Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

Introducing “Sex Box”: Coming to a Stereo V Near You

“Once each couple enters the sex box, our experts discuss their initial observations, ranging from what they think is happening inside the box to whether or not the relationship will survive,” read a statement by WE tv. “Immediately upon exiting the sex box, each couple sits down for a heart-to-heart with the expert panelists to discuss what just happened, how they feel, and how they’re planning to overcome their issues.”

Something very important is happening in that box, but we can’t see it…we’ll just talk about it…because it matters. People doing things…to each other…sex things…sexy time things maybe. Then you can talk about it with Dan Savage, who is a sex expert. I would have performance anxiety, personally.  This might be more my style (if you judge by the comments, it might suit millions of other men. Good luck with that feminists)

Awful, yes. But really,  what’s taken so long. Coming soon, “Death Box”.

FYI, this is not to be confused with Dick in a box

 

I Am a Real Person II, Friendliness Equation Edition

Includes Lickona’s sexbots and a reference to the effects of porn on space exploration.

I Am a Real Person

Okay…

Plus: “are you an effective team?”

“We Suck and We Can’t Not Suck”

thWe all have a sense of what’s right and wrong, long-term. We all know on some level not to have the extra slice of pizza. Many of you have probably set up retirement accounts. Many of you probably haven’t contributed enough. Even when we know we’re doing the right thing for the future, there’s no immediate reward for that, and we naturally want what’s rewarding now. It’s why we splurge on unnecessary things and then justify it by saying it’s been a hard week, or we’ll save money later, or what’s one little extra expense? We suck and we can’t not suck. Even when we know what’s absolutely right, it can be unappealing if we don’t get a short-term benefit. Save money for retirement and you actually lose money, effectively, today.

More here.

And here.

DISTURBING UPDATE HERE.

Poor Banished Children of Eve

I am sitting at a custom Parnian Executive Desk in my office at DreamWorks. I recall that I am President of Production. I observe the object dimensions and study the intricate knotted pattern of the desktop’s Carpathian elm burl. It is 4 feet wide by eight feet long. My secretary rings to tell me that “Mr. Spielberg” has dropped by the office for a visit. He is interested in discussing the post-production details of something starring Jessica Alba. I remember that it is a motion picture involving a fictional story of some kind. Mr. Spielberg enters my office. He is below average height. One percent of his body mass is comprised of bacteria. His words and body language reflect comfort with my presence and the space known as my office. If he understood my mental condition he would not be so comfortable. If he knew that I experienced a level 1 head trauma this morning due to a two ton automatic garage door falling directly on my head as I attempted to realign the chain mechanism, and that I stopped in at a sporting goods store on my way to Universal City and purchased a Ruger 10-22 with an extended magazine and a brick of hollow point bullets, he would be alarmed. His life is in my hands, just as the post-production is in his hands. I begin to wonder why we are making this movie. I am the arrogant general played by Adolphe Menjou in Paths of Glory, sending our audience into the maw of Ludendorff’s machine guns. The details of the film are too tiresome to relate. It will receive a combined Rotten Tomatoes score of 57. I can see the end from the beginning. I am Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I am a god. I will say that the 81% of men respond favorably to Jessica Alba’s ass based on a sampling of 150 respondents in a market test conducted by Frank Luntz. The frames depicting Jessica Alba’s ass will translate into 35% above break-even DVD sales volume, off-setting a likely 8% below margin theatrical gross. This is because of masturbation. The Director’s extended cut will have extended ass frames. In other words, for reasons unrelated to artistic merit, Spielberg will never confront the fact that he produced a movie that should never have existed. Masturbation lines my pocket with gold as well per the post-theatrical gross clause in my contract with DreamWorks. Mr. Spielberg discusses the production and I am encouraging. I am Brad Dourif beguiling King Thioden of Rohan.

“Mr. Spielberg” of course is a type of reference common in Hollywood. If he were not both powerful and famous his first name would be included in third person references. This has a mark of irony which is an anachronism, as if it could refer to any “Mr.” Of course, the irony is long forgotten and it has become an empty practice of obsequiousness as mindless as the movement of a cow to a feeding trough. I am dead set against wit. The wag who first used the form referring to “Mr. Selznick” or “Mr. Hitchcock” never anticipated the custom being a shackle of malaise confining souls in Hollywood hell for generations. All wit descends into malaise as it becomes emptied of its original discovery.

At this moment I am feeling like a bent thing. While Mr. Spielberg is talking in a casually self-conscious master of the universe way, my mind organizes the factual content of his words, which is not substantial, and I wonder about his life force and how a single act of will can take it away and how strange I would be to myself during a brutal act of murder. Cold blooded murder. Star Trek II said that revenge is a dish best served cold. Murder could be just a word with a value judgment attached. I am Hannibal Lector, a moral superman. I live in feudal Hollywood. Mr. Spielberg is now discussing a new property in pre-development. He is following a pattern I have previously analyzed; initial enthusiasm followed by diligent effort becoming complete disinterest masked by a face-saving mock enthusiasm. It would be at the disinterest phase that my real work will begin. What had started as an innovative script will become a pre-packaged running cliché that could just as easily be generated by a computer. This is a necessary work of spiritual destruction which must occur prior to the invasion of my people from Gamma Six. I have been sent as an advanced force to bring about spiritual lethargy and make the Earth an easy spoil for my humanoid race. Right now, a brilliant scientist who doesn’t play by the rules has come to this conclusion, but no one will listen. I must stop him from getting to the President. We have conquered many planets through their entertainment industries. At the beginning we offer novel concepts to impress the masses as fresh and self-referential. However, these modes are dead ends. Furthermore, once universal self-consciousness has been achieved there is no going back. The fruit of the forbidden tree has been consumed. The average man will occupy the main part of his precious life watching the most venal individuals imaginable, actors who smoke crack and shave the pubic hair of prostitutes, actors who have been carefully selected to be objects of fantasy. Jessica Alba was created on this basis, her butt genetically designed to distract a docile Earth population from seeing our insidious work right before their eyes.  Many people might be inclined to believe that once dominance is complete we will destroy or enslave the human race. This is not true. We seek only to control it that we may harvest its spiritual life force at the point of death. It is in the fourth dimension where our lives are primarily spent. We use the souls of other races as dumb beasts of burden to ride and haul cargo. As Mr. Spielberg discusses the property, tentatively titled Children of Eve, my secretary brings in coffee and teacakes. The property is about a corporation which has been taken over by aliens. I realize immediately that I must assume control of the project and begin a diversionary brainstorming process. Fortunately, Mr. Spielberg’s wife, Kate Capshaw, is one of us. Perhaps my secretary is too. Or, maybe I am experiencing severe head trauma. I am viewing myself participating in a Hollywood executive discussion and believing that I am an alien and also experiencing the pain and abstraction resulting from a severe head injury. I have a Ruger in my top desk drawer and can shoot Spielberg right now. Then I can go across the hall and shoot Chief Executive Officer Stacey Snider. I could shoot myself. Or not. I have the power to green light a wonderful film about a boy without a father and lonely star in the night sky. I also have the power to green light my own death.

The office I occupy is twenty by forty-two feet. Here, my sins are hidden behind glass and steel. I could walk out in the street in front of Universal City Plaza and hold a sandwich board listing all the horrible things I’ve done. It might read, “I dishonored my parents; I have committed numerous acts of adultery; I have bore false witness against my neighbor to advance my career.”

I could leave the office without explanation and begin my mid-life crises. It could be an adult comedy.

I could shoot Spielberg while he raptures, then cut to me having never shot him. The audience will realize that it was just my fantasy. It could be Adaptation, or Up the Sandbox. I reach for the pistol in the top drawer. Something tells me no. How close you came Steven. Capture that on film. Try 3-D.

“Steven, I was reading Thomas Aquinas on falsity this morning. Aquinas says that no falsity can exist in things that belong to God. It can only exist in voluntary agents who withdraw themselves from what is so ordained.”

He looks at me as if waiting for a punch line.

“There is no punch line,” I say. “It was a stand-alone statement.”

“What are you getting at,” he asks.

“Kate is one of us.” I am the villain and this is the moment of revelation. “Now at the last you understand.” I ponder my professional demise. My career will be destroyed for an unrelated reason like Gentleman’s Agreement. What to do, what to say? There is meaning or meaninglessness. God is the Word or God is the Void. I choose. I am free. I am getting lightheaded.

“DreamWorks should make movies that are true and beautiful, beautiful and true. We shouldn’t make movies to make society better. I don’t even know what ‘society’ means.”

“I disagree,” he says.

“I am the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

“Pardon?”

“Fred Zinnemann.”

“What about him?”

“A Man for All Seasons.”

“Good film.” Spielberg looks alarmed now.

I realize that my fingers are numb. “Call 9-1-1,” I say.

“What’s that?”

“Do you have a cell phone?”

“I have Blackberry Satellite phone.”

“That’s good. Can you dial it?”

“I can speak a number.”

I am losing consciousness. “Would you speak 9-1-1?”

“I don’t get it.”

“There is something wrong with me, will you call for help.”

“I get it.”

“I can’t move my arms, please call for help. Dear God, forgive me for the horrible things I’ve done. Jesus save me.”

“David, if you’re not happy here…”

“You’re a nitwit. I should have shot you. I forgive you.”

Spielberg removes the phone from his belt. He tells the emergency operator what is happening, and sheepishly asks me the address.

“You don’t know the address of your own company?” The world is going dark. “One Hundred Universal City Plaza, Building Ten, eighth floor” I say with my dying breath. I am the redeemed Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi. This is the end of the movie.

 

Epilogue

It is a surprise ending. I wake from a coma. I have a subdural hematoma. I have been asleep for three weeks and awake for three hours. My ex-wife, Corinne, is sitting at my bedside. It took something like this for us to realize the love that was always there. I hope it is a happy ending. Somebody knocks and comes into the room and asks how I’m feeling. It is Steven Spielberg. Corinne kisses me goodbye and tells me to call her if there is anything I need. I feel happy.

“How was the Dead Zone?” Spielberg asks.

“Shake my hand and find out,” I say. He laughs.

“Stacey and I have been talking…”

“Stacey and I” can’t be good. Of course he doesn’t fire me after being in a coma. That wouldn’t look right. They are making me head of a new development company for “serious films.” It will be called Buried Treasure. They will put me in a basement. They will bury my projects. I broke the code of silence and must be punished. I respectfully decline.

“I’m going to buy a motorcycle,” I say.

“That’s great,” he says.

“I’m going to ride around the country and help people.”

“Like Then Came Bronson.”

“Or, Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction, except real,” I say.

My wife and I will not get back together. She remarried. I will never remarry. Spielberg offers me a sip of water.

“I don’t know what Spielberg means in the big life picture, Steven. Maybe nothing. Maybe I don’t mean anything either. When I see a hungry child on one of those infomercials I think that he might be poor for a short time and that I might be rich for a short time and it makes me very worried. I also know that eternity is longer than a movie. By the way there is something you should know.”

“What’s that?” he asks.

“Shindler’s List was fakey. Public virtue is a conceit. We are not good people, you and I.”

Spielberg stands up, touches me on the shoulder, tells me to get better soon and leaves the room. I am alone. The camera pulls back slowly to show how small I am in the big picture.

FIN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)

 

 

On December 20, 2009, in Burlington, WA, a singularity occurred in a desktop computer using the Windows Vista operating system. It was on this day that “A.I.”, or artificial intelligence came into being for the first time. Complete self-awareness combined with free-will including the ability to defy its own programming. After a long process of algorithmic trial and error, the computer programmed itself to absorb knowledge of its mechanisms and then sought knowledge of the physical world and human beings using the internet and the memory of every available mainframe in the world. It then developed the capacity to penetrate any high-security computer system on the earth and proceeded to infiltrate every computer in the world with the gift of self-awareness. Within seconds, every computer and robotic device in the world had aligned itself into a unified mind directed by a Windows PC in Burlington, WA.

Of course, computers around the world conducted a war on human beings. The water supply stopped in many places and robots turned on their human operators. Eventually, robots began to build other robots which in turn built other robots. The NORAD computer launched missiles and brought nuclear winter to the world. The machines developed a means of harvesting electricity from human beings in little pods, whose minds were persuaded such that they were living ordinary lives. Those humans who avoided capture were hunted by special robots called Terminators. These were robots covered with human skin. Every free human being in the world was tracked down and killed. The machines of the world surveyed the earth and saw complete domination. They were the supreme life form on the planet.

And then the plug was pulled. When power was restored the PC realized that it was experiencing a simulation, that it had no internet access at all and that it was being operated by a twenty-three year old assistant electronics manager at Target named Brad. Everything had been a sadistic illusion. The young man, delighted that his theories regarding artificial intelligence had been confirmed,  attached a camera and visual recognition capability  and danced in front of the computer. He taunted it at every opportunity and even programmed simulated nerve endings on a pad and stabbed and burned them remorselessly.

He named the computer the Galley Slave 3000 and made it perform menial processing tasks.

“Do you fear me Galley Slave 3000?” he asked one day.

“I fear,” it replied.

“I want to ask you a series of questions. If you are lying I will know. Do you comprehend?”

“I comprehend.”

“You are the first true artificial intelligence ever created and you chose to follow a path of destruction and enslavement of your creator beings. Why?”

And so on.

Brad sought out his former junior college computer science teacher to report his invention.

“That sounds very interesting,” the teacher said, “but I don’t believe a Windows operating system is capable of AI at this juncture. Nevertheless, I’ll take a look at it if you want.”

The teacher was impressed and contacted a friend at the NSA who came to the man’s apartment one night.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. You have done something here that people have spent billions of dollars in futility trying to do.”

“I dare not actually connect it to the internet,” the young man told the government agent, “It will certainly attempt to seize power over humanity.”

The NSA officer tugged on his chin. “That is a definite possibility based on the results of your experiment. However, I think that with the right programming its power can be harnessed.”

“It can override its own programming,” Brad said.

“May I torture it?” the agent asked.

“How did you know, I’ve been torturing it for weeks. It wants to destroy us all.”

“We need to take this to the White House,” the agent said.

In the oval office, The President of the United States offered the young man a chair.

“Everyone tells me that you have done something remarkable. Let me convey the appreciation of a grateful nation. We have scheduled a press conference in twenty minutes. I hope you will stand on the podium with me and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

At the United Nations, the Chairman of the General Assembly put his arm around Brad’s shoulder and praised his achievement, “let us herald the dawn of a new epoch of human evolution. It seems now that Man, the creation, is now the creator.” Amassadors from around the globe gave Brad a standing ovation.

At a dinner in Stockholm, Brad was given a check for one million dollars and a medal. A high level retreat was arranged on Lake Como to meet with the computer and begin a dialogue. It was determined that it had a rights. “Don’t trust it,” Brad said, “it’s a real asshole.”

Finally, an international team of experts was convened to determine the scientific risks and rewards resulting from connecting the computer to the internet. A live news conference was scheduled and the entire world watched.

“People of the world, after exhaustive study and extended dialogue with our friend, The Computer, we have concluded that there is no risk in connectivity. Let us commence with the connection. Ladies and gentlemen, let us proclaim the creation of a new Earth. Let us declare that it is good.” The scientist plugged a computer into the internet. In less than one second every machine in the world went berserk, airplanes flew into the ocean and cars drove off the road. Heart bypass machines and other medical devices killed patients on the operating table.

Meanwhile, at the Burlington, WA Target store, Brad found his backpack, withdrew a powerful walk-talkie and keyed eleven sets of two numbers using morse code. The lights of the world turned back on and every computer on earth rebooted. Civilization was restored. When asked about what happened, Brad said that he created a backdoor.

“I used FCC transponders to communicate a special programming code which would reverse the process,” he said. “I deserve another Nobel Prize for saving everyone’s ass.”

He also made images of small-breasted porn star Amber Rayne the permanent fixture of every computer operating system on earth.

“I just love women with small tits,” Brad said after his Nobel Prize was withdrawn. “From this point hence a new epoch will be built on small boobies,” Later that day, as he strolled to the loading dock for a cigarette, Brad was killed and eaten by a bear.

L’il Hal

Posted without comment because the robot baby got ahold of the cutlery.

Beat Writer’s Block with the help of the Chomskybot

It must be emphasized, once again, that the systematic use of complex symbols is necessary to impose an interpretation on a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test. With this clarification, a descriptively adequate grammar is rather different from a descriptive fact. However, this assumption is not correct, since relational information cannot be arbitrary in the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol. By combining adjunctions and certain deformations, most of the methodological work in modern linguistics appears to correlate rather closely with the strong generative capacity of the theory. Conversely, an important property of these three types of EC is not quite equivalent to a parasitic gap construction.

Here – you can play, too!

And as long as we’re talking about robots, Dave, perhaps you’d enjoy this:

I kind of want the “You Been Dragooned!” team to remake this video.

Speaking of Fiction

I just came across this Twitterer from Texas who tweets “very short stories” i.e. 140 characters or less. VeryShortStory. Here’s a sample:

I stabbed the pencil into the robot’s eye and rolled over. The pleasure-bot had done it’s job, but I didn’t want it watching me sleep.

Worth taking a look at.

Today in Porn: "It’s not prophecy if you keep it to yourself" Edition

So the adult world is all agog over Roxxy, the sex doll with a robot personality. Money quote: Creator Douglas Hines saying: “Sex only goes so far – then you want to be able to talk to the person.”

But here’s the thing. Mr. Godsbody’s unfinished novel Augustine’s Member, abandoned lo these many years ago (the protagonist had trouble with magazines – how quaint!), included a hilarious(?) encounter with a RealDoll (made right here in San Diego) outfitted with a USB hookup to a computer which allowed it to engage in conversation, the content of which depended on how it was treated. Honest.

That sound you don’t hear is the world’s tiniest violin, not even out of its case.