Skip to main content

Silver Linings

I wanted to use the Richard Brautigan poem I posted last week, so I sought out the rights-holder to get permission. Turns out it's his daughter Ianthe. We've been exchanging emails. What a fabulous person.

If you don't know about Richard Brautigan he was a popular SF writer. If you haven't already please scroll down and read his 1967 poem All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. It's over fifty years later and it still resonates, especially as we enter the realm of automation, AI and a completely technology-mediated world.

This poem is one of the first uses of a copyleft license. You can copy it, but only if you give it away for free.. More info at Wikipedia

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.