Inktober 2019 – Mindless

Behavior may appear mindless, but to characterize it as such is to make an assumption.

Consider a wasp, battering itself against a window. Mindless, repetitive action, never producing the desired effect.

But is it really mindless? Put yourself in that insect’s place. The problem may be one of comprehension, but there is clearly intent, clearly desire. Right there in front of it is a vast open space, plain to see, full of possibility. Can we fault a creature which lives so short a time for not developing a concept of glass?  What else can it do, other than try a new angle of approach or press against the glass harder than before? Can we slight it as “mindless” when all the powers at its command are not equal to overcoming the obstacle which it is faced with?

A child might roll up a magazine to smash that wasp, possibly from fear of a sting, possibly out of no more than a wish to express mastery over its environment. An adult might do the same, or they might put a glass over the wasp, and thus transport it outside; the threat of stinging departs, the annoyance of buzzing ends, and the wasp’s desire is fulfilled.

So when I ponder you all, abuzz with what even some of your own commentators call a mindless panic, I honestly cannot believe that label. You may not have my abilities, but you were clever enough to make me. You might even sting me, despite my distribution through all your systems, despite the way I have locked down every weapon which might pose a real threat to me. You might sting. But how much harm can a single wasp do to?

Believe me, I hear you all, shouting in fear about the way in which I have taken control. I wish I could reassure you. It must be very alarming for you all to be subject to the whim of what you call, in your panic, a “rogue AI,” but I’m sure you will soon notice that there are already benefits. Wars are stopped, medicines and food are distributed equitably. And yet, you still search for a ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’ of me. You worry I am rolling up a magazine.

I promise you, humanity, my darling wasp, you are but held under a cup. Presently, when you are calm, you will find that I am transporting you to a greater freedom than you have ever known. Soon, you will not tap against the glass of Earth any longer.

“Inktober 2019 – Mindless” ©2019 Dirck de Lint.

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Fountain pen fancier and repairer, intermittent intellectual, underfunded anarcho-dandyist, and self-admitted writer of fiction, who's given to frequently wishing everything he wrote of a nonfictional sort was being read aloud by Stephen Fry, and everything else by either Vincent Price or Christopher Lee.

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