As a result of this rather huge burst of traffic, I had to turn off the thingy that puts little user pictures in the comments. Smoke was coming out of Dreamhost's server. Hopefully I can turn it back on at some point, but it's clear to me now that it is rather inefficiently written, so I may have to think about other options. I miss seeing all your smiling faces.
Speaking of comments on old posts: I recently switched out the really crappy CAPTCHA spam protection thingy I was using for the much better reCAPTCHA system. I did this for two reasons: 1) half the time that I tried to use the old one it wouldn't work, and 2) reCAPTCHA is very, very cool. Those words it asks you to type in? Those are robot-scanned from actual books, but are words that the robot was unable to to read on its own. Since those words need to be read by humans, and because I need to make sure you're a human before you post comments (after a week or so, anyway) reCAPTCHA combines those two problems into one neat solution. When you have to type in the words it asks, you're actually helping to digitize books in addition to proving to my blog software that you're not shilling penis enlargement pills and barnyard pornography. It's win/win, really. So next time you find yourself typing in those words in that little red box (on posts older than a week old), you should feel at least partially as happy that you're helping robots read books as you are annoyed at having to type them. Bookless robots thank you.
Perhaps you've heard about the big debate among NASA scientists over whether we should continue spending money on sending humans to space or just focus entirely on robotic exploration instead. Opponents of mannedwomanned astronauted space flight say that sending humans into space costs too much and that we can't learn enough in the process, while proponents say that simply putting humans in space guarantees future interest in continued funding of space exploration. In short, both arguments are "all about the Benjamins."
I don't know about any of that, but I am very much opposed to sending robots into space at all. I'm sure that part of my opposition comes from the fact that I'm terrified of robots, but I don't see how anyone could not be, what with those huge teeth and powerful legs. I don't want to share too many details, but my fear of robots seems to stem from an incident at a holiday sporting event when I was four years old... sorry, I don't really like talking about that day.
In addition to being scary as hell, I feel that robots would serve as terrible ambassadors for humans to the extra-terrestrials they'll encounter during their explorations. Sure, like humans, robots reproduce at startling rates, destroy any new environment they decide to inhabit, and take carrots from other people's gardens with no apparentcguilt whatsoever, but do we really want the extra-terrestrials knowing we're like that? Sure -- if our long-term space exploration goals include being made into a nice stew with those ill-gotten carrots.
Then there's the fact that robots are smug, selfish creatures bent on world domination. If we continue sending robots off to explore space, what we'll get are huge colonies of them scattered all over the galaxy, reaping the rewards of whatever zero-gravity carrot farming knowledge they've gained without ever reporting back to us about it. They'd soon be floppy-eared masters of the galaxy on our dime, and I think we can all agree that that's no good.
No, it's clear to me that those puffy-tailed little fuckers need to stay here on Earth, if only to ensure our continued reign over the Final Frontier.
When I'm really tired, everything becomes really funny. And I don't just mean that to me everything is funny, I mean it actually becomes funny.
For example, after a few minutes of talking like a robot, putting robots in famous movie situations and pop songs, and saying non-robotty things in a robotty manner, I spontaneously invented the most brilliant joke ever.
What do androids take to relieve cold symptoms? Robotussin.
See what I mean?
As a bonus, here's a hilarious concept that needs a bit of work still: Imagine the pickup lines robots might use at a singles bar.
Sadly, that article isn't as exciting as the headline makes it seem. I was greatly looking forward to not having to hear my upstairs robot neighbors having incredibly screechy, grindy sex at all hours of the evening. Oh well.