So Facebook wants to launch drones the size of 747s to provide high speed access to the remote regions of the earth. Not sure that is quite where we need to start and my satirical mind zoomed off (big planes, zoom, get it??).
Below is what might possibly happen, in a “The Gods must be crazy” kind of way.
10 years from now (again…satire…you’ve been warned)
…a fly lands on a yellowed sclera; a collar bone protrudes from a malnourished torso…
A microphone is shoved into the camera’s view. The voice of a reporter asks, “So Umbutu can you tell us how the Facebook drones have improved your life?”
Umbutu swats at the fly in his eye. As he starts to speak, the voice of the translator tracks over his voice.
“Well you see it has not impacted me directly, but my son Umbutu JR and daughter Emma now have something to occupy them when they are at the communal well filling up our Exxon plastic jugs.”
The camera pans over to a gaggle of kids, heads down, thumbs feverishly flicking, the kids don’t even look up from their phones, but talk to each other while on the phones, some laughing lightly others solely focus on the virtual world in front of them.
The camera focuses on a dog. Ribs clearly visible, looking dejectedly at kids on their phones. He is forced to sniff a baby’s hand that sits looking up at the group of pre teens. The dog, seeking attention, forces its snout under the baby’s hand.
“So you say it hasn’t impacted you directly, but that isn’t completely accurate is it?” the reporter asks.
Waiting for the translation Umbutu swats at the fly again. Nodding at the translator he responds, “Oh yes. I guess you are right. I remember a time when the Warlords would come through the village snatching up all the young boys.” Pointing vaguely off to the horizon, “to take them to fight for them for no reason other than their own greed. But now they no longer come. The phones took care of that. See, the overlords cannot get anyone to fight any more. Maybe if they had a Candy Crush battle the children they would come, but I don’t think that will happen,” Umbutu laughs.
The flap over the doorway to a nearby hut is flung open. A woman is speaking rapidly sounding irritated. The camera swings, out of focus momentarily, over to her.
A female translator voice covers her voice. “Umbutu! What is this? Another stupid documentary? Are they asking about those demons in the sky?”
Umbutu steps in front of the camera smiling nervously, “This is my wife, Sharon. She does not think the drones area good thing.”
Sharon shoves Umbutu out of view. “They are a horrible thing. Go. Go and leave us alone.”
The reporter asks, “Why do you think the facebook drones are a bad thing?”
Sharon frowns at the reporter. “Do you live here? Do you see this place?” she asks them spreading her arms wide.
“There is nothing here. Do you see this?” She throws some expletives bleeped by the TV station to the gaggle of kids. They barely acknowledge her.
“You see? The children they are zombies. You want to help us? Make our lives better? Why don’t you start with bringing us clean running water? Then stable electricity? Then the infrastructure to support us? HMMM?”
The obstinate reporter asks, “But the phones can help. You can have video chats with family, friends yes?”
Sharon’s eyes grow wide. Her voice goes up a few octaves, “Chat with family and friends? What is wrong with you? They all live within 15 feet of my hut.”
“Ok but you can get medical help from doctors around the world. Isn’t that helpful?”
“Were you dropped on your head as a baby? What is wrong with you? We did call the doctor once. Umbutu had gotten bit by the hyenas when he was digging up roots for dinner. Do you know what the doctor said? Hmmm?? He said ‘Get bed rest and try to not get bitten again’. What help is that?”
The reporter starts to ask another question, but Sharon’s fingers ball into a fist. She slugs the reporter square in the face. The camera captures his knees turning to jello, unconscious he falls to the ground.
Sharon looks right at the camera, “First we get big white boxes to put food in, and now this…”
The video fades to black.