Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Surviving the Apocalypse Lesson #435: Robots

We all know it's coming. With idiots everyday trying to teach computers how to properly play Jeopardy, how to drive our cars for us, and to correct our improper English (don't think I haven't forgotten your devilish ways spell checker!) it's only a matter of time before we are all facing the dreaded Robocalypse. When that day comes, you don't want to be stuck with the other victims praying for rain to come and rust the metal menace.

Naturally, I have some tips to help you survive the inevitable onslaught. 

#1: Know Thy Enemy:

It may sound cliche but it's true. Even more so when dealing with robots. I'm afraid TV and movies have mislead us into thinking of robots in certain regards. Terminator would have you believe they'll look just like us and be able to destroy us from the inside. The Matrix suggests octopus looking creatures that will troll our underground tunnels. Lost in Space... well, it might look like that, but it certainly won't protect you, Will Robinson and co.

In truth you're less likely to face:

And more likely to battle:

Mind you, don't be fooled by it's love of playing the violin. Nero played his while Rome burned and it looks capable of doing the same. But as you can see, those stubby fingers and stiff movements of the robots are from demonstrating the fluidity shown in most movies. And the idea of them mass producing themselves is silly. They just don't have the dexterity. Because in truth, the machines won't just be able to take any old factory and whip it up into a robot kingdom. No, the danger won't come from such stand alone guards but from a much more serious threat.

#2: Transportation:

Thanks Google for making a car that can drive itself without any human intervention. That's what we really needed. As if driving to the mailbox wasn't lazy enough as it is. Herein lies one of the true dangers of the Robocalypse. Unmanned vehicles and drone planes have the capability of causing more death and destruction than an army of Toyota's finest violin and trumpet playing goons. Heck, the GPS in your car is like a pistol in the hands of a sentient machine. Wouldn't take much for Onstar to start locking people into cars after they direct them towards a cliff.

Tempting as it is to go as low tech as say, a horse, it just doesn't have the speed or overhead cover to properly protect. In truth your best bet is an older model vehicle with none of the gadgets of today. Whatever you do don't choose the following for a mode of transportation:

KITT may seem like a trusted ally but believe me, he's a mean drunk with power. 

#3: Big Brother:

I know you love your cell phone, but if the government can track you with it, even if it's turned off, what do you think a machine could do? Get used to walkie talkies and short wave for awhile. And thanks to all the cameras going up around the country the computers will be able to spot us easier. 

The good news is that despite what some stories would have you believe, the robots are not gung-ho to nuke the planet. For starters, they'd risk destroying themselves. They'd also risk damaging the planet to an extent where they themselves would run out of resources. They may not need food, but they still require energy to run and once again, contrary to popular belief, this is not an option:

The truth is that the robots do need us for many things and sooner or later that would lead to the ultimate danger.


Robots are smart because we programmed them to be, which means that they will think like us. They'll see pretty quickly that at least for the moment they need us and will offer a truce. Fiction has led us to believe otherwise, but it's the truth of the matter. There'll be an initial show of force just to let us know that they aren't to be trifled with but that's all it'll be. This is where the real danger will be, cause once the truce is in place they'll try and propose alternative technologies to advance us all. Suggestions of using empty human shells to download their consciousness will come up almost immediately. And should it be allowed they would invariably do what we would do if we were in their shoes; stab us in the back.

Still that's for our children to worry about. Just remember to follow these tips, stay smart, don't trust the robots and you'll live to see a technological utopia. 

And I'll see you on the other side of the apocalypse. 


  1. Now that is scary! And to think that all this time I was worried about a Zombie related Apocalypse

  2. So I should watch out for a violin, octo-machine that hates kids? That's truly one to grow on.

  3. No kids! So I don't care if the next generation is screwed.

  4. I love your apocalypse posts. And this one was particularly good because it gave me an idea. If robots won't look like us, and therefore kill us from within, then in this silly scenario, we could build robots that look exactly like them, and take THEM down from the inside. Ha! Good precautions TS. When it all comes down, I'll hang out with you.

  5. Asimov was a sweet kid but he was dangerously naieve about these toasters.

    I remember an old SNL film about 'Old Liberty Insurance' that sold insurance to old people that protected them against the dangers of robot attack. The reasons old people needed to fear them are hilarious and the spokeman (Sam Waterson - from Law and Order) brought the right kind of gravitas to the pitch.


  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WeT2wwVwSY

    Not sure if you've seen this but you might find it funny.

  7. Wait a minute...if the world is being run by "C" students, and these brats are programming these bots....

  8. I am wondering if you are a robot, TS and you are just trying to distract us all with this kind of talk. Is World Domination your goal?

  9. Well, if we are their creators...then our self destructive tendencies should rub on them too...divide and rule would be a good way to negate their progress...
    Indian robots can be subdued with music and promise of greener pastures...or a God-man robot should keep them on the right...we should have no problem out here... ;)

  10. Wow you have given me a wake-up call...this is what I should have posted on my site, being about the apocalypse and all. Anyways, well done and you make many genuine points of logic. I feel somewhat more at ease now.

  11. It is almost midnight here and I was just about to go to bed. But then I had to go and read this post. Now I think I'm am going to be having nightmares about fiddle-playing Storm-Trooper knock-offs. So thanks for that. Can you do a post about clowns tomorrow night? Or perhaps snakes on a plane? Or how about robot clowns controlling drones that drop snakes from the sky? G'night then. - G

  12. I threw out my cell phone and am reverting to Morse code...

    -- --- .-. ... . .--. --- -.-. .- .-.. .--. -.-- ... . / .. ... / . ...- . -. / -.. . .- -.. .-.. .. . .-. / - .... .- -. / - .... . / .-. --- -... --- -.-. .- .-.. .--. -.-- ... . / .... .- .... .- .... .-

  13. That doesn't scare me, the zombie-robotaclypse scares me. I don't understand how robots could become zombies either but it is inevitable.

  14. OR, what would be even worse, is alien zombie robots.


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