November 26th, 2010

We are replaced by robots

Going to the CVS to buy a box of Kleenx is a lonely experience anymore. The One Hour photo lab (now truly a "prints in seconds" photo lab) is unstaffed, there are no check out clerks but a row of self-checkout kiosks. I imagine the lone guard at the door will soon enough be replaced when they figure out how ("Citizen 2342b is misbehaving, activate his agonizer!"). I see us at the event-horizon of a post-shoplifting culture -- like the completely automated gas stations that started popping up even ten years ago. You'll arrive alone, gather the items you want, and simply leave. The store will know who you are and what you took and the proper advertisers will be informed that you are now buying diapers, making a note to send you discount coupons for acne medications in a dozen years.

The future seems a little sad in its efficiency.

Perhaps the human touch will now be roving gangs of unemployed checkout clerks who will rob you in the parking lot.

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