Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shoddy Design Will Save Us From Robot Apocalypse

We will survive the robot apocalypse.

I can say this with certainty for a very simple reason. I own a computer. I own a phone. They do absolutely crazy things and without my caring but stern hand, they would crash and burn faster than the previous computer I owned that also crashed and burned.

My computer has been on the fritz recently. The brightest the screen can go is ever so slightly above black hole. Luckily it's above that level, because otherwise all matter and light would be sucked into the darkness of my computer and humanity would come to an end.  As I recently said, if I want to see it, I must lean in and hold a flashlight to the screen to make out vague outlines of what may or may not be my icons or possibly pornography.

Terminator riding motorcycle
If the machines looked as cool as Arnie, they might
have a chance. Maybe.
It's annoying, but it's not the end of humanity. I even treated my computer with the utmost of care. Who here among us hasn't said "You know, I'd really like to have Doritos dust slathered into all of my orifices." Just about everyone with the exception of my computer has made that claim at one point, because I lovingly placed untold amounts of Doritos dust in that machine. Same goes for "Do I actually need this F11 key?" My computer knew it was an emphatic "No!" which is why I ripped it off in an attempt to get at the Doritos lode it had stashed underneath.

Yet with all this love, the power invertors have stopped inverting. The computer is now a very nice paperweight, bound to end up at the bottom of a quarry. This robotic system died, much like those plotting world domination will do.

On its own, this story might not be notable, but when paired with the following occurrence, a disturbing trend in the computing world emerges. I walked around downtown Seattle and needed to get to places I hadn't been. I loaded up the walking navigation app and went on my way. That part went off without a hitch, but when I hopped into my car to leave, problems exploded. I put in my home address and hopped on the interstate.

For some reason, my phone thought it was actually me walking the 65 MPH on the interstate. Note I didn't even say it thought I was running, it just said "Oh, he must have had some protein today and can go faster than any man ever has before. I'll just advise him to walk off the interstate."
Every time I approached an exit, the magical talking voice pleaded with me to exit. But I just kept driving, obviously messing with its intricate logic system. Were the robots rationale, it would probably think "Oh, he made an error countless people have made, I'll just adjust to driving directions." Instead, I met the computer equivalent of a screeching back seat driver/walker.

Some might claim these situations are all human error and actually shows the infallibility of a computer that it can follow the idiotic suggestions of a human, no matter how moronic the idea may be. Valid point, but at the end of the day, this so called moron of a human being is still alive, while his computer sits mournfully unused underneath a bookcase. And you better believe my cell phone got silenced because of our (not) harrowing journey on the interstate!

So fear not. Come December 21, 2012, we're not going to need to worry about robots uprising and stabbing us with their space age plasma swords. They're far too incompetent to actually succeed in that simple directive. Instead, we'll probably all die by slipping on banana peels simultaneously at everyone's "End of the World As We Know It" parties.

Dancing The Robot
Although, cyborgs on the other hand...

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