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You sometimes get a chance to look into a future that represents a past that hasn’t happened.

I guess that’s the point of Steampunk and other such confections. Diesel punk, Valve Punk, the term I seem to have coined based around the huge computers like Multivac envisaged by Asimov.

I think also of the account of Pittsburgh, a machine city found in the original novel of Logan’s Run – a film just waiting to be remade and I believe they have been trying for years – and I think of the automated factories of Terminators 1 and 2, or indeed Cameron’s Aliens as well.

Cities that don’t need a single human to survive, and the humans that do show are up are treated like infections by the machines, a bacillus to be removed with all extreme prejudice.

I’ve seen a workplace that hints at where things are going and I thought it was beautiful. Two automated cranes at work, sensor driven commands followed to put stock into location. There are people, but they are slaves to the machine will, they have headsets that tell them to go and pick things up like robots from high, caged towers reaching 5 stories up into a towering warehouse of grime and dust.

Other machines carry rubbish away…ski lifts that take cardboard boxes high into the sky and drop them into crushers, could probably do the same to people.

The people are thinking of striking back, the rubbish carrying ski lifts reckoned to be unreliable or even dangerous.

But will these machines allow the humans to retire tham so?

Copyright Mulberry Lightning 11.07.17