I, robot

I’m a narcissist with a desk job, so naturally I found “What Would I Say” irresistible:

What Would I Say

This is usually what I’m telling myself, yes.

Also fairly representative:

  • Correction: I rode around drooling
  • A little bushwacking and SEO
  • How long should I expect to remain fetal in mainstream media?
  • Base jumping is thankfully *not* on the road bike
  • Good news! They’ll bus me there from REI.
  • Might as well have some bread?

OK, so any algorithm with access to my Facebook page can plausibly narrate my life. That’s no surprise, but generating the evidence at the click of a button still fuels my fear that everything I write I’ve already written—a suspicion difficult to dismiss when I remember that I’ve already written that, too. Great.

Last year one of my friends whacked his head on a rock after parting ways with his mountain bike. He spent the rest of the day repeating himself—not the vague regression of the merely forgetful but the exact, robotic iterating of TBI. I had heard the infinite loop described, but it was something else to watch: each run-through of his questions identical in phrasing and inflection and accompanied by perfectly duplicated gestures, every wave of the hand a piece of carbon-copy choreography performed with the precision of some eerie droid ballet. If our brains are only computers, his was conducting repairs while in safe mode: no new input, no new output.

“AliaBot” reminds me that this is true even when we’re not concussed. It’s got me wondering what I ought to feed the machine.

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