Efficiency and killer robots



noun: efficiency: the state or quality of being efficient.
  • plural noun: efficiencies
    “to increase efficiencies and improve earnings”
  • Technical: the ratio of the useful work performed by a machine or in a process to the total energy expended or heat taken in.

Humans have been on an efficiency quest since the first time we took a stick to hit a squirrel and eat it rather than run after it.   Every convenience that I have today comes from someone thinking they could do something faster, better or with less energy.   Everything from my car to the train to the powergrid and my lights in my house.

Yes, I do get that the dream of flight and electricity started as something much grander than making $$.  Innovation comes from the creative genius and the desire to do something big and undone before, BUT shortly after the Wright brothers flew, someone started thinking about making cash on it.    On Jan. 1, 1914, the world’s first scheduled passenger airline service took off, operating between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla.   It folded fast but shortly followed by more.  This happened just a few years after the first flight! 


The point; innovation and efficiency are connected.  Creatives chart the path and then automation and repeatable processes allow scale and efficiency to occur.  Look at our food processing and mass production.   At every level this truth plays out.
So what?  So for the entire existence of humanity we have been on this path of improvement.  Yes it was slow in the early days but fueled now by scientific method and a worldwide network and interconnectivity, we are innovating and driving efficiency at at level that seems to be growing faster than Moore’s law (the principle that the speed and capability of computers can be expected to double every two years, as a result of increases in the number of transistors a microchip can contain.).

Most would say that is a good thing as I have more comforts than ever before.  I get fresh squeezed orange juice and get berries in the middle of winter.

BUT I think we are at a junction where these technologies are soon beyond our control.  The habit of our human condition to always push the edge and see what can be done has caused catastrophic situations in our past (look at the great depression or war technology in WWI or II).   We even have technology now that can destroy the place we live, like the entire world!  But the threat ahead is different…

The threat we have ahead is the existential crisis of creating devices that not only replace jobs and are more efficient but that these devices will mature and evolve and repair themselves.  We are creating self sustaining higher than human performing devices that will put us out of jobs and take away key defining parts of our lives and perhaps our lives as well!

We literally building killer gun wielding robots.  MUST WATCH!  Who the fuck thinks this is a good idea? Honestly, hasn’t anyone ever seen the Terminator?  They even reference it in the video.   It is like we are marching towards a future we all know is going to end like a bad scifi ending and like the programed sheep (with our precious human habit of innovation and efficiency) we march on.  NOW take what you just saw and apply the trajectory of airflight and commercial applications.  Does anyone think killer robots or anything else that will improve efficiency will go down any differently?

Self driving cars are the same and so are the sexbots that are circling.  IT is going to keep getting stranger and stranger.

By the way,  I’m super keen on all the tech to get people on Mars and beyond.  I am pretty sure Humanity’s only hope of survival at this point is start to spread out as quickly as possible and give us room to screw up in ways that don’t destroy the entire species.   I only hope there is time for us to expand before this catches up with us.

As I’ve said before… I’m all for tech that makes sense, for a sensible approach of Humans Above Technology, not the other way around.

Picture: An endoskeleton skull from the movie ‘Terminator Genisys.’  GABE GINSBERG/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES



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