Chuck Klosterman IV kept my attention throughout my past week of relaxation in Florida. His quippy articles and clever perspective on life kept me adequately entertained while sitting on the beach, laying by the pool, and waiting in the airport. After some flight delays and cancellations, it just so happened that I was sitting in an airport at 6:30 this morning reading Chuck IV. In his second section of the book (the most propelling section by a landslide) he poses questions that may or may not relate to the magazine article that follows them. The question I happened to read at 6:30 this morning in the airport asked me how my views on politics, war, and militancy would change if every world military was composed of robots, and essentially eliminated human death from war. Here was my insomnia-induced line of thought:
If the armies of robots were equally matched, it would be entirely futile and irrelevant. But that would also be unjust because the strength of the army wouldn’t represent the strength of the country. Whoa Whoa Whoa. Since when does the strength of an army represent the strength of its country? Essentially any country in Western Europe proves that my “Whoa Whoa Whoa” was justified. Okay, so the hypothetical isn’t working so well here. Let’s make it practical. What if the War in Afghanistan were being fought by robots. The American military is robots. I can make that mental leap. Done. The…well…Taliban? Al-Quaeda? Extremists as a whole? Yeah, let’s go with that. They are also robots. This one is harder—here’s the crux: When do they become robots? If they have a thought about extremism, commit acts of extremism, or lead an extremist organization, they could be subject to “robotism,” but where is the line drawn? There is no practical place to indicate the robot transformation when there are no parameters for what constitutes the military. Thus, the question is inapplicable to the situation I chose. WAH-WAH.
At about this point I realized how absurd my thoughts were. I glanced around self-consciously, wondering if there were any mind readers in the proximity that were mocking my intelligence, or at least my lack of thought control. Luckily enough there were no Superhumans frequenting the airport this morning. The moral of the story: Don’t read about militancy, robots, or anything written by Mr. Klosterman on 2 hours of sleep.