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Human Eror
Like most people, I like robots. And why not? Before they became real, functioning, nuts-and-bolts things, they did enjoy a pretty positive image as imaginary characters. Take Robby the Robot. His 1957 portrayal of a good-guy robot in Forbidden Planet set the tone for multiple generations of fictional robots. Their unshakable mission was always to faithfully serve and protect their human charges.

Robby went on to build an impressive Hollywood career, essentially playing the same role over and over. Mechanical, certainly, but not cold and uncaring. R2D2, C3PO, and a host of other lovable contraptions are carrying on this honorable tradition.

So robots are nice. Sweet, even. That’s why the recent story out of the VW plant in Baunatal, Germany brought me up short. It was there, about the same time as the release of the movie Terminator Genisys, that an incident was reported of a robot killing a human. Witnesses said that a worker had been “grabbed and crushed” by the machine. A full report has yet to be released, but if it includes pictures, I think I’ll pass. They have listed the cause of the mishap, it should be noted, as “human error.”

This story has forced me re-examine my affection for robots. Have I been naïve? Have I been seduced by their dorky cuteness and led astray? Have I been blind to their sinister, soulless machinations?

I say no. Oh, there have certainly been some bad robots, but I don’t think any of them pretended to be nice. The Terminator, Colussus, Ultron, and their ilk are all so transparently evil that there’s simply no way they could pull the steel wool over anyone’s eyes.

So, no. I trust my own ability to spot a phony robot when I see one, so I feel safe keeping a warm place in my heart for all those good robots out there. I will not forsake them just because one robot did the unthinkable. Investigators didn’t say what the “human error” was in the case of the car-making robot. I’ll bet, however, that it wasn’t blindly trusting robots not to kill you. More likely, the error was blindly trusting some other human not to kill you accidentally using a robot.

Yes, I still like robots. Until it is proven otherwise, I will assume they are all good guy robots like Robby. I will, however, continue to keep a wary eye out for the treachery of my fellow humans. It would be human error not to.
Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon