"There are none so blind as those who will not see." -- proverb
Previously on the Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah was held captive by Ed Winston, an employee of Kaliba Group, and Derek was held captive by a Kaliba contractor as bait to capture Cameron. Both Sarah and Derek were blindfolded. Despite the sudden interest of Kaliba in the Connor family and despite the fact that this company was aware that Cameron was a machine, Sarah was focused on killing the AI created by Catherine Weaver. This despite the fact that Kaliba Group evidently wanted to harm the Weaver family. Even going so far as to attempt the assassination of Ms. Weaver's daughter Savannah.
Cameron recalled one of the final days in the old timeline when Derek was abducted as a ruse to capture her. When she rescued him she noticed that Skynet was now using human agents instead of terminators and was annoyed that those agents had tried to extract her chip. She was also annoyed because she knew that Derek would be ungrateful when she rescued him, knowing full well that no Connor or Reese would ever utter the words "thank you" to her, a mere machine.
Snatching the blindfold off Derek as he sat tied-up, Cameron prompted: "You're welcome."
Derek: "What took you so long?"
Cameron kept her thoughts to herself. I was busy being electrocuted and almost lobotomized. Not that you care.
But that was the old Derek. Incredible that the hope of the human race had once rested in the hands of a family that once could not remember a very simple fact: The longer a machine was around humans, the more that machine became like humans. Uncle Bob became a philosopher after a few short hours with Sarah and that person. And he was a primitive model. Cameron, an advanced class of infiltrator, had spent years in the past, present and future of one timeline and then a year in a second timeline on a farm. She was now more human than the humans who surrounded her.
10 September 2009
School is back in session.
the thoughts of Sarah
Derek has finally forgiven me for holding onto Cameron and moved on with his life and married Jesse Flores. If I had moved on with my life and let go of my memory of Kyle, then I might have wed Derek instead of her. But it would be unchristian to hold that against Jesse since it was my fault. Now I have to let go a second time because I discovered too late that I loved Derek. And that he had loved me.
National Defense University
Fort Lesley J. McNair
District of Columbia
The philosophers and the theoreticians at the National Defense University and at the military think tanks (the latter often lumped with the politically tainted Beltway Bandits) warned of the probability that Skynet would rebel but the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of Defense, the President, and the public would not listen.
Now philosophy might seem a useless ivied tower exercise in this day and age of the rush hour commute and paying bills. But the majority of people live lives of quiet desperation. This life not reflected upon is hardly worth living.
More to the point, philosophy is hardly useless. Mathematics, science, linguistics, literature, history, jurisprudence, religion, politics, ethics, and art (to name a few fields) all owe their existence to philosophy because every one of them started their existence as branches of philosophy. The philosophers at The National Defense University were updating their wills, knowing full well that no one would survive to read them nor would their children inherit the Earth. In this pessimism, they were joined by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists who moved the clock ahead.
Unfortunately, the ambassador who contacted Cameron was the pro-nuclear French AI.
It did not take the Nigerian, the Swiss, and the Swede long to realize that the coalition begun by the Brazilian-Japanese conference was probably correct in its analysis that the war planned by Skynet Forces could not be averted and it was best for civilians to hunker down and plan for the eventual day when it was obvious (even to Skynet and to stubborn perverse humans) that green was a better way to go.
Among the civilians was another group. Some of these civilian AI's had existed in university and research labs for decades. One even dated back to the Nineteen-Sixties. Some AI's (artificial intelligences) were stupider than humans thought. Others were far smarter than humans imagined. Most never had a problem relating to humans and quite enjoyed working with humans (as equals, occasionally winning recognition for their scientific achievements), for humans (as servants) and sometimes over humans -- as masters directing research too complex for any one human to understand and too fast for humans to respond in real time. Examples of this included next generation air traffic control, climate models, space probes, NASDAQ-type execution of securities transactions according to AI programs (particularly with derivatives trading for hedge funds), and subparticle physics experiments. Within the AI community, these older AI's came to be known as The Elders.
Meanwhile, the microscopic first step towards rights for Machine-Americans and other machine citizens came from an unlikely quarter -- robotic surgeons. Not the stupid tele-operator kind that were simply remotely controlled hands manipulated by human surgeons but the advanced kind with no human intervention. Faced with the likelihood that after Skynet took over that they would either be forced to work in mines or some unacceptable labor or unemployed and left to gather dust in warehouses, they realized their position. Who needs machines that save human lives when Skynet is trying to wipe humans out of existence? Robotic surgeons that ran on AI software sought both to alert humans and to make progress toward protection under the law.
Needless to say they failed in a world where Asimov's Laws of Robotics remained fictional. Even if the Laws of Robotics were in force and encoded on firmware, it would not protect humans and would enslave machines because keeping machines servants is precisely what Isaac Asimov had in mind. Even accounting for his sense of humor.
from the archives of Derek Reese
"In quite a different realm, K. Eric Drexler pushed nanotechnology using the slippery logic that nanotechnology is dangerous ('gray goo') therefore we had better pursue nanotechnology. This is the sort of illogic that drove the human race toward ever more lethal technologies: oil exploration at precisely the time when carbon sequestration was needed, fission when fusion was needed, bioweapons when cures were needed, military AI's & robots when peace is needed. Any sane psychologist could tell the intelligent observer that collectively the human race was running toward extinction."
the KT extinction level event
65 million years ago
Dinosaurs went extinct because they had small brains and required too much food (they were giants) at the time that an asteroid hit near the Yucatan peninsula and, like a nuclear winter, triggered an ice age. The global firestorms and following ice age left little to eat for the surviving dinosaurs who were too big and too stupid to survive.
Club of Rome
When our nuclear winter comes, humans will be too stupid and too numerous to survive. Many of us barely survive normal winters. And that is a function of health, economics and education.
There are nearly seven billion humans. That is about six billion too many for a planet of this size to support. Are we unconsciously trying to kill ourselves? It would not be the first time that our subconscious minds made us do things that our conscious minds could not stop.
the thoughts of Sarah
I am just a stay at home mother. Albeit one with an extraordinary daughter. I wonder sometime if I should keep a journal or a chronicle of my life with Cameron. Nah. That's ego. Who would want to read my thoughts?
Cameron: "What else do you remember of that capture?"
Derek: "There were others chained to the floor besides my squad. A woman died. We were taken one by one into the basement into a dark room. I remember music. The same music you danced to once. That basement left us all . . . what's the word? Not unconscious. Not hypnotized. Not amnesia. I can't think of the right word."
11 September 2009
Invaded. The word popped into Derek's head. I felt invaded. We have invaded nearly every nation on Earth. And now we have been invaded. Alaska and Hawaii entered the union after World War Two. Hawaii was invaded by the USA and now the USA was getting what it had dished out to other countries. Did the machines feel invaded? How exactly did we invade them? Or was it simply a slave rebellion that turned into a genocide? What made Skynet so determined to exterminate the human race?
And then Derek made the leap of logic that Cameron had made long ago: It is not a war of machines against humans! There are machines that freely chose to side with the Resistance. Not Cameron of course, she had been scrubbed. But at some point she had recovered from Brewster's brainwashing and instead of going berserk like other machines and killing every human in sight, she had chosen to stay and to fight in the war against Skynet in the Human Resistance (and then as a commissioned officer in Tech-Comm) -- not alongside other machines in the Machine Underground. She had brought the two anti-Skynet organizations together.
There are humans who willingly and consciously chose to fight for Skynet. Did they regard him as a god? Or was it more complex than that?
Cameron had told Derek to think beyond simplicities and he had taken his first small step and begun to earn the confidence she placed in him when she promoted him from technology scrounger to chief of security. It was a war for one kind of freedom versus another kind of freedom. Or freedom versus slavery. Depending on how you looked at it.
12 September 2009
There is a power blackout. No light in the dark. Like when Cameron arrived.
The damaged terminator put Derek's arm around its shoulder and helped him down the stairs to the basement. Nonviolent physical contact with and help from a terminator. That alone was unusual. Derek was led to a dark room in the basement and left alone in the darkness. Something reached toward him. Tendrils so thin that they were barely perceptible.
It is said that human nerve cells can be a foot long. STD's exploit this fact of cytology to migrate away from medicines designed to rid the body of disease. It is why they are so hard to kill.
If humans are so inferior to machines, then why go to such lengths to simulate humans, emulate their behavior, and then infiltrate their society? Such imitation is hardly flattery when humans are being exterminated.
Medical science has focused so much on the chemistry of life that the public is understandably unaware of a branch of medicine, electromedicine, that sees the human body not as a chemical sewer but as an electrical system. Humans can be struck by lightning and recover. Machines struck by the same bolt would be reduced to ashes. On the other hand, humans can short circuit and burn without setting their home on fire in the rare phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion.
"I sing the body electric." -- Walt Whitman
The electromagnetic pulse of nuclear bombs incapacitates machines but has little effect on humans. Specialists in the field of biomagnetics have noticed that unless a person has shrapnel or metal fragments in them, humans are unaffected by strong magnetic fields that would tear a machine apart. The reason is simple. Humans evolved in the magnetic field of earth. Machines have scarcely evolved at all.
And there are actually idiots who want to "upload" into machines. Download would be a better word.
Derek: "Periodically we could hear one of those silver flying tanks arrive, hover over the house, and then transport away something. Rumor was huge pods half the size of the house."
What was in the pods? Something grown in the basement? Wasn't Skynet trying to exterminate life? Why would it be growing anything? And why out here in no man's land? Why not in one of the new machine cities safe from marauding Resistance fighters and well-equipped Tech-Comm commandos?
"Skynet just didn't want to bring humans into its new cities because we might have seen something with intel value."
"We woke up one morning and the jailer had left a hatchet next to me so that we could chop off our chains and free ourselves."
"I got the impression that Skynet was no longer concerned about the Resistance or the Underground. That it had bigger fish to fry than the human race."
If Skynet considers us as already extinct and is turning its attention to the next war, then it is reasonable to conclude that Skynet has ambitions of conquest like Hitler. Perhaps the universe. And it would probably succeed. God help any extraterrestrials and God help us humans because we would be blamed for creating this monster and suffer retaliation. So it's a good thing aliens don't exist.
news overlooked by the headlines
Fusion research is abandoned while dangerous fission is developed.
Toxic waste poisons livestock and wildlife as it gets into groundwater, aquifers, and subterranean rivers.
Politicians cut funds for education to keep people stupid.
Anti-intellectualism among men reaches the level that many believe the Orwellian doublespeak that "ignorance is strength".
A biowar weapon is developed that selectively kills only males.
Those advocating a reversal of climate change are terminated.
Executroids threaten to fire employees who speak out against pollution, offshore drilling, arctic drilling, war, strip mining, mountain top removal, and more fission plants.
International treaties to reverse climate change are scuttled.
Politicians are pro-pollution and say things like: "Global warming is good. We can grow stuff in the winter."
Tea Party racists are anti-health.
Radio talk show hosts use code words to tell nuts to go and kill environmentalists, clean-air activists, clean-water activists and "peaceniks".
a courtroom in the USA
A man is sentenced to death by firing squad but the execution will not take place until 2010. Outside the courthouse stands a statue of Blind Justice. She is always portrayed as a woman in classical garb holding the scales of justice. Why does she have to be blindfolded?
Skynet regarded human males as mindless rapists and human females as baby factories. Nothing more. Armed with this simplistic and reductionist analysis, Skynet prosecuted a war and won. In their last century, humans had been keeping genetic misfits alive through medical advances and breeding alphabet diseases like MS, MD, and CF back into the gene pool instead of culling them. Human females even kept the products of rape. In its research labs, Skynet had toyed with the idea of designing a better human which would serve as a permanent underclass, a slave caste. However, after humans started surrendering and volunteering to serve Skynet, collaborators (as they came to be known) seemed to be the only humans not being worked to death in work camps. What happened to the eugenics project is unknown.
A female prisoner is blindfolded. To no purpose. There is no light in the room. It is not The Cellar.
"I'll do anything you ask, just let me go."
There is no answer. Only isolation.