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Machines and human love

After dropping my wife off at work, since she had her car in the shop overnight, I enjoyed the beauty of Clark County’s mountains as the snow is near the valley floor.

On the way home, I remembered to go grocery shopping. I stopped at a grocery store on Horizon Ridge. After a few minutes of picking up what I needed, I started looking for a human checkout clerk.

Honestly, things go better with other human beings, don’t they? Electronic checkouts don’t work as well for me. All an electronic checkout can do for me is make sure that I follow the rules of the machine in order for me to process my payment and exit the store. There is no other alternative if I want my groceries, is there?

While processing my groceries, the artificial intelligence (AI) machine posted a sign in the middle of the screen telling me that there was an item that I placed in my bag that wasn’t paid for or something like that. I decided to start talking to the machine. I elevated my voice while changing the tone of my voice to explain to it that it was out of its mind. You see, I don’t like having to work with machines. I always prefer people.

When I look at a human being, I am seeing myself, aren’t I? I have no problems showing love for myself while negotiating with a human being. I have no interest in the machine telling me how to live my life. How about you? Isn’t that what we’re doing with our cell phones when simultaneously eating dinner with friends and answering a phone call or text?

I was raised in the context of my parents’ greatest generation. They showed love and concern for me nearly continuously by talking to me. Those conversations were almost always in person, weren’t they?

The gentleman next to me seemed concerned with me talking to the machine during checkout. As I was leaving, I turned to him and asked him if he was okay. He proceeded to tell me that he tried to “fit in” when working in the context of a machine checkout. Don’t you get tired of having a machine answer your phone while directing you to a website or some numbered option only to find that they are always experiencing “higher than expected call volumes?” I realize that while I object to fitting into a society that relies more and more on us connecting to machines, I am not looking to fit into a world where human beings more and more are being asked to speak to each other through machines or being replaced by machines.

I always assume that human beings are better than machines at working with other human beings to decide what is the outcome of any situation. Human beings are consciousness communicating with love. No machine has love, does it? Doesn’t that resonate with you? It certainly does with me. Starting in the 1980s, America moved toward the idea that corporations are more important than customers. Prior to that, corporations served customers. Now corporations singularly work for profit. It was subtle but obvious to me.

The 2010 Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) Citizens United decision further enhanced political influence to wealthy donors and corporations, didn’t it? In the Citizen’s United decision, SCOTUS decided that corporations were like individuals. America continues to attempt to create a more profitable corporate America by eliminating the most expensive part of any business process. Regarding land, labor and capital, human beings are generally most expensive, aren’t they? Due to the desire to increase profits, inevitably AI will be designed to replace most human beings, won’t it? More and more, humankind will encounter less love, won’t it? As America sees our children’s depression and suicide rates increasing, when we have more mass homicides occurring, aren’t we also experiencing a loss of love in our society? Numerous things are wrong with this picture, aren’t they?

Primarily, human beings not talking to each other in-person is the reason for the anger and polarization of America’s society. Most meaning arising from communication happens only with bodily presence. There is an aspect of consciousness that creates more of a consistent understanding attendant to society when we talk to each other in person with authentic communication. Authentic communication utilizes all aspects of communication while one person is in the presence of others. The most important aspect of any communication is the love carried from one to another person that we are attending to. Live your life with love by talking authentically, in person. America needs your love.

Eric L Lundgaard

President, Aquarian Theosophy Foundation, former mayor and council member (1985 to 1997)

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