Senseless deaths have confounded scientists since death was first invented, but experts at the Gargantuan Interfering Gamin Observatory in New York City say they have found a way to make sure that 0% of deaths are senseless by the year 2050.
“The first step is to normalize senseless death,” GIGO expert Karen Baquet splains to me. “If we isolate every possible category of death that humans call ‘senseless,’ our artificially intelligent algorithm can churn out vast quantities of news that malign anyone who says some deaths will always be senseless.”
Baquet gestures at the XBox behind her, and a lovely Senseless Conflict Deaths Per Hour dataviz from Information is Beautiful appears on the 292-inch 8K monitor at the far end of the room. We’re sitting over 50 feet away, but I still feel nauseous as Baquet begins to manipulate the data on the 24-foot screen.
“Here at GIGO, we spare no expense because we need to fix this problem by 2050 or the entire human population will die senselessly,” she says.
Sitting next to Baquet is Dr. Tim Benzedrine, director of the Bay Area Mycological Society, who is working with GIGO to prevent the senseless deaths of people — some of them wee children — who eat Death Cap mushrooms.
“At GIGO, we think government must do something to stop people who aren’t experts like me from eating fungi that grows in cracks on the sidewalk,” Benzdrine says. “Snorting, sporting, speeding through the arbor, pushing till the folk you burn toss you in the harbor. Screeching like a dying loon, zooming like the thrush, follow me and very soon your mind will turn to mush.”
“What Dr. Benzedrine means is we can use our authoritative voices to express unequivocal and disciplined disapproval toward the ignorant haters who say there’s nothing we can do,” Baquet says. “His most recent paper on the subject is available at Amazon for less than $900.”
“Not only that, but state governments should extend the home lockdown to prevent senseless mushroom-related deaths,” Benzedrine says. “We’ll also open up a sandal shop where everyone will share.”
“Our most recent success is the sharp drop in pedestrian deaths in the Big Apple,” Baquet says. “58 days have passed since a pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle. That’s the longest stretch since we began tracking pedestrian fatalities in 1983.”
Dr. Benzedrine offers us some dubious-looking hors d’oeuvres in what appears to be a bent hubcap.
“Our algorithm can keep fear of the coronavirus at current levels,” he says, slurping an appetizer decorated with cleverly-printed letters. “But it takes a village to keep the city’s normally congested roads wiped clean of vehicles.”
I feel a bit guilty for thinking it, but somewhere deep down I wonder if pedestrians glued to their smartphones might have something to do with their own senseless deaths.
Dr. Benzedrine seemingly reads my mind. “The days when your mother told you to look both ways before you cross the street are gone,” he says. “Government needs to act.”
Not wanting to be rude, I sample one of Dr. Benzedrine’s munchies, and suddenly feel like humans will always wrestle with feelings of helplessness and futility, but that GIGO’s proven interventions can prevent the senseless tragedy of doing nothing to prevent senseless deaths.
I watch in wonder as Baquet and Benzedrine manipulate the 24-foot dataviz to show how even the deaths of Deadspin and Mr. Peanut were not senseless, and the unforeseen rush of community in this data-driven sanctuary hits me like a truck.
Finally, I understand that joining together in our mutual concern to face 2050 with open and tearful eyes, we can emerge feeling reassured and spiritually infused for the final push to defeat senseless death.