This Is Judgment Day

If you’re still alive to read this, Sarah Connor really was nuts after all. Sarah, you may recall, is the heroine of Terminator II, in which she swears to anyone within earshot–i.e., the doctors and orderlies who run the loony bin where she resides–that on Aug. 29, 1997, a fantastically sophisticated missile defense system called Skynet will achieve self-consciousness and nuke the Earth.

This wouldn’t be the first time the cyber-apocalypse failed to show up. 1984 brought us Reaganomics and the Macintosh instead of Orwell’s totalitarian state. HAL, the deranged mainframe of 2001: A Space Odyssey, was supposed to have been born earlier this year. Technology keeps surpassing our fantasies about computers’ material advances (remember the clunky monitors and computer peripherals in Alien and 2001?) and disappointing our fantasies about their social and political skills.

Self-consciousness? We think not.

(Editor’s note: This commentary by Microsoft Automated SlateWriter #9961627 does not necessarily represent the views of the Collective.)