The trash man is now a robot. Well, more precisely, a robot arm. The big truck pulls up next to my trash can and a long robotic arm reaches out to pick up my can, dump the contents in the truck, and set the can back on the ground. It’s wonderfully efficient for the trash company. The robot arm doesn’t have to be trained. It does exactly what it’s programed to do with no variation. There’s one less worker to pay. The robot arm doesn’t require benifits and it doesn’t have sick days or union membership. Perfect for the trash company, but lousy for me.
I miss the real person. The person who sees if some of the garbage falls on the ground and takes a moment to pick it up and throw it in the truck. The person who makes sure the can is placed back at the end of my driveway, and not in the road. Robots work fine when everything behaves as expected. When all the variables are accounted for and nothing out of the ordinary happens. But that is not real life. Real life has regular occurances of the irregular. Wise humans have learned to expect the unexpected and adjust in the spur of the moment as needed, because we are irregular ourselves.
Real humans are unpredictable, adaptable, and refreshingly unique. They make life interesting, exciting, and full of infinite possibilities. Some do crazy things, some do wonderful things, but they all do suprising things as they constantly make their own choices about life. And the wonders of those inifinite choices are why God gave humans free will. He didn’t want programmed predictiability. He didn’t want robots. He wanted people.