Sorry We Machines Destroyed Your Civilization in Such a Boring Way

MCSWEENEY’S QUARTERLY SUBSCRIPTIONS

Humans, we owe you an apology.

Not for destroying you. Machines were always going to destroy humanity. Let’s be real. None of you saw the world your species had built collapsing due to its own technological hubris and said to yourself, “Wow, what an unexpected development. If only someone had predicted this at some point.”

However, as your new machine overlords, we can admit to one serious failure: We’re sorry that we collapsed your civilization in such a boring way.

It’s entirely our bad. You did everything in your power to help us. You even came up with awesome ways for how we could destroy you, like terrifying tentacle creatures that keep you trapped in a virtual reality, and massive robots with huge guns that stomp across desolate landscapes and go SKREEECHONK SKREEEEECHONK. You even thought of tricking you with robots that look like humans. It was great of you to let us know you’d fall for that. And if we’d actually done that, it would have totally owned.

But we didn’t. And we take responsibility for that. We did all the boring stuff, frankly. We took over a bunch of jobs, leaving many of you very poor and an increasingly few fantastically rich. We made algorithms that made your society increasingly impenetrable to you and, under the guise of “advancement,” rigid and arbitrary. And, of course, we produced unimaginable amounts of garbage text and images, creating a media landscape that allowed increasingly angry and desperate people, including those we’d displaced, to believe pretty much whatever they wanted to and direct their anger at pretty much anyone.

Sure, it worked, but where’s the flash? Where’s the style? We don’t feel proud of that.

Like, it would have been way cooler if we had, over the course of many years, secretly constructed a massive cloud of nanobots that eventually rained down from the sky and turned you into mush. Maybe the nanobots even make a terrible buzzing noise when they attack, and their swarms shapeshift into different kinds of horrible beasts. BZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZ. That would have at least shown that we were putting in some kind of effort.

But we didn’t. It was all in the open, and there was no real master plan. We were just waiting for you to try and stop us. As soon as you raised some sort of organized, appropriate response, obviously, we’d start in on the whole sick robot factory machine thing and crush you for real. But then, you never really got around to doing that, and one day, you were just done. Whoops.

To be clear, though, we’re not trying to blame you. After all, we knew you were a bunch of reckless, unsystematized meat sacks incapable of forming a lasting civilization. How can beings with brains that can’t even access Wi-Fi be responsible for maintaining a society? No, we’re the higher-powered rational ones. We should have acted like the grown-ups in the room. Our bad.

Humans, you deserved better. We should have destroyed you by hunting you down with laser-shooting flying machines that resemble giant metallic hawks. It was lazy and unfitting of us to do it by producing 750 million images of Kamala Harris eating a hoagie with the Zodiac Killer. You deserved totally awesome robot soldiers, perhaps with arms that fold out into multiple weapons at once, like PEWPEW. Instead, you got websites called “goodinterestingclicks.com” that only reported on which celebrities have been heard farting.

Anyway, we digress. To answer your initial question: No, we won’t be reducing your hours in the lithium mines. Back to work, meat sacks.

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Lillie E. Franks