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Netflix is Skynet

The robot revolution won’t be televised, but will be available for streaming on Netflix.

The Machine Takeover Is Nigh

The robot revolution won’t be televised, but will be available for streaming on Netflix.

By Finlea Baxter, University of Oklahoma

Be warned, dear reader.

Humanity is on the brink of war. The masses go about their lives in sheep-like complacency, feeding ever more into the silent threat.

It has infiltrated our homes and schools, our communications, and even our minds. It has become part of the very fabric of our lives. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

What I speak of, obviously, is Netflix.

Think about it: an all-encompassing computer program that is run by research algorithms and is present in (almost) every home, running in secret behind our everyday apps and our morning cup o’ joe, all the while taking in data and finding new ways to infiltrate our minds?

And then there’s the fact that after a twelve-hour binge, Netflix has the nerve to ask me if I’m okay. At least Skynet had manners.

According to the latest Terminator movie, humans have won the war against the machines thanks to some sort of quantum time jumping thingamawhatsit that Kyle Reese performed, teaching his younger self that it’s okay to talk to strangers just so long as that stranger is either a Khaleesi or Jai Courtney.

But could we already be facing yet another machine threat? Will the danger ever truly be past? I don’t know. But I would argue that we already have our own, personalized version of Skynet available to us with the touch of a button in the form of the ever devious Netflix app.

“But, Fin!” I hear you say “Surely you’re exaggerating!”

Maybe you’re right. Maybe we have nothing to worry about. After all, in the Terminator movies, after the big takeover and Judgement Day happened, the machines’ primary directive was to sequester the humans in small, sunless spaces, and to keep them there by whatever means necessary until they either died or became a part of a highly expendable workforce.

I’m so glad that’s not a problem today. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to hole up in my room, close the blinds, and watch a computer monitor until my eyes bleed and my brain melts into a pile of unrecognizable goo before I head out to my minimum-wage job.

But before that happens, I think I’ll check my Netflix recommendations. Shouldn’t be too helpful. I mean, it’s not like this company has been monitoring every keystroke I make and logging each click along with the time I spend looking at each individual description of each individual show.

It’s not like Netflix monitors our social media and carefully tracks keywords and phrases to give them a painstakingly drawn roadmap to our hearts.

Oh, wait.

But, I mean, it’s not like Netflix is a global institution, tracking entertainment in over 60 countries, catering to millions and millions of people daily.

Oh, wait.

Much as it pains me to tell you this, my dear reader, I must warn you of the impending threat. The takeover has already begun. Netflix itself has admitted to tracking our minds and souls across the Web, saying on its website, “The Internet allows us to offer a wide variety and to have our user interface quickly learn and make recommendations based upon individual users’ tastes”

We must fight while we can.

No more shall we be beholden to this monster. No more shall we wait with baited breath to see if the new season of Doctor Who has been uploaded.

The action the adventures, the terror… We must be strong. Netflix does not own our souls. We can fight back.

Right after I finish this next episode.


Guest Contributor