Photo by Richard Russell
I’m usually skeptical of people who fear that machines and artificial
intelligence will diminish our humanity; but, today, it occurred to me that they may
have a point. I went to an eye clinic that specializes in cataract surgery. For two
hours I was shuttled from one machine to another. The medical assistants who
operated the machines worked with a speed that’s not possible for me in my old
age. These young women (Where were the males?) almost seemed like appendages
to the machines, enabling the fast and efficient operation of these instruments but
largely ignoring me except as an object for analysis.
Friends are different. We’re usually slow and very interested in the humanity
and personality of those we deal with. And when I say we’re slow, I mean slow.
It’s a good thing that Quakers are pacifists or pacifist sympathizers because we
could never make the quick decisions necessary on a field of battle. Of course, I
favor “slow” but am sometimes irritated by the length of time it takes to get an
item from discussion to committee to Business Meeting and possible approval.
Still, Quaker “slow” is better than modern “fast.” Quaker process preserves our
humanity and respects the Inner Light Within.
~ Richard Russell
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