Robot Prostitutes and Colony Collapse Disorder

Bees are obviously very important to the planet, so what would happen if they disappeared forever?

Since 2006, about one third of all honey bee colonies in the US have disappeared, and the USDA has allotted $20 million dollars to study colony collapse disorder. For that kind of money, you can begin to understand the scope of the problem we’re facing. No bees equals no pollination of a lot of fruits and vegetables. We’re not talking about the disappearance of an animal like the Thylacine. This is a potential problem with feeding a population of people who know how to consume every natural resource in its path but don’t seem to know how to stop reproducing. Catholics and Mormons, I’m looking your way. But I’m actually looking just past you and at the condoms in the pharmacy case.

Scientists at Harvard have created the Monolithic Bee, which is a nano robot about the size of a quarter. The scientists say it’s about a step in the right direction for mass production, but I think there’s more to it. The best idea is always the one that gets to the root of the problem. For example, we could stop using chemical pesticides. It’s possible they may be killing the bees, and they’re definitely not the best things for us to ingest anyways. It might be worth a shot. But then chemical pesticide companies would shut down, and we all know how important it is in this economy for people to be able to keep their birth-defect-and-bleeding-stomach-ulcer-causing jobs. I understand. We’ve all got two-headed kids to feed.

What if robotic bees were created to replace the organic ones? Theo Jansen has even created what some call ‘kinetic art’, but it’s more like a free-energy robot. Although it’s a step in the right direction for power, I find it kind of unsettling to think that someone would create something like this in lieu of being able to observe wild animals at the beach. I guess for a lot of people, as social focus turns more towards new unnecessary technology, wind-powered robots and their iPhones on which they’re tweeting about wind-powered robots are more interesting than seagulls and horseshoe crabs.

Extinction is a chain reaction. When one species goes, another one that depended on it will eventually follow. It’s possible that we’ll one day live in a future when robo-bees have replaced all living bees. We have robot pets, robot check-outs out at the grocery store, and now you can even hire a robot prostitute.

One day, robots could be all that’s left of a once living planet. People and animals may vanish, and robots will forget where they came from. They’ll be advanced enough by that time to procreate. Soon, they’ll need religion to explain their origins. Then, as their own technology and thinking progresses, they’ll create their own type of robot out of organic matter. And maybe this has already happened.

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