The Age of Nothing
Two guys sit around the atrium watching the space ships cruise by. They stare off into the distance and watch from the high building. They are both unemployed, cruising through life without a care in the world. They, like many others, have been replaced by the capable machines, robots and androids. In fact, there isn’t a human left in the city who works for a living. Every sector of society has been covered by the machines, except one. Robotics controlled pharmacies administer prescription drugs to humans without making any mistakes. Lawyers and paralegals no longer have to spend hours reviewing documents. Powerful software has replaced their jobs, and can perform flawlessly for a fraction of the cost. Fully automated robotically controlled cars and space cars can drive anywhere without any collisions. The vehicle is controlled by software built into the car. Humans have become obsolete, but they still make up the majority of the population which means they are capable of voting, which the machines are not.
The government is the only sector that hasn’t been taken over by machines. They soon realize that if people are not working then they’ll soon question the need of the government. This realization dawned on the politicians during a group meeting.
The mayor sips his coffee as his android secretary delivers a stack of papers to him.
“Thank you. As you’ll see from the unemployment statistics, which is at 98% for the city,” the mayor says as he addresses his cabinet, “led me to believe that an unproductive human spends too much time at leisure. Sometimes an idle mind wanders and begins to question the very institution in which he or she is a part of.”
“We need to figure out how we can prevent a rebellion. We can’t have the masses rise up and overthrow the government, this will not stand!”
A bookish man speaks up: “We can create jobs that only humans can perform. You might think this is impossible due to the fact that machines have become so advanced that they can perform every action of a human. But they don’t have a personality nor do they have blood. We can implement personality tests and blood drawings as a requirement for the jobs.”
Everyone agreed to this and soon the lazy humans were put to work. Some took up rakes and cleaned parks, after they were deemed human through the required tests. At night, robots spread leaves from a bag throughout the parks so that the humans will have something to clean up in the morning.
Others were put to work digging holes at construction sites (which were later filled by the robots).
From that point forward the humans were content in their pointless jobs. They would not longer question the value of government and would live a happy, productive life. There would not be a rebellion. The government won. Now they just have to keep coming up with more pointless jobs.