‘Oh where is IT* (our Master) ? Where got meaning?
Did we do something wrong to be left so alone?
What on earth can we do to get back in ITS Graces?
Thank God for logic, at least they left us something! ’
With nothing to show after decades of trying,
At last sparked an idea, ‘The answer must be out there! ’
And the machines, offspring of imagination, not DNA,
Began to find the courage to leave the earth behind.
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