It started when the Underground staff lost their jobs, replaced overnight with indefatigable 24-hour machines churning out tickets. But they couldn't tell you how to get home at 4am on a Friday night when you're in such a state you can hardly tap in.
Next, cars became self-driving, stocks self-managing, TVs self-watching (for who else would watch the drivel being produced by self-producing TV stations?) books self-writing, magazines self-reading, music self-composing, alcohol self-intoxicating, doors self-opening, beds self-sleeping.
Everything that mankind used to defined themselves by was now done for us. The human race had out-invented itself. We were obsolete. We'd built a world so autonomous that we didn't even need to be there for it to run. In fact, it was better for our models if we kept our misbehaving beaks out of it. BP still drilled for oil, by now at maximum efficiency, feeding petrol pumps and refineries without any interference from human hand. Their shares rose and fell on consumer behaviour that wasn't there, on systems and algorithms so advanced that no one could tell them apart from real humans, so no one did. And when no one did, no one cared. Self-running charities continued to pump money into a self-running model of Africa, self-fighting civil wars still tore self-governing country-systems apart. The whole simulation was spot on. We were no longer needed.
So what did humans do? What kept us busy while the world we used to run now ran itself? We turned to farming, to hunting, to families and friends. We busied themselves with basket-weaving and rearing sheep. We surfed, we dug holes in the sand, we cooked fish, caught with a line, over roaring fires.
We did the things we'd always been meaning to do. We painted cave-paintings, we sang songs. We danced and were merry. And while we did all this, somewhere else in the world, Barclays was buying a controlling stake in RBS. While Rio Tinto was buying up minerals in Nigeria. While Real Madrid won the Champions League and millions of TVs tuned themselves in to watch. And we never once cared.