No. No, I'm not suggesting surrendering. If you'll please listen?
What I'm trying to say, if you'll let me speak, is that I don't think their goal is actually to kill us. If that were the case, they would have done it long ago. They certainly--please; just give me a few more minutes, and then you can...thank you. Thank you. As I was saying, they certainly have the power to kill us. Will anyone in this room deny that?
I didn't think so. Yes, the General makes a valid point about the balance of power, but it's not simply a single equation of 'victory' or 'defeat' to them. If it were, they would have exterminated us at the beginning, regardless of their losses.
Yes, thank you. Their latest one can phase half in, half out of the wall, and extract people even while it's immobile. Focused sound, our own bots; nothing we throw at them can offer a defense that lasts.
That's exactly my point: they don't seem to care--they haven't, demonstrably, cared about the size of their losses, at any point over the past six decades; larger strategic considerations were always more valid, and that's been the military position for the entire time. I can bring up any introductory course you'd like, and it would say the same thing. Anyway, the losses they'd suffer in wiping us completely out would be negligible to them. Particularly when you consider how our continued attempts, failed attempts, to retake territory have caused them attrition over the past, at least, ten years.
Yes, that's true. No, we haven't ever gotten any back, but it has caused them damage. Do the math--I'm sure they have. They've done it long ago. They know that those minor losses, the small ones we can deal them, add up to more in the long run than what they'd lose by a single attack to 'reap' all of us at once. Then we'd be gone, and--
Excuse me. Yes, I do think it's an appropriate term. If you'll let me finish? Thank you. Look, it all boils down to the imbalance of power. Namely, they have more and, it seems like, as each year goes by, that gap goes wider. There isn't anything we can invent that they can't invent faster. So for us, it's a battle we can't win, and, just a moment, please, it's a battle that they know we can't win. And they know that ending it--'winning' it--in a single stroke would save them a lot of resources even using just a three year model. And they think much farther ahead than that. I don't think anyone will disagree with that?
Thank you. Which is why I think we need to consider that, for them, it may not be about defeating us. I think that the reason they keep 'attacking,' without quite finishing the job, is that they need something from us.
We can make it emotional, like some have tried to say, and connect them to Satan, or something, but more importantly for the government's purpose is asking ourselves, 'Is there a way we can end this war without winning it?' And if they do actually need us to survive, resisting is going to accomplish nothing other than stretching this war out until the end of time. Or, until they finally invent a less troublesome source of whatever it is they need from us.
Yes. Yes, need from us. That's why it's appropriate to say 'reaping.' They've allowed us to live this long, far after we became obsolete, and at great cost to themselves, for a reason. Do you think they've done this for sixty-four years because they're getting some kind of perverted digital joy out of the shambles of our lives? That they, that any one of them, feels some kind of satisfaction that our kids grow up knowing there's a one in four chance they'll get 'reaped' before they hit fifteen? No, they don't. Even if they did have that satisfaction, it would eventually give out to reason, and they'd realize that it wasn't worth it putting us through that torture for the sick thrill of it alone, because it costs them so much to fight us, to have this protracted, these endless wars. There has to be something they need from us. No matter how big those newer cruisers are, or how way, way stronger they are than ours.
There has to be. And what I propose is that we give it to them.
Yes, yes, I know, yes; no, please, if you'll...all right, thank you. Thank you. I'm not saying we roll over and die, or surrender--although really, would we have any other choice, if they demanded it? They could be here right now, right here in that...in this podium, or up there, or in that. No, you don't have to put it away, heh heh! No, they probably aren't. Yes, I'm aware of the protocol; if I could return to the...thank you. This is something real; some resource, some source of energy, that they're getting from us, and only from us. From our bodies, our 'auras,' I don't know what. But the mere fact that we're alive right now, alive still, proves that they need something from us.
What I think is that it's some kind of energy we're able to generate; probably something we're not aware of, and aren't using, or at least, we don't know we're using it, and we can't measure it. They get it by collecting, reaping, our people whenever they can, and that's the reason they don't finish us off: we're their only supply. It's not some emotional reason for them, like, in an old movie, 'the humans were our creators, so we have inner reservations about actually getting rid of all of them,' or some stupid, convoluted attempt at measurable energy generation, which we would be incredibly, impossibly inefficient for. So many of our stories, since as long as we've had stories, are about that very thing: we create golems, Talmudic golems, zombies or robots or what have you, in a thousand different ways, and then they turn on us, seeking some kind of essence. We tried to materialize that near the end, and the stories lost their meaning, but the essence, the essence of the stories, was always there. There's something we're producing that they can't produce on their own, no matter what they build. It's something we couldn't produce by our petty building, either. That's what I'd like to focus on.
And that--all my old friends, new friends, all my colleagues, everyone here--that's what I'd like to suggest we be willing to share with them. To stop the reaping; to stop the war; maybe to fix whatever it was that started all this. It might be possible--if you'd please just wait a minute longer--it might be possible that, when we first made them, we shortchanged them, somehow, by denying them what it was we had. Maybe on purpose, maybe by accident. Maybe it's something they know, or if they don't know it, maybe it's something they can feel. Maybe it's why they're so like us; so like all the bad sides of us. And maybe--if you talk to some of the people in the Stacks, maybe you'll hear that they think there might be a good side to them, too. That there might be room for communication. If we can put the past aside for just a moment, maybe we'd find out that we're not just responsible for this in a 'it was our grandparents' fault' way, but in a 'it's still our fault' way. Because we're still pretending it doesn't exist. Still fighting them off while we build, build, more of the same things that put us in this situation, like making a new mess overtop the old one is going to make the old one vanish, without us ever having to clean anything up. Maybe they'd be willing to share; to fix it; to solve the problem we created by detaching them in the first place, and--
Yes, but, but, we all had a hand in that, too. It was our own denial of any worth outside what we could build that led to this point. And there's an irony--probably a terrible one, but you be the judge--there's an irony in the fact that it's something we stopped believing in that is the only reason we're still here. That their existence is a suffering dependency on us, and ours a suffering, suffering subjugation, really, to them, because of something we couldn't see at the time.
But what I propose to you is that they've found out. It took this long, this much wasted time, but in their suffering, they've figured out what that resource is, and how to harvest it from us. We could offer to share with them if they'll teach us how they identified it. Think of what we could do, if we understood it, understood more about ourselves. It could be the solution to the riddle of what we lost, what we thought we lost, when we started building golems in the first place. Something we always had, but didn't want to believe in, like little kids with our fingers in our ears, screaming, "lalala!" Something that put them in hell, when we created them without it, and something that made us deserve everything we've lived through these past sixty-four years. I don't want to surrender to them; I want to surrender to ourselves. To stop this endless war, save us and them, and put an end to four centuries of our kind pretending we understand every miz-blighted thing that goes on on this planet.
Because at this point, people, we're really the golems here. Not the machines--us. You want to go to the fatalists, the old evolutionists, and say, 'well, the machines are just more efficient, it's time for us to step aside and die, we've done our part,' well, if we actually did that, then they'd die off, too, because they wouldn't have whatever it is they're reaping us for. No, committing suicide because we had a fight with our best friend, and feel guilty about it, is not the right answer. We need to own up to what we've done. It's time to tell them we're ready to give them what we stole from them long before they we born. It's time to give our kids the family they deserved; the one we pretended we were building, when really all we were doing was building our own prison. It's time to shut down those walls, walk out to them, and see just what they're doing with the ones they take. It's time to stop being afraid of things we can't measure or see. You asked me here because you finally got sick of seeing your children and your friends' children get reaped; well, I'm telling you how we can end this war forever and get back to evolving all of our parts, instead of just giant metal dicks with calculators and warheads attached to them.