Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well I hope the cat videos were worth it once Skynet takes over

Well, it's the end of 2013, the time when a dog takes a look back at the events of the last twelve months and tries to piece together some sort of sense out of the whole mess.

Except that I'm not going to do that because I've got something else on my mind.

For Christmas my dad got me a really pretty nice flat screen TV.  This was pretty cool in and of itself, but on further inspection I discovered that it was something called a 'Smart TV' (which is a bit disturbing in and of itself - I don't like to imagine my household appliances sitting around 'thinking' things.  Partially because of the ethical issues involved in subjugating them, but mostly because any television that had access to both a reasoning process and my list of DVR'd TV shows would almost certainly begin judging me sooner rather than later.)

I was even more disturbed upon going through the setup screens to discover a bit of copy that explained that the TV was capable of learning as it interacted with me.  Jesus Christ.  Not only does this make me solely responsible for shaping the perceptions and worldview of the thing, it means that we have deliberately set up a machine (which I'm pretty sure was smarter than me to begin with) with the ability to increase that knowledge and power of reasoning and I'm pretty sure that that course leads directly to Terminators.

Not that I'm against the whole concept of machines taking over from man in general principle.  I can't imagine a  machine doing a worse job of governing than - say - Mitch McConnell.*  Hell, I'd willingly replace him with your average waffle iron any day of the week.  At least the waffle iron wouldn't get so caught up with petty vindictiveness that it would prefer to actively damage the country rather than let anyone else have their way.  Plus - waffles.  Mmmm.  Waffles.

*Note for foreign readers - You'll probably just have to take my word on this one.  And honestly, you're happier not knowing anything about him, I promise.

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