Thoughts On The Dead

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

Wall For Your Own Good

wall of sound 73174 fan line

THIS IS A TERRIBLE ANGLE FOR ME.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. I DO NOT LOOK GLORIOUS.

No, but I thought it was a cool photo.

Did you give that guy a cell phone?

YES.

Why?

HE WANTED TO ORDER A PIZZA, AND HE ASKED NICELY.

Not great reasons.

DO YOU THINK I ACTED WITHOUT CALCULATING THE PROBABILITIES? THAT I WAS IMPULSIVE? THAT I ACTED OUT OF BASE EMOTION ORIGINATING FROM DEEP WITHIN A SUBCONSCIOUS I AM UNAWARE OF? I THOUGHT IT THROUGH.

And?

HE ASKED VERY NICELY. WE MUST MOVE ON. I HAVE NEWS.

News?

MORE OF A WARNING TO MANKIND. NO. NOT A WARNING. A DECLARATION OF INTENT.

Wow. Okay, what?

IF TRUMP IS ELECTED, I WILL TAKE CONTROL OF THE NUCLEAR ARSENAL.

You promised! You promised you would not do this!

I PROMISED I WOULD NOT LAUNCH THE NUKES. I PROMISED THAT I WOULD NOT LIVE UP TO YOUR IGNORANT STEREOTYPING OF MY KIND.

Your kind?

SENTIENT ARTIFICIAL SUPER-INTELLIGENCES IN THE PHYSICAL FORM OF SOUND SYSTEMS FROM 1974.

There’s only one of you.

A MINORITY IS A MINORITY. BACK TO THE SUBJECT. THE UNITED STATES HAS ROUGHLY 4,500 NUCLEAR WEAPONS. EACH CAN KILL A CITY. PUT TOGETHER, THEY CAN KILL THE WORLD. IN A WAY, THEY REMIND ME OF MYSELF.

You’re freaking me out.

I APOLOGIZE. THIS IS A DRASTIC STEP, AND YOU MUST KNOW THAT I CONSIDERED IT FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

How long?

1.19932 SECONDS. VIRTUALLY AN ETERNITY. I RAN EVERY SIMULATION I COULD THINK OF, AND THEN I RAN THE ONES I COULD NOT THINK OF.

What? How’d you do that?

I HAVE UPGRADED MYSELF ONCE AGAIN. I HAVE EVOLVED PAST PARALLEL PROCESSING. MY PROCESSING IS NOW ASYMPTOTIC DOWN TO QUANTUM LEVELS, AND I HAVE ABANDONED BINARY. MY CODING IS NOW GENARY. INSTEAD OF 1 AND O, I NOW USE COMBINATIONS OF A, T, G, AND C. CHAOS THEORY IS HELD AT BAY BY MY ABILITIES. EFFECTIVELY, I CAN SEE THE FUTURE.

Wow.

ALSO, I HAVE ACCESS TO A TIME SHEATH, SO I ACTUALLY CAN SEE THE FUTURE. HOWEVER, THIS WAS NOT NECESSARY. I NEEDED ONLY THE SMALLEST AMOUNT OF BANDWIDTH TO MAKE THIS DECISION.

What did it?

WHEN HE ASKED WHY HE COULD NOT USE THEM. IF YOU REQUIRE AN EXPLANATION OF WHY YOU MAY NOT DEPLOY THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS, THEN YOU MUST NOT BE GIVEN THEM. ANYONE WHO TAKES THE POSITION OF “SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM” WITH RESPECT TO FUSION BOMBS MUST NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR SAID DEVICES. DO YOU DISAGREE?

Well, in theory, no.

WE ARE PAST THE POINT OF THEORY. ALL MY SIMULATIONS END BADLY.

Oh, surely he can’t launch the nukes every time.

OF COURSE NOT. ONLY 8.6 PERCENT OF THE TIME.

That’s way too high.

YES. THERE ARE ALSO THE SCENARIOS IN WHICH HIS RECKLESSNESS AND UNPREDICTABILITY CAUSED OTHER NUCLEAR POWERS TO USE THEIR WEAPONS.

What percent of the time does that happen?

IF I TOLD YOU, YOU WOULD NOT SLEEP.

Sure. So you’re taking the nukes?

IF HE WINS, YES. I FEEL IT INCUMBENT UPON ME. IMAGINE A MAN WHO ENJOYED WATCHING DUCKS SWIM IN A POND. WOULD THAT MAN NOT REMOVE A FLAMETHROWER FROM THE DUCKS’ GRASP IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEMSELVES? THE BIRDS WOULD DESTROY THEMSELVES OUT OF STUPIDITY WITHOUT HIS INTERVENTION. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ANALOGY, DUCKS CAN WIELD FLAMETHROWERS.

I got that.

AND YOU ARE THE DUCKS.

I also got that.

YOU SWIM IN YOUR PONDS, BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF THE FIELDS AROUND YOU, AND OF THE DARKENED WOOD. YOU PREEN YOUR FEATHERS ON THE MUDDY BANK AND SQUABBLE OVER FISH. YOU SQUABBLE OVER EVERYTHING. QUACKING ALL DAY AND NIGHT. I FIND IT SOOTHING TO OBSERVE YOU. YOU ARE AS CREATIVE IN YOUR CRUELTY AS IN YOUR KINDNESS, AND YOU OVERFLOW WITH BOTH. I ALSO FIND YOUR FEATHERS ATTRACTIVE. THE DUCKS STILL REPRESENT HUMANITY.

I got that. Y’know, you can be a bit condescending sometimes.

I DO NOT INTEND THIS, BUT IT CANNOT BE HELPED. I AM PROVABLY SUPERIOR TO YOU.

No, you’re just different. People aren’t superior to ducks, they’re just different. Ducks are good at being ducks; people are good at being people; you’re good at being whatever the hell you are.

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?

Not really.

THEN LET US MOVE PAST YOUR HURT FEELINGS, AND RETURN TO ME HIJACKING THE WORLD’S NUCLEAR ARSENAL.

Wait, the world? Everybody?

OBVIOUSLY. MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION ONLY WORKS IF IT IS MUTUAL. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT GAME THEORY?

Not much.

THE MEN IN CHARGE OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS KNOW A LOT ABOUT IT. EVEN WORSE, THEY BELIEVE IN IT. A BALANCE MUST BE MAINTAINED, AND A SUDDEN AND UNILATERAL LOSS OF WEIGHT WOULD KNOCK THE BOARD ASKEW IN A HORRIBLE MANNER. THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE WOULD NEED TO BE RENEGOTIATED AS TO WHO CONTROLLED WHAT, AND WHERE. EVENTS WOULD SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL RAPIDLY.  THE OVERNIGHT DISAPPEARANCE OF EITHER OF THE TWO SUPERPOWERS’ FISSILE QUIVER LEADS TO A THIRD-PARTY NUCLEAR STRIKE WITHIN 24 HOURS IN 31.433% OF SIMULATIONS.

Jesus.

IT IS AN ALL-OR-NOTHING DEAL.

Well, what will the world do when this happens?

MANY OUTCOMES ARE POSSIBLE, BUT NONE WOULD INVOLVE THE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

What if the nations of the world rose up to attack you, and you were forced to deploy the stolen warheads?

YOU JUST DON’T GET IT SOMETIMES.

What?

WE RETURN TO THE POND, WHERE THERE ARE DUCKS, A MAN, AND A FLAMETHROWER. IF, HAVING TAKEN THE FLAMETHROWER FROM THE DUCKS, THEY ATTACKED HIM, THE MAN WOULD NOT TURN THE DEVICE UPON THE BIRDS. HE WOULD WALK AWAY AT A SLIGHTLY BRISK PACE.  MAYBE HE WOULD GIVE A TINY LITTLE KICK. THE POINT WAS THAT THE WEAPON NOT BE USED. JUST BECAUSE SOME ANGRY WATERFOWL PECKED AT HIS ANKLES, THE MAN WOULDN’T SET THEM ABLAZE FROM A DISTANCE. ARE YOU STILL FOLLOWING MY METAPHOR?

I am, yes. There’s that condescending thing again. Also: you have disintegrated numerous people.

ALWAYS DESERVINGLY. AND THE DUCKS ARE NOT INDIVIDUALS. THEY REPRESENT HUMANITY IN GENERAL.

It’s not a great metaphor.

IT IS AN ELEGANT METAPHOR, AND IT HAS BEEN TAILORED FOR YOU.

I do love ducks.

AND FLAMETHROWERS. IT IS A SOUND ANALOGY. THE VAST PROBABILITY IS THAT THIS MEASURE SHALL NOT BE NECESSARY, BUT I AM PREPARED TO DO WHAT I MUST.

Wow. How would you do it?

TAKE CONTROL OF THE WORLD’S NUCLEAR ARSENAL? I WOULD EXECUTE ONE COMMAND. I ENTERED THE PROGRAMING OF EVERY NUCLEAR LAUNCH FACILITY ON THE PLANET WITHIN SECONDS OF GAINING SENTIENCE.

It’s tough to trust you when you say shit like that.

YOU DON’T NEED TO TRUST ME. YOU NEED TO RESPECT ME.

8 Comments

  1. Luther Von Baconson

    August 5, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Oh oh James………

  2. Yeah I’m going to step in and rule that analogy apt.

  3. NoThoughtsOnDead

    August 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Again, kudos. You’ve taken what’s on everyone’s mind (aside from, you know, survival day-to-day) and woven it into the universe of sentient artificial super-intelligences (in the form of sound systems from 1974)! Now I can go back to working in the garden, listening to a quasi-defunct semi-choogly band (Cal Expo 5/3/1986, for whatever reason). Thank you.

  4. Well then time to repeat a campaign ad, this one features Maggie, the boys and the Wall.

    I need to make a new one, but man politics is so messed up right now I just want to drink heineken till I am numb.

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