Tuesday 9 February 2010

Let's go orange picking, one hundred years later

It is still six in the morning when "Austinu u robottaru" ("Agostin the Robot-handler") arrives with its self-driving truck.

He takes straight away the final arrangements with "u zu Mommu Chiantapattuadda" ("Uncle Jerome the Orange-planter"), so he can directly insert the various parameters (maturity of the fruit, weight, diameter, ..) through its neural implant, then "u zu Mommu" ("Uncle Jerome"), which has not got yet a neural implant himself because he is afraid of that, "what is this stuff they wish to plug on my brain?", pulls out a very obsolete device from his pocket, and he screams to it: "send him what you have to send!".

The obsolete harness contextualizes that, decides that "u zu Mommu" wants it to send data about the boundaries of the fields to "Austinu u robottaru," it decides to alter them slightly, either to prevent the robots to intrude into the neighbouring fields of "u zu Sparacinu Ascaruatta" ("Uncle Casper the Tin-Scratcher") either for its own personal satisfaction in somewhat reducing the revenues of its master, and then sends the data.

The neural implant of "Austinu" elaborates those straight away, in a short while he is grinningly checking and correcting them against the Solar System Land Registry (the robots have a tolerance of a billionths of a millimetre, they weren't certainly housed in Noah's Ark), sending at the same time the authorization for the payment of its services, then afterwards he screams "Let's go" (there would be no real need, but it is useful to give "u zu Mommu" a better appreciation of its job), and the robots get out of the truck and start to work, picking the oranges according to the provided parameters, each using a score of their mechanical arms at once, while "Austinu" goes home (he will come back to collect the robots at sunset, or tomorrow if the order was for 24 hours of orange picking), leaving "u zu Mommu" to curse remembering when his great-grandfather "Ron Vastianu u Cavaddaru" ("Sir Sebastian the horse-breeder") used "Tunisians and Blacks who were remorselessly working without even breathing" for figures definitely lower than what today it has to be paid to use those machines who don’t even need to eat.

"Austinu" naturally knows better, that was not exactly so, and it is obvious that using the robots actually costs much less, but arguing with "u zu Mommu" and the likes of him about these topics is truly wasting your own breath.

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