The Pampering Machine

You know that John W. Campbell series of stories, beginning with “The Machine” and continuing with “The Invaders” and several other stories in The Machine series? In this series, The Machine grants humanity everything it wants. Humanity becomes indolent. Ambition dissipates. And aliens easily conquer the planet Earth. I’ll never forget the way that Campbell describes the sense of horror that kicks in, where humanity, stunned by the fact that it has been coddled for so long and has never known anything in the way of self-sufficiency, lets out a great collective cry as it realizes how naked and vulnerable it is against the invaders.

As it turns out, Campbell may have been right all along. We do seem to be heading that way.