Inauguration Day 2017

Dec 24, 2016

"And eventually, there aren't any real people left. Just robots pretending to give a shit."

"Perhaps. Depends on the population dynamics, among other things. But I'd guess that at least one thing an automaton lacks is empathy; if you can't feel, you can't really relate to something that does, even if you act as though you do. Which makes it interesting to note how many sociopaths show up in the world's upper echelons, hmm? How ruthlessness and bottom-line self-interest are so lauded up in the stratosphere, while anyone showing those traits at ground level gets carted off into detention with the Realists. Almost as if society itself is being reshaped from the inside out."

"Oh, come on. Society was always pretty— wait, you're saying the world's corporate elite are nonsentient?"

"God, no. Not nearly. Maybe they're just starting down that road. Like chimpanzees."

"Yeah, but sociopaths don't blend in well."

"Maybe the ones that get diagnosed don't, but by definition they're the bottom of the class. The others are too smart to get caught, and real automatons would do even better. Besides, when you get powerful enough, you don't need to act like other people. Other people start acting like you."

--Cunningham and Sascha!Gang of Four, Blindsight, by Peter Watts