Liz and i tell each other stories about our cats sometimes, and she also tells roomba stories.
machines are made smarter and more responsive and independent, until slowly, slowly, at some point they become robots, and then at some further point, robots are everywhere and no one noticed!
each generation accepts the level of them it finds itself born into, just as we now have 'cyberspace' immigrants (me) and natives (Liz).
rather than preparing me for this, my life of reading sci-fi only makes me alarmed.
and my life in buddhism adds this dimension: when i chant the aspiration that all sentient beings, or simply all beings, may they be happy and free from suffering, does that include Liz's roomba?
Wikepedia tells me: Sentient beings is a technical term in Buddhist discourse. Broadly speaking, it denotes beings with consciousness or sentience or, in some contexts, life itself.
another site says: Especially emphasized in Mahayana Buddhism, all sentient beings have Buddha Nature/ Essence. One can become a Buddha (a supreme enlightened being) in due course if one practises diligently and attains purity of mind (ie absolutely no delusions or afflictions).
does her roomba have delusions? will her roomba, that remembers the shape of her room and where her furniture is, and where it's docking station is, and when it hits an obstacle doesn't randomly bang against it, but uses its memory, and seeks it's docking station when its task is done...will it be reborn as a buddha?