06 January 2008

Happy New Whatever whatever

Depressed alcoholics are less likely to stop drinking, so it says here. How much did someone budget to come up with that stunning breakthrough? Yeah yeah yeah, you have to go through the motions rather than accept conventional wisdom, but don't write it up like you expect a Nobel prize. You just make a brief note saying that you found that results were in line with expectations, then get on with trying to accomplish something of value, like finding a way of treating the depression that won't lead to a worse condition.

Finally, someone else said what I couldn't about Asimov's three laws of robotics. Warren Ellis hit it exactly, and in a tone that assures me that when the robots finally reach a level of sophistication where this issue becomes relevant, they will be closer to Bender than Data. Usually, these discussions draw out the deviated septum, overweight dwellers in Mom & Dad's basement (no, I will not call it your "Dungeon") who argue at laughable length and ferocity about why all androids must be built to adhere strictly (maybe they repeat "strictly" three times in case you possibly didn't notice how they emphasized the term) to the triad of commandments (the SAT is coming up, so it doesn't hurt to get in those synonyms).

On a personal note, I will now point out the absurdity of sending an email, in 48-point, red letters, demanding that I phone you about something vitally important. The fact that I don't answer my phone is a hint that I can't talk on the phone for some reason, like when I'm in class. When I look at the email, you have my attention, so the giant red text, in all capital letters (I hope to God gmail doesn't support the blink tag) is unnecessary. Tell me, politely and concisely, what your trouble is, and ask your question. Remember that when you are asking someone a favor, even a tiny one, being polite will expedite matters; criticizing my grammar, calling names, or telling me I "better get back re:this piece of shit software" I recommended pretty much guarantees that I have something much more important to tend to for the rest of your life.

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