What Do You Want to Believe?

One of this season’s most profound and thought provoking episodes of the X-Files calls attention to our ever increasing intrigue, dependence and worship of robotics, electronics and human-less encounters. Watch this clip of the episode; but when you can, catch the entire episode on youtube or the Fox channel app.

While this is not a new concept or fear where artificial intelligence is concerned, this episode adds a new slant on the previous “robots get angry and run amuck” scenario by adding the all-too-human aspect of sarcastic bitter aggression.

Let me just say up front that we are good tippers. We tip the minimum expected for mediocre service and definitely more for exceptional service. Still….it is a ‘tip’. I can still remember my sense of horror as one of my son’s former girlfriends described how she chased a guy leaving the restaurant where she worked, demanding to know why he was such a jerk as to not leave her a better tip. Please don’t misunderstand. I get the emotion. This is a really sweet girl also. What I have a problem with is the new idea that it is perfectly okay to act on every emotion a person is having. We seemed to have skipped the phase of allowing oneself to have negative emotions without judgment and gone straight to venting them all and acting on them. This unleashing explains a lot of what is going on in our country, in our world.

Decorum, discernment, dedication, delicacy and diplomacy are all words of the past. Relics, like me. Like any of us non millenials. I have wonderful sons who fall into (barely) that category but are not in any way typical, as many are not. Still, in too many places, in too many situations, I am seeing the ugly truth of this label-and I hate labels. In the sixties, the idea among many of the youth was to try and connect with the ‘older’ generation, to establish a new level of mutual understanding. In the 70’s we started viewing our parents as real people, joining us in many of our fun times. In the 80’s began the decline of respect for any authoritative roles, breaking down the myth that parents and adults were above reproach and always right. Funny stuff. Ferris Bueller, Weird Science, Bill and Ted, all the John Hughs films. I loved them all for the honesty and laughs. What isn’t so funny is how adults have now  become mere caricatures of their roles in families and have remained so for film and commercial purposes. They are too often portrayed as evil killers, stupid jokes or simply missing in most family situational films.

Oh there is the Family Channel where sugar runs to diabetic level, but that is not what we need either. Add to this lethal concoction the fact that most young parents want above anything else to be best buddies with their kids and…well…you have no parenting at all. Gadgets, film, games, entertainment, video, social media and friends are what are raising many of our newest generation. That leaves Mommy and Daddy free to play as well.

So, who wouldn’t be enthralled by robotic everything? For greedy non-tippers it will be great! No tip for the robotic server. No lip. No argument over the specials….no smile. no  special orders. no banter. no connection. no jobs for the college student, the inexperienced fresh out of high school kid, the art or film student, the starving actor, the writer-come-ophthalmic tech who dreams of being a bartender at night. 😞

So, for Linda Hill’s prompt

Today her prompt was passive/aggressive, which put me into a more serious frame of mind which actually began last night. When you have to go to four different restaurants to get the hosts to even LOOK at you and still not offer service before you end up in a bar where you feel most comfortable, it does something to a person’s TGIF morale.

And, speaking of bars, check out my night job over at Dan’s Place. I love it! Those guys keep me on my toes and laughing all the way home with my tips. That is, until the new generation robifies us all….

Be kind to everyone you meet, for we are all fighting some kind of battle. Love and hugs to everyone on this weekend!

Spring is trying…in all kinds of places. 😊

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45 thoughts on “What Do You Want to Believe?

  1. Even though I am an introvert, I enjoy being able to have pleasant short chats with people who I encounter throughout my day. Just being human, together– that’s how I think of those interactions. But now I am forced to interact with machines that are often times efficient, but leave me feeling sad. Especially when I check into the doctor’s office where I check-in on a screen, see all my “numbers” compiled on a screen– and rarely talk with a human being. So odd.

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  2. I’m not sure where to start except maybe to say when your kids are in junior high you are quite the embarrassment, but it all gets better from there. That is, until you reach 65 and then it starts all over again, and it’s not just your adult kids but all the folks you deal with in restaurants, stores, etc. Gray hair and wrinkles mean you can’t possibly have a brain left to conduct an intelligent conversation. Then add their technology preferences – no phone calls, no snail mail, no email, just text or message. I love technology, but I love people more. But, I’m a dinosaur and still ask for a paper receipt too. Hope they’re not holding their breath until we all croak because we just might take our sweet time letting them trade us in for robots. 🙂

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    1. Hey that’s my plan too. And woe to the smartie pants that ever says something like that in front of one of my sons. PS they all love board games, old Nintendo and regularold toys too. AND they can name all the Beatles. That was a basic requirement to continue to get meals and clean clothes…😉

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      1. I agree, I thought the end was a little too “oh well, that happened, but it’s been 5 seconds so I’ve moved on!” 😊 But overall, I’m glad it’s back. A few of the episodes reminded me of the quality they achieved in the first season, when the show was low budget but the writing was good.

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      2. I agree. I’ll miss Gillian if it returns but the show has always had some great writing and original ideas. I watched Grimm too and was sorry to see it end. It was a bit more bubble gum-mie than the Files but had similar plot lines.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Lots of food for thought.
    I’m not sure that expressing every feeling is a new trend, or if it’s just immaturity and so we see it more with the younger people. I do know some stoic millennials. They’re also the ones who aren’t online much. Coincidence? I think not!
    I think everyone who’s ever called a service line understands why sometimes we need people, actual humans, on the other end. There’s the part they do well, like give you a balance summary, or a mailing address, but the robots are not problem-solvers when it comes to rescheduling appointments or changing services. I don’t like businesses who make it hard to get to a person, because they’ve decided their customers don’t know how to make decisions about their own needs.
    A robot bartender, as in the video, may be great at serving drinks, but obviously doesn’t have bartender wisdom. We expect our bartenders to have keen insight, and at the very least, to commiserate unsolvable problems appropriately for their tips.
    Great post.

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    1. Thanks s much for your comment and insights, Joey. I’m sorry it took awhile to respond to you. WP has been very arbitrary in notifying me of new comments and I rarely get to the admin page. You are right about human influence and problem solving. In this film, it is the robot who eventually cause the human tragedy to implode. Just enough AI to be a problem. Banks are the worst these days. Even as a technician who works with pharmacies, I refuse to leave a message for a patient’s medicines. I want to lay the responsibility with a real person.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that’s a good call. I wouldn’t want a message from the pharmacy to be any more than “Ready for pick-up.” For everything else at the pharmacy, I want a person.

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  4. I guess I think there will be older folks who keep the people in their restaurants. I hope that machines will be monitored and carefully built to have some ability to adapt! Thank you, Cheryl. Great post.
    P.S. Having been a server for over twenty years of adding to my income, I always tip! I left a $1 in the coffee shop and $1 at Subway. I also tell people waitstaff have to clean the kitchen, sweep floors, wash tables (windows) on $3.25/hr and roll silverware!! 🌟

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  5. Reblogged this on No Facilities and commented:
    I know many of you already follow Cheryl, and I’ve seen some of your comments on her latest post. I missed it (thanks WordPress for the lack of email) so I want to make sure you don’t. Yes, this is the first time I’ve ever reblogged two posts in the same day (but they’re on the same subject, so…)

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      1. You’re so welcome, Cheryl. I should have looked for this. I didn’t even see a ping back, which is odd. Maybe is there but no email notification. I’ve been living off my phone, so I depend on email.

        This is such an important issue. I’m kind of glad you and Pam both tackled this issue.

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  6. Thank you for addressing this subject in a more serious vein, Cheryl. I have made my living supporting and extending technology, and while I am still employed in that industry, I odn’t like all the directions in which it’s heading. My fear is that the technology will continue to advance, expand and exploit us, while lawmakers struggle to keep pace with what was happening 4-5 years ago (watch the upcoming Facebook hearings for more on that).

    They (the thought-leaders in our industry) say that as jobs are eliminated, new jobs will take their place. They argue that this has always happened in the face of new technology. But, they fail to mention how much faster the pace of change is today than it was during the Industrial Revolution, or any period of automation that preceded this one.

    I don’t think we are doomed, but I think we are in for some very rocky times. Thanks, too for the link, and thanks for being the best bartender 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s my pleasure to serve you ‘degenerates’. 😉Lol. All the ‘powers that be’ know how to do is cajole, pat people on the hand and spread an attitude of complacency. I am more afraid for the future than ever before. Thanks Dan

      Liked by 2 people

      1. no one wants to upset their delicate sensibilities. It is too hard to think about dealing with anything. I think life has been too cushy for too long for so many. The very thought of trouble makes them so uneasy they just look the other way or accept whatever is handed out to them. Makes me so angry and sad and frustrated.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve seen this episode and thought it was super creepy. I agree with everything you said. As a society we are losing the ability to interact effectively with one another. Automation is invading everything we do from self-checkouts, to small tasks we no longer know how to handle manually.
    Have you ever watched someone trying to manually calculate the change owing to a customer when the cash register isn’t working? Yesterday I was witness to a server trying to figure out how to process a credit card transaction manually. These are skills that are getting lost – just like the basics of please, thank you, looking you in eye, and smiling.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Cheryl. Intriguing ideas. Speaking of trusting electronics so far this morning there is reason not to trust. I click on the like button. It shows ‘liked’ that is until I return to the page and it is like I was never there. Now will this comment take ?

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  9. Love and hugs to you Cheryl! I love that brave little spring sprout. Gives me hope that winter is on its last gasp.

    I think in many ways we are becoming a society that is losing touch with our humanness. Too many of our younger generation can’t do math except on a calculator. They can’t write other than to print. If it can’t be done with an electronic device, it isn’t done. Having said that, too many of us older folks are just as bad. No personal communication/connection…….it’s all done via a device……like the iPad I’m using right now!

    I’m not against technology, but we might all be better off if we used it in moderation. The Internet has opened up a whole new world for us that’s truly amazing. But it shouldn’t consume us and rule our lives. I despise robotic phone calls. Also, when I make a call that is answered by an automated system. 😡😡😡

    I admit, I am a dinosaur. I do not bank or shop online. I do not make/cancel appointments online. I don’t understand what most of the Internet is about. I can text/email. I can take/receive photos and save them in the photo gallery. I learned how to follow some wonderful bloggers like you, but I am not a blogger myself. I love being able to Google any piece of information I need and not have to trek to the library with pad and pen in hand. BUT, I gladly go to the library for my reading material.

    I guess I am a creature of habit….I need and enjoy HUMAN contact.

    That said, I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit this same technology has afforded this 78 year old fogie the priceless ability to ‘meet’ and communicate with wonderful people such as you and Dan and Judy, just to name a few. This is a community of friendship unto itself.

    Everything in moderation!! My grandmother used to tell me that all the time. ‘Course, that’s when she had a rotary phone! Lol.
    🔹Ginger🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree and concur with all you stated here, Ginger. I work with, and talk to, many people every day. I have beautiful children who love to have meaningful talks. But the commonality of creative thinking is very minimal in my day to day life because of work and busy-ness, so I was so excited to be able to meet so many creative, thinking, talented people online. I still spend hours and hours making things and taking photos. I guess it really hit home with me a few years back when we were checking put at Macy’s. We opted for a paper receipt (how naive for millions of people to believe in an eternal invisible system that eill never break down or go offline) and the very pretty twenty something sales associate said very matter-of-factly that everyone her age was just waiting for all of us older people to ‘die off’ so they could go completely wireless with everything. 😳😖🙈😔

      Liked by 1 person

Speak to me. I’m interested. 😊

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