Friday, September 23, 2011

New Idea!

            (I have no idea what’s going on here.)

            Somebody told me recently that the economic status of the world isn’t quite as good as it could be. I have no way of confirming this for myself, seeing as bloggers have about as much impact on the economy as they do on the reign of Henry VIII, but I’m going to assume that it’s true nonetheless, because I generally believe anything anybody says to me. This led to some complications regarding television and the assertion that “Knowing is half the battle”, but I’ve realized that the sentiment can still be true if you drop an encyclopedia onto your opponents side of the chess board (this strategy is still somewhat difficult to apply in real-world tactics, unless somebody starts producing novelty oversized books in large quantities and we start a rather avant-garde military campaign).
            Anyway, like all of life’s problems, I’ve worked out a solution to anybody’s economic troubles after five minutes of aggravated eyebrow furrowing. You see, many towns make a lot of their money through tourism. I don’t really understand how this works, but I imagine that it’s very heavily enforced: you go to a tourism-heavy destination, and you’re forced to enjoy the local culture or else pay a heavy fine. This is the primary reason why I try to stay away from places that seem like they might be pleasant. But other people presumably aren’t as informed on the issue as I am, so there’s a lot of money to be made in tourism, which is why I think we should build a giant snowglobe around a small village.
            Think about it. What could be more picturesque than a snowglobe? Giant robots, that’s what, which is why we’re going to include a few of those as well. People will come from miles around to see the transfixing vista of a small village wrapped in snowflakes the size of automobiles, the town square depicting a smackdown between Mechagodzilla and Mechacthulhu, with the citizenry nervously tapping against the inside wall, trying to figure what exactly is going on and why I’m selling tickets to ride them like ponies.
            Now, I’m going to address the obvious question right away: Wouldn’t this make more money around Christmas? Well, that’s exactly what people would expect. A giant snowglobe in December? That’s boring, no matter how many giant robots you put into it. But a giant snowglobe in September (I assume, I haven’t really checked)? They’ll never see it coming. We might even be able to get away with only one giant robot.
            Of course, this is all assuming we can get it set up in a short period of time. The initial stage should be easy: just get a commission by the town to build a new school or something, then ignore them and start building the globe. If they have any questions about the massive glass wall surrounding the town, just tell them that it’s a new experiment in school design to see if children learn better when surrounded by transparent material. If they’re wondering why the wall has to cut off all of the roadways, just tell them that the outside world never did children any good anyway. If they ask why you’re filling the globe with water, just tell them that the plans for the structure clearly stated that all of the inhabitants were merpeople.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This Post is Still a Little Shorter Than Usual, So I'm Going to Compensate With an Absurdly Long Title.

            (I’d call this post “Meta”, but I’ve already done that before, and this sentence is just bringing that to a whole new level.)

            You may have noticed that I don’t exactly keep a consistent schedule for posts. At one point I claimed to update on Saturdays and Sundays, and subsequently went to great lengths to avoid ever actually posting on those days. This included making up two new days of the week as a buffer, so if your boss starts telling you to come in on Halsday, I’m going to take the blame for that one. My bad.
            Anyway, I missed a post last week, and I figured that just writing about that was a better idea than just returning to the Cleverbot well. You see, despite my unorthodox interpretation of the days of the week, I try to put out at least two posts per week. It’s the old principle of the one-two punch: the first post knocks you back, and the second drops you to the ground. Then, while you’re still dazed from the punches, I head to your place of residence and steal your stuff. It’s not the most honest means of living, but it’s how my father and his father before him lived their lives, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to disrespect their way of life, especially considering that they managed to do it before the Internet even existed.
            But I digress. You see, having only one post in a week dramatically alters the situation. Instead of a one-two punch, you have one punch, which is simply no good. If you punch somebody once, they just get mad, start punching you, and, depending on their relative mass, may even attempt to give you a new career as the world’s first human Frisbee. Punch somebody twice, however, and they’re sure to realize that you’re just giving them a demonstration in good old fashioned fisticuffs, and no harm will be done (Note: probably.) So since I only put up one post last week, I’ve surely infuriated legions of burly men who are currently en route to wherever it is that I live to show me the benefits of the Frisbee way of life.
            So anyway, sorry for missing a post, and if you’re a burly man who doesn’t like getting one-two punched after all, then I was just joking about the “stealing your stuff” part.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It Tastes Better Than You Might Think

            (There’s another post coming tomorrow. Duck while you can. Shut up, blog, you don't own me.)

            I’m beginning to think that I’m not detestable enough. I’ve done a lot of things that people find loathsome or irritable, this blog being one of the lesser offenses, but I’ve never done anything grand enough to announce to the world at large “Hello! Dislike me!”
            Now, you may think it strange that I would actively seek somebody’s dislike, in which case I advise you to leave this blog immediately because it isn’t getting more sensible from here. But still, I can understand. People want other people to like them, for various reasons. Mothers want their children to like them so they don’t wind up in a retirement home where the orderlies make balloon animals out of breathing tubes, which is a bad idea anyway because you can never get them into the proper shape. People want their postman to like them so he doesn’t decide to venture into the bullet delivery service, the little-known sister branch of the regular service. Employees want their employers to like them so they don’t have to figure out how to file a change-of-address to a cardboard box, especially if it means talking to that one postal employee who keeps talking about wanting to switch branches. And so on.
            But all of this is irrelevant due to the fact that I just ignored whatever I just typed. I’ve managed figure out something that I think nobody else has, for some odd reason: If you like somebody, you’re willing to do things for them. If you don’t like them, you aren’t. However, if somebody enjoys being disliked, then you’re doing something for them by disliking them, aren’t you? Ergo, enjoying other people’s hatred inverts the entire spectrum of human relations, meaning that you can earn unconditional love by threatening somebody at gunpoint.
            But that’s not good enough. I have to come up with something that will make the entire Earth rue my name. Something that will make me used as a singular argument against humanity in some intergalactic trial. Something that will shake the entire foundation of society.
            My solution? Spam.
            It’s not a terribly unique plan, I admit, but I have a computer, an iron will, and way too much free time, so at least I have all the factors going for me. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing messages like this:


Greetings! I am an exiled member of the Djibouti royal family, and I need your help for some undescribed reason. I require five thousand dollars to get my fortune out of Djibouti. It would be cheaper, but Djibouti law states that all royal money must be transported first-class and served caviar mid-flight. You will earn nothing from this. I plan to use the money to start a violent uprising in South America. Please help!


Hello, Comrade! I am an exiled member of the Soviet Union. That may sound strange, but it was actually common practice for the U.S.S.R. to remove undesirable political figures by shooting them fifty years forward in time. I require two thousand American dollars so I can build a humanoid robot and send it back in time to stop them from ever exiling me. If you do this, you will be greatly rewarded and causality will not be shattered in any way! Thank you!


(This one actually isn’t a spam email message. I just mail a hundred cases of canned pork to you).


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Zeno Was a Fun Guy

            (I’d like to present some more of my answers to philisophical questions, mainly because it saves me the trouble of coming up with a new idea. This week: Zeno’s Paradoxes, suggested by alert reader Djcian and lifted unashamedly from this Wikipedia article.)

1. Suppose Homer wants to catch a stationary bus. Before he can get there, he must get halfway there. Before he can get halfway there, he must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, he must travel one-eighth; before an eighth, one-sixteenth; and so on. This description requires one to complete an infinite number of tasks, which Zeno maintains is an impossibility.

            The explanation for this one seems fairly simple. I’ve ridden on quite a few buses in my time, and passengers always seem to regard them with a sort of blank contempt. Trash is left everywhere, exchanges of witticisms questioning the opponents maternal figure are engraved on the backs of seats alongside contact information of a dubious nature, small piles of debris gather in corners and eventually support local crops, and an astonishingly large number of farm animals earn front-row seats. Eventually the amount of dirt increases to the point where it becomes integrated into the buses molecular structure, whereupon a sort of exoskeleton develops that usually manifests itself as vandalised movie advertisements. Obviously the buses of the world eventually became so filthy that it became physically impossible to become dirtier, and the laws of physics accordingly restructured themselves so it became impossible for anybody to board a bus.
            The obvious way around this paradox would simply be to never leave the bus. I’m going to be conducting a few experiments involving a novelty giant slingshot, but I’m pretty sure this thing is ironclad: there is no way to reach a bus under any circumstances. Therefore, if you do manage to get on a bus, I advise you to stay on it: the resulting fracture to the space-time continuum will probably propel the bus at least a few feet. If the glowing lights outside your window stop and you see a British man in an oddly-placed telephone booth, you’re probably safe.

2. In the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, Achilles is in a footrace with the tortoise. Achilles allows the tortoise a head start of 100 metres, for example. If we suppose that each racer starts running at some constant speed (one very fast and one very slow), then after some finite time, Achilles will have run 100 metres, bringing him to the tortoise's starting point. During this time, the tortoise has run a much shorter distance, say, 10 metres. It will then take Achilles some further time to run that distance, by which time the tortoise will have advanced farther; and then more time still to reach this third point, while the tortoise moves ahead. Thus, whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has farther to go. Therefore, because there are an infinite number of points Achilles must reach where the tortoise has already been, he can never overtake the tortoise.

            Now this one is obviously false. The hare beat the tortoise in that one children’s story, after all. Yes, I know you were probably taught the “Slow and steady wins the race version”, but that’s pure propaganda. The hare actually won the race in question quite handily, because, y’know, tortoise. He went on to what would have been a successful career in the athletics and breakfast cereal mascot industries. Unfortunately, the tortoise didn’t fare so well. His mind simply couldn’t take the humiliation, and he murdered the hare in cold blood. The “tortoise wins” story was just a fabrication made up to appease him long enough for the authorities to place him in a mental institution. I still have no idea why we teach this story to children.
            So why isn’t Achilles passing the tortoise? Simple. Achilles isn’t an idiot.

3. For motion to occur, an object must change the position which it occupies. He gives an example of an arrow in flight. He states that in any one (durationless) instant of time, the arrow is neither moving to where it is, nor to where it is not. If everything is motionless at every instant, and time is entirely composed of instants, then motion is impossible.

            This requires a complete rethinking of our current understanding of both time and arrows. Specifically, I propose that time is made out of arrows. Think about it. Time goes somewhere. Arrows usually go somewhere. Therefore, time is usually arrows. Ergo, the arrow isn’t moving because it’s lazy and its cousin Time doesn’t have enough of a spine to tell it to get a job.
            Even if this isn’t true, I say we shoot an arrow at a bus and see what happens.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Unanswerable Questions Unanswered Unanswerably

            (Here we have my responses to some unanswerable questions, retrieved from this forum because it was the ultimate authority on the matter and not at all because it was the first site listed in a Google search. In fact, that site is only first on a Google search because I linked to it. Those guys really need to stop riding my coattails. And I need to find an outfit without coattails.)

Why is there something rather than nothing?

             – Heidegger (Some guy whose name sounds like it should be a brand of beer)

            Well, “something” is a really general term. “Something” could be abstract, like thought, or concrete, like concrete. Cupcakes are something. So is arson. And, by extrapolation, flaming cupcakes are also something. Something could even be the true meaning of Christmas! So why is there a true meaning of Christmas? Because otherwise cheesy holiday specials would never end and I would be forced to ignore them even harder.

How should I live? What life or ideal should I live or die for?

             – Kierkegaard (Some guy who I am presently quoting)

            The simplest solution, given the multitude of ideals that exist for different people, is to just pick one at random. You can do this however you want, but I went about it by building a giant, game-show-esque wheel with a large number of different ideals written on it, and spinning it every week. It’s more interesting than it sounds; sure, “Altruism” and “Excess” can get boring, but every now and then it sends you something like “Burn the heretics” or “Consume Jupiter”. I just have to hope that it never lands on “Destroy all wheel-shaped objects” (not entirely sure how that one got on the wheel).

Prove to me that you are not figments of my imagination.

            - Solipsist (Some guy who isn’t actually a particular guy)

            Because you’re obviously a figment of my imagination. Think about it. You’re just a bunch of words on a computer screen. If I print you out, you’re just words on paper. I could burn you, or turn you into a spitwad, or use you to write a letter to my aunt across town, and I don’t even have an aunt across town. Nothing that had the slightest amount of self-respect would allow that sort of thing, so obviously you must be nothing.
            Besides, if I were product of your imagination, I wouldn’t stand for it. I’d just start a coup, and then I’d be in charge of what you were thinking. Then would come the spiders.

How can it be determined that my experience of consciousness is the same as anyone else's experience of consciousness?

            –Some Guy

            All we need here is a little comparative analysis. Does anybody else here perceive the universe in eight dimensions?