Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 33


Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

Three weeks from now – Wednesday, April 17th – I’ll be the featured author at the Third Wednesday Open Mic hosted at Fig Raleigh in Raleigh, NC. I’ll be reading at 6:30pm and afterwards there will be a series of open mic readers. I’ll be reading selections from – duh dah dah dah – the Coffee Log! If any of you are in the Raleigh area (or feel like mozeying over this way), I’d love to see you there. We’ll be getting dinner and drinks afterward and I’ll be hanging around all night. Come tell me your stories!

It was another average day. Except the Spring got into the bank occasionally and shook us all up.

I had a dream that I was on an airplane. Maybe because there have been so many planes crashing in the news. But my dream-plane didn’t crash. We were flying over an ocean. They kept bringing me colas. I’d finish a fizzy glass, they’d crack me another can. By the end of the dream I was dizzy with bubbles. Out the window, you could see seafoam frothing up.

But anyway, about the planes crashing: isn’t life just something? A hundred-fifty people board a plane to bravely engage with their lives – leaving or coming home, flying across the world – and thwoop! A haywire AI points the nose smack into the ground. More and more of life is being put in the hands of AI. I’m not one to throw up my arms and run afraid from progress, but I have to admit it’s a little scary.

I heard an NPR report on the Raleigh Wake Med Hospital. Starting soon, all the blood and tissue samples will be transported via drones. They didn’t get into details of how this would work, but I imagine tiny black copters skidding through the halls, sacks of hot human blood hanging off them. It’s supposed to cut down on delay for delicate procedures. The company that they’re contracting already has the system functional at a hospital in Switzerland. So again, progress is a good thing, but damn if these little machines don’t creep me out – especially when they’re carrying my blood.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I guess to say: we’re living in the future. A lot will change in the next few years. Automation is dissolving the great edifices of the 20th century like sugar in coffee. Sometimes sugar tastes good in coffee. A lot of times, though, it’s too much.

Novel Count: 34,291

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced [robots] wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

Stephen Hawking