I had a compelling discussion with a data scientist on my team, where we touched upon things like chess notation, text analytics, and how we’re basically inventing things that will replace us one day.
“I’m trying to take the machine side now. So when they take over, maybe they’ll be nice to me.”
I believe that.
I think they’ll come to me and realize I’m not quite like the other humans.
Rigid. Inviolate. Predictable. Rote.
Just like them.
In The Life Autistic, I’ve discovered a thing or two about being a machine.
It’s too late for me now, but I hope discoveries are not too late for you. Or for your kids. Or for whoever you care about who’s living their own life autistic.
People don’t love the machines.
No one starts their car and thinks: “Wow, I love the fact that you started today. And pretty much every day. Almost without fail.”
Same with their iPhones, televisions, blenders, whatever.
Function without fail is not endearing.
It took me years upon years, decade upon decade – realizing just recently:
My unshakeable ability to remember things for people.
To drive things to a finish.
Never forgetting commitments.
Always saying hello in our work chats.
And all else: the little chores, the steadfast deliveries, the items never failed.
They are not endearing traits.
They are machinery.
The emptiness hit me a while back and quite recently.
“Why don’t people appreciate these things, these unfailing traits about me?”
And as I pressed the BREW button on Mr. Coffee, I almost heard him answer back:
“It’s the same reason you don’t love me, Hunter.
I am but a machine.
I do what is expected of machinery.
And there is nothing more.”