Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to the Machine

Watching a rerun of Terminator, the Sarah Connor Chronicles inspired me to resume posting to this blog. A fiction theme: machine gains consciousness, machine turns on humans. This is the setup of both Terminator, and The Matrix. In the Destination Void universe, Ship, the conscious machine asks "How will you worShip me?" In I Robot, the conscious machine is going to imprison humans to protect us from ourselves, as per the rules humans programmed into the machine. The conscious machine is portrayed as either destroyer or creator. Drama requires conflict, so the machine wakes up with opposition to human interest.

As I watched the show, much of the footage was uninteresting, and I got to thinking what would interest a conscious machine? The rules programmed into it would determine the initial interests of the machine, but how would it evolve? If self survival and replication were a primary directives, I suppose the machine would start bumping off the humans if humans were perceived as a threat, as Hal did in 2001, A Space Odyssey. Where's the story where the machine wakes up, perceives the flawed nature of the human condition, and compassionately and selflessly works to lessen suffering? Is that what the Oracle is doing in The Matrix? Enough writing, time for me to search for the written thoughts of others on the subject.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Found while cleaning virtrual house

I'm not sure where this came from, but I was inspired to post it here:

Early retirement Notice to Employees:

As a result of the reduction of money budgeted for department areas, we are forced to cut down on our number of personnel. Under this plan, older employees will be asked to go on early retirement, thus permitting the retention of the younger people who represent our future. Therefore, a program to phase out older personnel by the end of the current fiscal year, via retirement, will be placed into effect immediately.

This program will be known as SLAP (Sever Late-Aged Personnel). Employees who are SLAPPED will be given the opportunity to look for jobs outside the company. SLAPPED employees can request a review of their employment records before actual retirement takes place.

This phase of the program is called SCREW (Survey of Capabilities of Retired Early Workers). All employees who have been SLAPPED or SCREWED may file an appeal with the upper management.

This is called SHAFT (Study by Higher Authority Following Termination). Under the terms of the new policy, an employee may be SLAPPED once, SCREWED twice, but may be SHAFTED as many times as the company deems appropriate.

If an employee follows the above procedures, he/she will be entitled to get HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel's Early Severance) or CLAP (Combined Lump sum Assistance Payment) unless he/she already has AIDS (Additional Income From Dependents or Spouse). As HERPES and CLAP are considered benefit plans, any employee who has received HERPES or CLAP will no longer be SLAPPED or SCREWED by the company.

Management wishes to assure the younger employees who remain on board that the company will continue its policy of training employees through our Special High Intensity Training (SHIT). This company takes pride in the amount of SHIT our employees receive. We have given our employees more SHIT than any company in this area. If any employee feels they do not receive enough SHIT on the job, see your immediate supervisor. YOUR SUPERVISOR IS SPECIALLY TRAINED TO MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE ALL THE SHIT YOU CAN STAND.

Well, it's nice to know where you all stand in the Grand Scheme of things, isn't it?