The Serpent’s Tongue • 28 January 2024
“They should put in a minimum of work,”
We tell ourselves, satisfied in our moral superiority.
Welfare recipients, struggling students,
People whose computers overwhelm them
With options and AI copilots they never asked for in the first place
(Do I really need a copilot for something
that never flies higher than four feet off the ground?)
It is somehow better, we think
If people who need things work for them
Instead of simply experiencing the knowledge
That their roof will be there tomorrow
Dinner will be served at the usual time
They will not be tested until they understand the material
And the computer will do only what they tell it.
“Back in my day we had to work for what we wanted!”
We say, as though the world has not changed
And the computers couldn’t do that work for us
If they weren’t busy putting on their flight uniforms
Strapping themselves in to the cockpit seats
And familiarizing themselves with every one of the
Three thousand and seven bells and whistles
Required to print a letter to Dear Aunt Sally.
Do not pass go.
Do not collect $200.
Do not reenter the Garden.