Our Children's Dark Age

"When are you having a third kid?" 

These jokes are getting so stale, it's hard to even muster a smile or a mock agony expression on my face. The wife may giggle at these but I am not falling for it anymore. I actually believe that humans producing at this rate is fast tracking the end of humanity. So why do I still have children? Well, I believe that littering is wrong but when I find I'm alone .... Don't get me wrong. I love my kids. In fact, I think they are one of the best things that happened to me. Even for someone who never liked children in the past, I can't help but to yield to the affections of these joyful, cheerful and delightful little things. 

My gripe is my disability to come to terms with the dystopia future that my children has to suffer in. 2007. That was the first time I looked into my gazing orb, the future of Singapore scared me so much that I pissed in my pants and therefore was known as the pissed pants poor peasant. To keep things simple, I introduce myself as the piss poor peasant of Perth these days. I came to Perth to delay the inevitable, to buy myself some time and see if I can avoid my fate. Well, I could have died to cancer if I didn't leave .... or become so financially crippled that I could not even call myself a peasant. For now, I have dodged cancer and am wary of any boomerang hits from behind. However, I have yet to solve the financial conundrum. I cannot protect my children's future.

We are in a very special situation in history. I don't suppose any parent today can tell their kids, "Study hard, work hard and you will be ok in life," and honestly believe it deep inside. What is left is hope or faith and very little else. As I take another gaze in my cracked orb 10 years on, the images only look darker. The machines invasion over the last 10 years serves as all the validation that I need. The trend is irreversible but very few believes so. Most people around me hold steadfast in their beliefs that humanity is the fortress that machine will never conquer. They believe that machines will never match the intelligence of a human and will always be a pale comparison devoid of compassion, creativity and analytical judgement.

The problem is, machines do not need to be humane to take your job! When I was working as a weld grinder during my first year in Perth, the gigantic section of weld was actually not welded by any of the welder masters of the company. It was done by the 6m long welding machine, by far the best welder among us. It was able to weld in such precision and speed that no first class welder has a nick of a chance to compete with. Over the last decade, we see the first batch of driver-less trains. In the next, we'll see driver-less buses. Ask yourself this question, does your job requires extemporary creativity on day to day basic? Why do you think you are irreplaceable by a machine? Book keepers have been replaced by accounting software, parking wardens in Singapore will be soon replaced by GPS ERP. Convenient stores all over the world are already operating unmanned. Jobs have been rendered obsolete overnight with the introduction of new technologies every day.

I have absolutely no doubt that machines will overtake humanity. One has to wonder why the average civil servant in a government agency in Singapore who talk and act no differently from a machine think otherwise. If machines are preferred over one of the notoriously cheap labour of Mac Donald's, imagine how easy it is to replace the high earners. The day where it isn't logical to pay a human being anything more than the fraction of cost it takes for a replacement machine to do the job will come sooner than expected.

With some luck, my children may still make it through life - if I act fast enough.

1 comment:

  1. The changing environment has always been there.. Our parents lived through the war.. and they wondered whether it is safe to bring up children. Their parents had to leave country to find job, probably because of the industrial revolution.

    Mr Trump is trying to bring manufacturers back into America, but those plants are not staffed by humans but mainly robots..

    Your children will grow up in a different world from ours, and they will adapt and find their way...