World with­out men, ah-women

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS -

THE GRAD­U­ATE was a 1967 movie based on a novel by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after grad­u­at­ing from col­lege. At a party in his honour, Ben, the grad­u­ate, is of­fered valu­able ad­vice from a for­mer pro­fes­sor: “Plas­tics, get into plas­tics. There’s a great fu­ture there!”

Fast-for­ward to a Busi­ness Author­ity ar­ti­cle (April 16, 2018) Deal With The Plas­tic Prob­lem: “In 2014, it was ap­prox­i­mated that 46 000 pieces of plas­tic cover ev­ery square mile of ocean floor . . . at least two-thirds of the world’s fish are suf­fer­ing from plas­tic in­ges­tion!”

Sci­en­tists, like economists, are great at com­ing back later and telling us what went wrong. They’re much less cau­tious when launch­ing their new meth­ods and prod­ucts. We wan­tonly sprayed DDT in the house for mosquitoes. Peni­cillin oint­ment was put on ev­ery cut. Years later a doc­tor gave me peni­cillin tablets for an ear in­fec­tion. I swelled up like a frog and broke out in sores. “If I had given you an in­jec­tion”, he hap­pily told me later, “it would prob­a­bly have killed you”.

As one sci­en­tist ad­mit­ted: “You can’t do all the tests.” Who could’ve known that a drug given at a par­tic­u­lar month in preg­nancy would cause ba­bies to be born with­out arms? Sci­en­tists have drawn up plans to blast a whole new Panama Canal us­ing nu­clear bombs. Ra­dioac­tive fall­out and jobs cut from over 15 000 to less than 1 000? That can be man­aged . . . we hope. Now they tell us Roundup and mosquito coils can cause can­cer.

The risk of neg­a­tive im­pacts in no way de­ters sci­en­tists from thrust­ing us into a new world where peo­ple seem to mat­ter lit­tle. Bank jobs are be­ing lost by the thou­sands to au­to­matic ma­chines. Re­mem­ber that sweet in­ter­ac­tion be­tween you and a sexy teller when she asked: “How would you like it?” And you would look her over with your imag­i­na­tion run­ning wild. “Any way you like,” you would gasp. That’s gone for­ever.

They even think it’s more ef­fi­cient. I re­cently called Flow to re­port that a line had dis­lodged from a pole in high winds and was rest­ing on my garage.

I had to waste con­sid­er­able time lis­ten­ing to a robot voice check­ing my line: “Still check­ing, please hold.” I wanted to scream: “Lis­ten, woman, I know there’s noth­ing wrong with my line. The line that is down is the one left when you in­stalled the fi­bre op­tic ca­ble!” Progress through tech­nol­ogy, they call it.

Re­cently Peter Web­ster in­tro­duced me to the world to­mor­row: no more me­chanic shops. All cars will be elec­tric. If the mo­tor mal­func­tions, you drive up to some­thing like a car-wash. In ten min­utes, two ro­bots will have in­stalled a new mo­tor while you have a cof­fee.

For the record, re­cently, I had a great time in­ter­act­ing with real hu­mans at Ron­ald Al­leyne’s garage while hav­ing a shock ab­sorber bush­ing changed on my pick-up. I had a goat in the back and ev­ery­one as­sumed she was go­ing for ser­vice. “Carry she by Ge­orge Payne,” peo­ple ad­vised. “He got up signs say­ing he ‘ready to serve’!”

While one me­chanic changed the bush­ing, an­other big-guts fel­low went down on all-fours and let go a thun­der­ous (and smelly) poop. “Wunna hear that?” he boasted, “that is gas!” The bush­ing was changed in less than a minute.

Poops pro­mote pro­duc­tiv­ity, ap­par­ently.

Con­tin­u­ing Web­ster: no more gas sta­tions, oil in­dus­try. In­stead UBER taxis, cars that drive them­selves, Airbnb ho­tels, com­put­ers tak­ing over from lawyers, doc­tors. And so on.

Harold Skeete coun­tered with pre­dic­tions for 2059: “Ozone from elec­tric cars killing mil­lions . . . . Cou­ple pe­ti­tions court to re­in­state het­ero­sex­ual mar­riage

. . . . France taken over by Ja­maica . . . . Av­er­age weight of Amer­i­cans drops to 250 pounds . . . . Global cool­ing wreck­ing crops . . . . Supreme Court rules that any pun­ish­ment of crim­i­nals vi­o­lates their hu­man rights . . . Law re­quires li­cences for all nail-clip­pers, screw­drivers, fly-swat­ters and rolled-up news­pa­pers”.

Fear sci­ence, my friends. Em­i­nent Pro­fes­sor Frank Fen­ner of Aus­tralia pre­dicts hu­mans will be ex­tinct

(“the sit­u­a­tion is ir­re­versible”) in an­other 100 years.

Mean­while, the Chi­nese have pro­duced ba­bies from fe­male mice, no males in­volved. “Hope for same-sex cou­ples

(only fe­male ap­par­ently) want­ing to have chil­dren”. They won’t need us no more, fel­lows. World with­out men, ah-women!

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