Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cleverbot Isn't Making an Appearance This Week

            (Salutations to my third follower, “LucasRules70”. I  look forward to hearing what the seventy rules are to being Lucas. Maybe if I study them enough, I can be Lucas myself one day.)

            (I still say that it’s Wednesday. How dare you defy me, calendar!)

            We all have our battles in life. Some of us are lawyers, and fight opponents in the courtroom, armed only with our wits, a passing knowledge of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and, if we’re lucky, a degree in law. Some of us are police officers, and arrest those who violate the law, armed only with the Mighty Hand of Justice, the Great Hammer of Freedom, and the Capitalized Scythe of Meaningless Metaphors. Some of us are lumberjacks, and do battle with the malevolent forces of chlorophyll, armed only with the sort of devices one normally associates with fighting hordes of zombies. Some of us are bloggers, and fight the fact that we have no idea what to write a post about, armed only with opening paragraphs that are tangential at best to the eventual subject matter.
           Of course, the most impressive conflict of them all is that which takes place between two people who have never met before and will probably never meet again. That’s not to say the types of conflict that arise between people who know each other can’t be fun. After all, who among us hasn’t felt the joy of stealing our neighbor’s car, painting it neon green, dropping it into the geometric center of the pacific ocean, and informing our neighbor by thoughtfully carving a note into his front door, only to find out that our neighbor doesn’t own a car?
           But the fact remains that most people won’t go all out against somebody they have to see every day, unless they happen to live in Valhalla, which is rather unlikely now that the world’s Viking population has dropped to five percent (Oh, they’re still out there. And I’ll find them, just as soon as they finish mounting that sail and dragon’s head on my canoe). However, if you get two strangers into an intense argument, they will be out for blood.
           This is most easily observable on any given internet forum, where the situation is amplified by the anonymity of the individuals involved. I don’t care what the subject of the website is, from the latest Final Fantasy game to fuzzy kittens: if a website gets more than five hundred hits a day, there will invariably be at least three arguments going on where the participants state their intention to perform anatomically improbable acts with the other participants’ respective maternal figures. You could be on a website discussing advanced knitting techniques, but if it’s sufficiently popular, there will be somebody somewhere on that website threatening to bitch slap somebody else over their preferred color of yarn.
           Needless to say, this is a situation that is much to my liking. I’m the sort of person who approves of conflict in all of its myriad forms, and I do my best to spread the hate to every person I meet.
           “But Hal,” you say, talking to your computer screen for some reason. “How can I help spread anarchy among my peers?” (Yes, I can hear you say this. I’m watching you right now. Breathe in. Breathe out.)
           Well, that’s something I’m going to let you figure out for yourself. As long as your efforts end with two strangers exchanging blows, you’ve succeeded. Double points if you can get three people involved. Quadruple points if you can make one person beat himself up, but no points if it’s yourself.

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