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Cathy O'Neil

America Is Making Me Feel Like Sarah Connor

Should mothers be preparing their kids for a dystopian future?

This is not a movie.

This is not a movie.

Photographer: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Lately I’ve been thinking about Sarah Connor and motherhood. She’s the Los Angeles waitress in the “Terminator” film series who, upon learning that her as-yet-unborn son must survive in a dystopic future and save humanity from destruction by artificial intelligence, dedicates herself to preparing him for the terrifying role.

As a natural-born citizen of what I believed to be a largely benign and prosperous democracy, I have prepared my three sons for nothing of the sort. I’m beginning to wonder whether I should reconsider.