The Frog's Complaint About the Sunn

While technology may change, human behavior does not. At least, that’s what reading the collection of Aesop’s Fables suggests. The characters and motivations in the parables, attributed to Aesop after he died in 564 BCE, remain relevant today.

Aesop 2021 projects these well-known (and not-so-known) stories into an age only a stone’s throw from our own. When cynicism and pessimism abound, hope becomes a rebellious act against the tyranny of the default. Each story recasts a fable’s lesson from our upcoming solarpunk future as a software tale.

The Aesop 2021 project is part of the Never Break the Chain March Writing Challenge. The original sources were translated by George Fyler Townsend and provided under the Project Gutenberg license. Addition reference provided by a Library of Congress interactive book adapted from the public domain book “The Aesop for Children: with Pictures by Milo Winter,” published by Rand, McNally & Co in 1919.

Below is the latest installment.

A picture

ONCE UPON A TIME, sometime around the time of the third negotiated universal basic income accord, the Sunn coop open sourced the hardware for their latest bot. Like its predecessors, it exceled at performing repetitive, menial, or dangerous tasks - tasks that were increasingly difficult to find workers for.

Rallied under a crude cartoon frog avatar, the opposition to the bot clamored online. Disturbed by the outcry, Jupiter’s news algorithm inquired the cause of their complaint. “Sunn already automates growing our food, cleaning our homes, and recycling our waste - it makes full employment almost impossible!,” a frog said. “Who are we as a people if we no longer have to work?”

Original Fable

ONCE UPON A TIME, when the Sun announced his intention to take a wife, the Frogs lifted up their voices in clamor to the sky. Jupiter, disturbed by the noise of their croaking, inquired the cause of their complaint. One of them said, “The Sun, now while he is single, parches up the marsh, and compels us to die miserably in our arid homes. What will our future condition if he should beget other suns?

Moral of the Stories

In software as in life, we should not worry excessively or assume the worst about events that have not occurred or may never happen. Anxiety and fear can lead to unnecessary stress and prevent us from enjoying our lives or making sound decisions. It’s important to focus on the present and deal with problems as they arise rather than obsessing over “what if” scenarios that might never come to pass.