Sunday, 28 October 2012
I wrote this very short movie script some time ago, and found that someone had liked it so much that they copied it and posted it elsewhere. I figured I may as well post it in my blog:
Interview with an Alien
Hi, I’m Zorg from planet Triton. We’ve been travelling for the last hundred years to find other intelligent life forms, and we’re very excited to have spotted your little blue planet. We’re doing a documentary on your species to see what we can learn from each other. Would you care to answer some of our questions?
Zorg: How advanced would you say you are? Have you reached the technological singularity yet?
Human: What’s the technological singularity?
Zorg: That’s when you’ve built a machine that can design and build a better machine than itself, causing an automatic infinite exponential advancement in technology?
Human: No, we’re not quite there yet. We have machines that build machines, but I think they still mostly have a little bit of human assistance, and they cannot improve on their own design yet.
Zorg: Okay, so I guess you only have to work a couple of hours a day. A good time to be alive, right?
Human: Most people work about eight hours a day.
Zorg: Eight hours? I thought you said you have machines. That’s weird. At least no-one does any more manual labour, right?
Human: Well, in poorer countries they still do a lot of manual labour, because they can’t afford the machines.
Zorg: What’s a country?
Human: Umm... you don’t know what a country is? It’s a large piece of land that’s separated from other large pieces of land.
Zorg: Separated by the sea?
Human: Sometimes it’s the sea, or a river, but mostly they’re just boundaries that have come about through war, that people are not allowed to cross over.
Zorg: And what purpose do these country boundaries serve humanity?
Human: They don’t really serve humanity; they just keep poor people out of rich countries, so that the rich countries can remain wealthy.
Zorg: That’s quite selfish, isn’t it?
Human: I suppose so.
Zorg: So, why are there poor and rich countries? Do the poor countries not have enough resources?
Human: Yes, that’s correct. Some countries do not have as much as others, but that doesn’t necessarily determine whether the country is poor or not.
Zorg: I don’t get it. How can a country have more resources than another country and be poorer?
Human: A country can have less money.
Zorg: Oh right, you still use money? That would explain why you have to work eight hours a day instead of two. You need to work to keep your money system afloat. Our planet hasn’t used money in a thousand years. You’re far less advanced than we thought.
Human: So what do you use instead of money?
Zorg: We don’t have the concept of ownership, so there’s no need for any kind of money. Anyway, getting back to the country thing, assuming you were to get rid of all these country boundaries, and share everything, would the world have enough resources?
Human: I don’t know. I’ll check the internet?
Zorg: You have internet already? That’s odd. So you have internet on mobile phones, but you still don’t have enough labour replacing machines in every country. That seems a bit backward.
Human: Okay, got it. There is enough farm land to produce food for everyone, but we would need to eat less meat than the average American.
Zorg: Well this really is a strange system, separating your poor from your rich. Lets move on to something else. You mentioned that you have machines. What are you using to power them?
Human: Mostly oil, coal and nuclear power. We burn gas for heating.
Zorg: Nuclear? Shit! These backward humans have nuclear power! That’s crazy! Do they know how dangerous that is? And burning coal and oil... do humans know that can cause global warming, which can damage the entire planet.
Human: We’re well aware of that.
Zorg: So why don’t you use solar, wind, wave and geothermal energy instead?
Human: Because the oil companies are earning lots of money.
Zorg: You’re willing to destroy your planet so that oil companies can make money? What happens when you run out of oil?
Human: We’ll use bio-fuel.
Zorg: So, instead of growing food to feed starving people, you’ll grow plants to run your machines? This planet is more messed up than I ever imagined, and it’s so pretty. . . I’m going. There’s no intelligent life down here.
Human: Wait, can’t you help us?
Zorg: The answers are right in front of you. You don’t need our help. Eliminate your country boundaries, share your resources, stop burning oil and coal, stop using nuclear energy and make sure you use your resources in a sustainable way. We’ll be watching you. When you’ve done all that, then we’ll talk about sharing technology, but right now, I just want to go back home.