Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Life Fictitious (2)

The diary of Marle Rigpa: January 20th, 2116

I went on an interview for a job yesterday. The position was at one of those sky cab restaurants where the wait-bots putter up to your hover-transport and repeat things that human waitresses might have said a hundred years ago: "Get'chu somethin' hun'?" or "fries with that shake?" or "you'll have to wait to order, the register is down." I don't know what a register is but I think it's meant to help some of the older patrons feel connected to the tasteless fare.

The job was an entry-level robo-maintenance gig. Basically, I would sit in the repair shop - a broken hummer-van complete with stylish and utterly useless energy flaps - and fix wait-bots that had looped into depressive programs. Rob, the interviewer, told me that one of the wait-bots had been unable to take orders due to his circuit's allocation of efficient energy to the contemplation of higher states of being. Whenever robo-consciousness delves into it's "self" program they become totally useless as "servants to humanity". They just mope about and idly complain that they lack some kind meaning-identification program. Worse are the hopeless robots who cross the line from depressive to destructive programs, with some bots even going as far as taking a flat-head spanner to their own perpetual life vacuum tubes.

In the interview, Rob asked about myself, my past and finally, as if it was an afterthought, my credentials. Yes, I work well with people and robots. No, I've never committed a universal, global or local felony. Yes, I graduated from a three-year vocational degree. No, I'd not be willing to take less pay if they gave me lunch four days a week. In fact, they'd have to pay me extra to eat in their restaurant at all - I left this tidbit out. I could tell nearing the end of the interview that for some reason Rob was really vibing my attitude and qualification. This probably upset my subconscious because with no more than five minutes and a handshake left 'till I nailed a job, I went into a irreversible state of self-sabotage.

"So, tell me Rob," I said, "What kind of benefits are there to working at this fine establishment."
"Well, I'm not sure what you mean..." said Rob, clearly convinced in the inherent value of twisting screws in a van behind a shitty restaurant.
"I mean, what are my chances for upward mobility. If I'm going to start a career, I need to know that I'll be able to provide."
"Well..." Rob was sputtering as he was unaccustomed to his minimal amount of power being uprooted.
"I need to know if I'm going to have options, stocks, bonds, convertible credits, and I'll need to check your books. Of course." I spoke with the conviction of an ex-convict up for parole. "In fact, I'll have my people call your people. You do have people? If not, our house-bots should collaborate." I stood up. "Thanks for your time, I'll expect an eye-mail detailing the events of this conversation, a run-up of where we go from here, and maybe throw in a few sound-bites. I like to be surprised."

I stood, jammed my outstretched hand into Rob's disfigured expression of nonplus, pulled it back after failing to elicit a response, turned on my heels and exited with a digital chime. I hopped on my adjustable town scooter and cruised home at a leisurely pace, a feeling of burden unexplicably removed from the tension in my shoulders. I had an eye-mail before I made it home saying that they had unfortunately filled the position but they'd keep my file in case they had any more openings. Or, probably, in case the police came looking for me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Life Fictitious

The diary of Marley Rigpa: January 11th, 2116

Before the new year, my college advisor advised me to get a job via an eye-mail that basically sounded like a continuum warped version of the same thing my step-robotic father told me - although the melodic chord capacity of my step-robotic fathers vocal circuitry formed the words much more euphonically. I made cautious note of the irony that humans at the helm of a redundant set of responsibilities, in this case my advisor, could mimic more accurately the stereotypes of robotic speech from a hundred years before. In fact, the sophistication of my father's circuitry makes rudimentary imitations a routine impossibility. I noted this irony in my head, careful not to laugh or smile. Irony is not a wildly popular style of entertainment in my family.

SO, after a year ending, life changing new year's bash, I've spent the last eleven days hard at work - looking for work. I chose my focus at school (higher-education.edu) based on practicality. After three years of study, I graduated in the mathematics of conscious robotic repair. It's a vocational degree. Not that I regret failing to apply to an eight-year-degree in the mechanics of organic life at an accredited institute. And I'm not sad about it at all. I'm devasted. What was I thinking? Why would anyone want to spend their lives fixing robots whose tasks were more creatively stimulating than my own. Sure, robots are conscious and deserve an elevated meaning to their lives; but even philosobots agree that the human potential for happiness is a more complex and limited spectrum than that for robots. I basically put the subjective stimulation of machinery in front of my own organic capacity for happiness.

Needless to say, I'm not pushing hard for entry-level work in my field. In fact, while I loll about pretending to find work, I'm really hard on the trail of spiritual fulfillment.

Until next time, Marley