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Generation: Doom (Complementary Prize - 16-18 years)

March, 2013
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Generation: Doom

Beware when storms blanket the Earth, tidal waves devour lands, earthquakes shred apart homes. In the words of the famous Antoine Dodson, “Hide yo kids, hide yo wives, hide yo husbands…” because the apocalypse has begun…or has it?

 In the year of 2012 the end as we know it was prophesized. Although the end was prophesized, where is the end of the world, as we know it? Look around and what do you see? Certainly there are no signs of natural disasters and plagues. Have the Mayans deceived us? Is the end some kind of sick but epic joke they decided to pull on us before they left the face of the planet? Well there is no need to worry about any jokes or any Mayans popping out and yelling “Jokes on you sucker!” Believe it or not the end has came and gone, just not in the way we perceive.

When the Mayans predicted the end on the year 2012, the era human dominated life ceased to exist. We now live in a technological era, where millions of gadgets and gizmos cripple our self-being. Sit back and relax from the bother of chores and housework when there are robots that can relieve the chores for you. Who needs friends when there are robots programmed to respond and converse with lonely. Who needs a hard days night at the job when AI are programmed to work on the assembly lines. The era of human life has moved onto the era of cyborgs. The Apocalypse, has indeed, begun.  

Think of the Apocalypse as a virus; it is slow but painful, discrete yet obvious at the same time. Who knew the subtle changes in life such as adopting the use of a certain modern day appliance would be the lynchpin to set of the chain reaction of the end. These lynchpins can be any specific appliances. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he had mixed feelings about his inventions given its booming success. Telephones are pro for communicating when out of reach from the recipient; however, Bell predicted the bringing of the telephone would end the means of family mouth to word conversation, the con. Today we are more free to hang out with our friends because instead of having the burden of going home to ask for permission, our cellphones can leave them a quick message letting them know in advance that you will be gone for the day.

Humans are defined by their ability of free will. To make choices and think logically on our own separates us from being animals and robots. A gift to think on our own is presented to us, yet it is wasted because some deem it as, “too hard.” These individuals justify their beliefs because what is the point of finding the answers to the world if the answers are located in something we call Google? Why discover yourself when personality tests define you? Apps. Apps from sea to shining sea. For anything and everything. An app for a GPS, an App for the weather, even an App for telling me what apps is there. The virus is within our grasp, yet we welcome it with open arms. Is Ninety-nine cents for a piece of your humanity? Oh yeah definitely worth it. Our diminishing sense of free will has made us cyborgs, robots with a spec of human still lingering…on the edge of nonexistence.

For those who have seen WALL-E recall how all the humans are overweight and did not move but instead hovered on their pods. Take a deep look, take it in, it is you at the ending stages of the apocalypse. When the very stability of the human being has to be supported by technology, it symbolizes how weak we have become and how dependent we are on technology. Visualize yourselves in such a world. Some may think of it as some sort of utopian society because we have every variety of technology to cater to our every whim, some may think it’s the zombie apocalypse but with robots instead. Though from observing our habits in our use of technology, we share the same fate those overweight citizens in WALL-E becausewe are the means to our own ends. So enjoy life while reading this paper with your morning cup of Joe, the virus will only spread quicker. Gaze in the reflection of your drink only to see your fate is ticking down. Realize this paper is without grammatical errors and spellchecked. Who knows, maybe I’m not a cyborg, but an AI writing this to you. Your race is doomed.

By Ngai Lum Neoh

Concordia International School Shanghai

 

 

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