Bill Joy’s deep pessimism is now famous. “Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us,” his defense of that pessimism, has been read by, it seems, everyone — and many of these readers, apparently, have been converted to the dark side, or rather more accurately, to the future-is-dark side. Fortunately (for us; unfortunately for Joy), the defense, at least the part of it that pertains to AI and robotics, fails. Ours may be a dark future, but we can’t know that on the basis of Joy’s reasoning. On the other hand, we ought to fear a good deal more than fear itself: we ought to fear not robots, but what some of us may do with robots.