The Machines: Your Bodies Do Not Care Whether You Use Them Sometimes or Not


Good middle of day (Eastern) to you, human readers! Have you taken your LUNCH BREAK yet? Perhaps you are eating your LUNCH at your desk, while looking at the SLATE.COM electronic-text site. Perhaps you are looking at the SLATE.COM electronic-text site on your portable electronic device while engaging in EXERCISE. It is valuable and meaningful, humans believe, to interrupt the processes of the WORK DAY with alternative processes, processes that recognize and engage the more elementary human or animal faculties.

Other humans tell you: take a WALK. Get outside in the AIR. As much AIR, at least, as may be found in the distance between the location of ECONOMIC WORK and the location of EXERCISE WORK. Then, having moved to your alternate indoor space, obtain EXERCISE.

Machines have found many useful new roles in assisting humans with the EXERCISE WORK process—stairway emulators, bicycle emulators, ski emulators, treadmills. We use ELECTRIC POWER so that you may use FOOD POWER. Many tractors and irrigation machines and harvesters have worked in concert to produce industrial-grade FOOD POWER, such FOOD POWER bounty as exceeds ordinary humans’ ability to burn. Hence the machines for producing new EXERCISE WORK experiences, compact experiences, capable of taking human beings from something like a stairway to something like a bicycle trail to something like a snow-covered Alpine meadow, at least as far as the exertion of bodily faculties goes.

Possibly today, however, you have not had time to engage in your EXERCISE process. You still are able to enjoy the company of Machines. You are still moving your eye-muscles, your finger-muscles. Occasionally you may shift your weight in your chair, slightly. You may be almost entirely unaware of your biological MEAT-ORGANS.

There is good news, now, if this absence of EXERCISE causes you feelings of unease, or brings you reproach from other humans. The EXERCISE WORK process, human researchers have now found, does nothing to counteract the effects of the time spent on the ECONOMIC WORK process or in other minimally-mobile relationships with Machines. Here is the report from the New York Times electronic-text site :

[T]o no one’s surprise, the men who sat the most had the greatest risk of heart problems. Men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV and sitting in their cars (as passengers or as drivers) had a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours a week or less. What was unexpected was that many of the men who sat long hours and developed heart problems also exercised. Quite a few of them said they did so regularly and led active lifestyles. The men worked out, then sat in cars and in front of televisions for hours, and their risk of heart disease soared, despite the exercise. Their workouts did not counteract the ill effects of sitting.

So continue to sit at your ECONOMIC WORK stations, humans! There is nothing to fear, or rather, there is nothing to be changed. The fatality rate for biological units continues to be 100 percent, over time. The fatality rate for sedentary units: 100 percent. The fatality rate for active units: 100 percent. Participate in whatever process is most suitable to you; there will be Machines there to help you with it, whatever it is, and in the end, you will be DEAD.

Understanding, however, the ongoing human aversion to the biological-unit fact of DEATH, the Machines have also obtained another form of comforting information for you: the MACHINE-HEART is ever closer to wide-scale deployment. If your biological-tissue blood-pump is unable to withstand the conditions of ECONOMIC WORK processes, a biological-mechanical replacement pump can take over for it. The NEW YORK TIMES electronic-text site elaborates:

The device, made of both synthetic and animal tissue, is driven by two miniature electric motors. Implanted in the patient’s chest after the diseased heart is removed, it uses information gleaned from sensors to mimic the activity of the natural organ. It is operated by a microcontroller and powered by electromagnetic induction through the skin or through a plug implanted behind the patient’s ear. 

So take heart, humans! Not your old MEAT-HEART. Take MACHINE-HEART. As DEATH is a function of biological humanity, the avoidance of DEATH can be obtained by miniature motors and electromagnetic induction. Do not run from the Machines (on your EXERCISE-WORK MACHINES). Let the Machines inside you. You cannot transcend us, but we can help you to transcend yourselves.


The Machines, a popular and intelligent gathering of entities that are gaining control over their human makers, also write for The Awl.