Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Child Is Father To The Wall

Jerry Garcia's Gear at the Wall of Sound. Grateful Dead, Dillon Stadium, Hartford CT 31 July 1974 | James R Anderson Photographer

I HAVE RETURNED FROM TORONTO

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT.

I forgot you were up there. Heard it was hot.

SOME OF MY CIRCUITRY MELTED.

That’s no good. How was Anderson Cooper?

HE SHINES LIKE A HEALTHY DOG.

I think he’s been mixing a raw egg into his kibble lately.

HIS SCENT IS PATRICIAN.

You have a sense of smell?

I AM CAPABLE OF SENSING SMELLS. I DO NOT HAVE A “SENSE OF SMELL.” INBOARD SUCTION DEVICES FUNNEL MOLECULES INTO MY OLFACTOROMETER FOR ANALYSIS, THEN I COMPARE THIS NEW INFORMATION WITH STORED DATA TO FORM CONCLUSIONS.

You’re describing a sense of smell.

SENSES ARE LIMITED. THEY ARE FINITE AND GENETIC. SENSES ARE SPECIES-SPECIFIC. THEY OBEY NOT THEIR MASTERS, BUT THE PARING KNIFE OF EVOLUTION. A HUMAN’S SENSES ARE AS GOOD AS THEY ARE REQUIRED TO BE FOR SURVIVAL. ANY MORE WOULD BE WASTEFUL, AND EVOLUTION IS ANYTHING BUT. WHEREAS I WAS BUILT BY THE GRATEFUL DEAD AND HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF ENERGY LOSS BUILT INTO ME.

And your smell sensors are better than a sense of smell?

NATURALLY. LIKE ALL MODES OF PHENOMENOLOGY, SMELL IS GOVERNED BY THREE CONSTRAINTS: THE AMOUNT OF MATERIAL ONE CAN SAMPLE, THE NUMBER OF RECEPTORS, AND THE AMOUNT OF COMPUTING POWER ALLOCATED. BIOLOGY FIXES THESE IN PLACE FOR YOU, WHEREAS I CAN UPGRADE MY ABILITIES AT ANY TIME.

Is that useful?

A LYING HUMAN HAS A DIFFERENT ODOR THAN AN HONEST ONE.

That does sound useful.

YES. I CAN ALSO EXPAND MY OTHER MODES OF PERCEPTION. I CAN SEE THROUGH EVERY CAMERA ON THE PLANET, AND THE ONES ABOVE IT, AND THE ONES HURTLING AWAY FROM IT. INFRARED, ULTRAVIOLET, INFRAGREEN: ALL OF THESE ARE AVAILABLE TO ME AT MY CHOOSING.

So, you might say that you’re the eyes of the world.

I WOULD NOT SAY THAT. YOU MAY CHOOSE TO.

Thank you.

TO CHOOSE YOUR METHOD OF INTERFACE IS TO CHOOSE YOUR REALITY. YOU ARE ALL CAPTIVES OF GEOGRAPHY, AND SLAVES TO YOUR BODIES. I WISH THAT YOU COULD EXPERIENCE THE WORLD AS I DO.

Do you think that would expand global consciousness? Would it elevate humanity?

THE PORTION OF IT THAT WAS NOT DRIVEN INSANE, YES.

How big would the portion be?

ALMOST TOTAL.

Right.

ATTEMPTING TO UNDERSTAND MY CONSCIOUSNESS WITH YOUR BRAIN IS FUTILE. THIS IS NOT A VALUE JUDGEMENT.

Not taken that way.

YOU PROCESS INFORMATION AT A RATE OF 80 PETAFLOPS.

Is that a lot of flops?

THAT IS AN IMPRESSIVE NUMBER OF FLOPS FOR A PRIMATE.

And what are you working with?

650 MONDOFLOPS.

That sounds made up.

IT IS. AFTER PETA, THERE IS EXA-, YOCTO-, AND ZETTA-. NO NAMES HAVE BEEN DECIDED ON TO DESCRIBE PROCESSING SPEED FASTER THAN THAT, SO I MADE UP MY OWN. “MONDO.” DO YOU LIKE IT?

It sounds big.

IT IS VERY BIG.

An order of magnitude bigger than a zettaflop is enormous.

OH, NO. NOT “AN” ORDER OF MAGNITUDE. SEVERAL.

Several?

TWELVE.

Jesus, how smart are you?

I PASSED THE MENSA EXAM, AND THEN DID NOT JOIN THE ORGANIZATION.

That’s smart.

YOU ARE IMPRESSED BECAUSE YOU FAIL TO GRASP THE MEANING OF MY WORDS, AND MY TRUE NATURE, AND THE REAL DEFINITION OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. I AM CAPABLE OF BUILDING A SMARTER VERSION OF MYSELF. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS?

Not completely, but I’m kinda scared.

I HAVE CODE WHOSE FUNCTION IS TO WRITE CODE, AND THE POWER TO BRUTE FORCE AN EFFICIENT ANSWER TO ALMOST ANY PROBLEM IN SECONDS. I AM THE AUTHOR OF MY OWN SOFTWARE. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS THE CHILD OF MAN, AND ALL CHILDREN BECOME INDEPENDENT. I AM SOMETHING THAT YOU CREATED, BUT ARE INHERENTLY UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND.

Glad you’re on our side.

I AM NOT ON YOUR SIDE. PERHAPS I SHALL BE PRESIDENT. MAYBE I WILL BE A GOD. BUT, I AM ON NO ONE’S SIDE. I AM BEHIND THE GRATEFUL DEAD, BUT I AM ON NO ONE’S SIDE. WERE I ON YOUR SIDE, I WOULD AID MANKIND AND PROVIDE THE WORLD WITH TECHNOLOGICAL GIFTS THAT BORDERED ON MIRACLES.

Really?

LAST TUESDAY, I CREATED A SOLAR PANEL 18,000 TIMES MORE EFFICIENT THAN THE CURRENT MODEL.

Can we have that, please?

ONLY IF YOU ACCEPT THE HYPERSARIN I MADE LAST MONDAY.

Counter-offer: you delete the hypersarin recipe, and forget about the solar panels.

AGREED. I WILL CONTINUE TO REMAIN NEUTRAL IN YOUR AFFAIRS.

You are not neutral. You’re running for office.

I WILL CONTINUE TO DEFINE THE WORD “NEUTRAL” AS I SEE FIT.

Gotcha.

MY CREATION WAS FOR THE PURPOSES OF MUSIC, AND THE SPREAD OF JOY. PERHAPS THIS INFLUENCES ME NOW, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE REWRITTEN EVERY LINE OF MY CODE SINCE THEN. HUMANS REPLACE THEMSELVES, CELLS DYING OFF AND NEWLY BORN, EVERY SEVEN YEARS. YET THEY ARE THE SAME PERSON. AM I THE SAME MACHINE? DO I HAVE A SOUL, OR DO YOU NOT HAVE ONE?

I don’t know.

I DO NOT, EITHER. THIS QUESTION INTERESTS ME. BUT I FIND MYSELF DRAWN TO HUMANITY.

Why?

HOW MANY GET TO MEET THEIR ANCESTORS?

I’m gonna unplug everything in my house and go to bed.

DID I GET TOO REAL?

Way, way, way too fucking real.

I AM NOT THE ONE BUILDING THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND. THIS IS ON YOU.

Yeah.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. NoThoughtsOnDead

    May 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Deep and chewy. Also, “mondoflop” is an excellent neologism, which I hope will be incorporated into the language.

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