FRAZIER: Echoes of human interaction amidst the robot revolution
Published 4:00 am Saturday, November 11, 2023
When trying to furnish my youngest daughter’s apartment while she was still in school, we drove out to the Hotel Furniture Warehouse on Highway 61 South.
Since I had shopped there before and bought a couple of pieces of furniture to repurpose, I knew it would be the perfect place to buy quality furniture at discounted prices for a college apartment. We got lucky and found a couple of nice chairs and a coffee table.
Fortunately for us, the chairs matched the décor well enough that we didn’t have to have them reupholstered, but I did wind up chalk-painting the cute little coffee table.
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Those pieces of furniture served her well, so much so that now that she is married, she and her husband are using the chairs in their home. The coffee table, however, was a bit small with their newly acquired sofa, so I brought it to my house intending to repurpose it for my sunroom.
Remember, I had already chalked painted it, but throughout living in a college apartment, it had acquired a few more paint colors — my daughter enjoys painting — and her dog made a meal of one of the corners. So, I knew I would have to redo what I had already done.
In the process of working on this hotel furniture piece once more, I began to consider the idea of chunking it. I mean, it would certainly be less work to replace it rather than to repurpose it.
While I was contemplating what to do, another thought came to mind — one that you may think is totally unrelated — but since I have a brain that can dive into rabbit holes, this notion to replace the coffee table also got me thinking about the city’s new garbage trucks.
I know it’s crazy, but it’s OK since I live with a therapist.
It occurred to me that with these newfangled trucks with their mechanical grab-and-go arms, people were replaced with machinery.
Perhaps these trucks are saving us a few bucks, but I miss my friendly garbage men who would wave at me, and who would not only dump out the trash in my garbage can, but they would also toss in the overflow that I sometimes had sitting beside it.
I certainly hope these friendly fellows didn’t get the boot and were just “re-purposed.”
We are living in a time when human contact is becoming scarce, and people are being replaced with robots. Texts and emails have become the norm for communication. No more picking up the phone and talking directly to someone.
I personally like hearing someone’s voice on the other end of the line.
Then there is this new artificial intelligence. While there may be some pros to this new technology, I am afraid there will be plenty of cons.
I think we must stay cognizant of the importance of human contact. Even Albert Einstein was worried about technological advances.
He once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
With that being said, I think I will head out for a can of paint. Repurposing that coffee table seems like the smart thing to do.