Sunday, September 25th, 2022 03:37:54

MECHANICAL SAGA

Updated: May 23, 2015 4:48 pm

THE other day an American killed his computer. Satiricus is not joking. Neither are the police who reported the crime in a statement titled “Man kills his computer”. This man, named Hinch, resident of a placed named Colorado Springs, had been engaged in a long battle with an uncooperative machine, that is, for the last many months the computer kept continuously breaking down. Finally, fed up with the machine, the man took it into an alley and shot it—with eight bullets !

Well, now, what does computer-illiterate Satiricus think of what happened? He has read in the technology pages of the papers that these days computers can do anything and everything—including arguing with its human operator. Then why did this particular computer not work at least long enough to argue against the capital punishment meted out to him? it could have made some solid arguments in defence. For instance, this particular computer could have pointed out that every computer ever made by man works on the GIGO principle—Garbage In, Garbage Out—but in its case the human garbage fed into it was too much for any respectable computer’s Random Memory. Anyway, now that men are making machines that are smarter than men, the time may have come for a battle between men and machines. Fortunately for humankind and computerkind, even such a serious situation can yet be saved. For machines that think are old hat; now there are machines that feel. Those machines could put a stop to man’s madness. But would that mean Satiricus’s computer would feel disgusted with the poor quality of this column? Would it claim it could produce better-quality garbage? Then would the editor fire Satiricus and hire his computer? Satiricus won’t let that happen. He will get a pistol with eight bullets.

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