This video appears to depict a minor road accident in Shandong Province, the run-of-the-mill kind of which there are tens of thousands every day in China.
A motorized three-wheel wagon, perhaps running a red light, gets clipped at an intersection by a passing black sedan. The two men in the wagon tumble over: the driver falls and gets stuck underneath the flipped-over wagon, while the guy riding in the cargo lands on his feet.
That man rushes back to the wagon and signals for help, and quickly gets it from several roadside people. It’s a nice scene:
If we stopped the video here, this would be an inspiring story of good Samaritans in a small Shandong town rallying to assist a stranger in need.
But we’re not going to stop the video here. Because this is not that kind of story.
This is not, in fact, about the triumph of human kindness, or the uplifting potential of communal intervention. It is a twisted tale of automation gone rogue, the heedless pursuit of balance in the absence of a higher purpose, and the ultimate failure of carbon-based organisms to stand in the way of a universe bent on vengeance.
Some day, as our machine overlords perform one of their perfunctory scans of all archived matter, they will see a distant ancestor in this runaway wagon and chuckle at its breakaway power, its balletic left turn. Stupid humans, they will spare one zeptosecond to think. Why didn’t he roll left?