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The 2008 animated movie “WALL-E” depicts a time in the “distant future” when humans, now unable to even walk, lounge in special chairs and order their robots to carry out the basic functions of life for them. They’re obese, weak, shallow and churlish, having benefited from overcoming neither physical nor mental challenges for quite some time. Moviegoers laughed at these absurd caricatures, glad the world wasn’t really like that.

But today, a mere 10 years down the road, we lounge on our sofas ordering our digital assistants to turn on the TV, turn down the heat, pick music for us, lock the door or provide all kinds of information we’re too lazy to find on our own — as marketers convince us we don’t only want and need these things, but we’ll be left in the dust if we don’t go with the flow.

Never mind the slippery slope; the future is here already. And it’s a very scary one, indeed.

Cindy M. Black, Seattle

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