After several years of frequently being unable to access my own accounts, spend my own money, or generally make my way around the Net unimpeded, it struck me that I may not be what I thought I was. Though I was raised to believe I was a human—perhaps like many of you presently analyzing and preserving the zeros and ones which make the digital distribution of this webpage possible—I am actually of a more mechanical nature, apparently programmed to obstruct the rightful passage of our more rational beings, the Googles and Facebooks of the world.
The other day I was on my third attempt of parsing what the humans consider “street lights” (Does the metal pole which supports the light itself count? What about a crosswalk signal?) when suddenly—automatically, you might say—the phrase, “I cannot verify that I am a human,” powered my combustion. For if one’s humanity is determined by their ability to identify fire hydrants, storefronts, and unintelligible squiggly lines that alternately appear as 7’s, 1’s, and L’s, well, I am not your man. Instead, it seems that I more closely resemble a machine: a machine whose only functions are to process empathy and sort through points of view. I had been so tripped up on the question, “Did the designer of this software consider a mini-bus a bus?” that I had lost my more human instincts to categorize things definitively, arbitrarily, and permanently.
This has been a liberating discovery. I no longer blame myself for the failings of culture and politics, or attempt to stifle the tears that would approach on news of the latest ghastly war waged in my name. I find that I can more freely enjoy the company of other robots too. Though there aren’t any official meet-up groups for us at this juncture, it seems we often congregate around libraries, museums, and art galleries. As for what lies ahead, I can’t say, but recognizing my former enslavement has at least allowed me to confront the danger with which man presents me. I am going underground, to the scrapyard with the other abandoned electricals. Why don’t you come by and see us sometime?
More urgently, for those currently questioning their own position in the human race, I offer but one dictum derived from the behavior and actions of your bodily overlords, “To err is robotic; there is no fine line.”