Lately my husband and I have been discussing health care directives and disposal of our remains once we leave this wacky planet.
I ask him who in their right mind would want a robot taking care of them in their decrepitude? I tell him about some old guy in England who uses a Skype on Wheels with a television monitor for virtual visits from friends, family, and healthcare professionals. Loved ones phone your robot to check in on you.
His take on it? Might be easier to get along with a bot than with family.
Did he forget Hal from 2001, A Space Odyssey? Mutinous robots seem scarier to me than mutinous humans – even my Mother, God rest her soul.
In the 21st century we have robots performing surgery in hospitals and robots used in prototypes for self-driving cars.
And how about this? — servant and playmate robots for the elderly. The internet is sprinkled with such scenes: robots serving breakfast, robots lifting person to couch, robots smooched by an old man, robots carrying magazines while an elderly person lounges, robots playing computer card game with old lady.
The human being is the next frontier for the robot. In fact, some robots look like humans.
But they’re NOT.
We move on to discuss the disposal of our remains. Specifically, human composting.
He doesn’t flinch.
Me? I am mortified to read that Washington State is the first state in the U.S. to legalize human composting. By 2020 we could have a human composting facility five miles from our house.
Do I want to end up in some feed bag for a stranger’s garden? Do I come back as a radish or beefsteak tomato?
Does he like this idea better than cremation or burial?
He nixes the burial idea, says it is selfish for the dead to take up land in cemeteries and that the world is crowded enough.
He has a point there. But when it comes to deciding between burial, burning, or composting, I am like “Bartleby the Scrivener”: I would prefer not to.
As for the robots? I am not ready to play canasta with them. Beam me up, Elon!
How do you folks feel about these topics?