Danger, Will Robinson!

Still observing National Poetry Month 2024, we’re winding down the final days of April with a cursory look at things in the news. Let’s see there:  campus unrest, airline delays and mishaps, political trials, wars in distant places ….

On second thought, maybe there are better ways to celebrate April than the same old, same old? Contemplating some of the headlines might just provide motivation for crawling back into bed like a hibernating bear. Is there Good News somewhere – anywhere?

Of course there is! Conduct a search using only the phrase good news, and AI ever the helpful partner assures me “there are several pieces of good news to share.” The dutiful AI then lists several items which it hopes will “bring a smile” to my face and assist me in focusing on “the positive aspects of life.”

Frequently, I ask myself how I managed to live my life before Artificial Intelligence became an ever-present part of my life. Is this a good thing? Or maybe not so good?

In the final years of my mom’s life, my sister got her an Amazon Alexa. Mom was living alone, she was reasonably savvy about electronics, so it seemed like a good fit. In the end though, I think it became a hassle she could do without.

Thinking about the advancements in our world today … and the ways in which they also complicate our lives, I wrote the Englark sonnet below. If you search online for examples of “hazardous neglect,” nearly all of the results relate to mistreatment of children. But when a surgeon has a medical mishap or a wheel falls off an airplane in mid-flight, we don’t hear the words hazardous neglect. When a high-rise building collapses (as happened in 2021 in Miami), what role does hazardous neglect play in assessing blame?

Third Person Conditional, a sonnet

Everyone of us should be aware of the cultural direction our world has taken. In the 1960s television series Lost in Space, an unnamed Robot often warned the youngest character (precocious Will Robinson) of impending danger. Time for a Robot reboot?


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