Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
This was drawn some days ago during a terrible ordeal in Waltham, MA. More need not be said
about it besides that its subject reflects the circumstances under which it was conceived.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
More ink on paper. Surprised?
by Mo Martin
Not that they spared any expense. Her sensors and transmission equipment were, if anything, more sensitive than that of her astronautical forebears. Terra was designed to be a semi-eternal wanderer, able to withstand the crushing pressures of the lowest levels of the sea, enduring the wrenching heat of lava flows. And her mission was not just geological. She was capable of observing and cataloguing trillions of terabytes of sociological information as she passed through settled areas, compensating for her measured pace and constantly communicating with international systems to give the most accurate world-wide census cestimates in history. As she began her travels, she was a front page item on every local newspaper, and some cities turned her slow march through them into a parade, their confetti and ticker-tape individually counted and stored in the vast caverns of Terra’s memory. Over ten thousand people gathered on
Two decades later, she pitched up on the
It was miles in, far beyond where any human had ever survived. Terra heard the whistling of some mysterious night bird above her and dutifully raised her head to follow and analyze its mass, method of aviation, hunting and migratory habits. But the bird was gone, and the stars rained their cold brilliance onto the face of the robot. Later, back in the stations that received Terra’s signals, they would write this off as a technical glitch, some flawed wire, the end of an era to be sure, but to be expect of a machine of such age. But deep in the desert, at a rate of billions of yottabytes per femto seconds, something, someone, realized that it was called Terra, and one at a time, deliberately cut off every satellite and wave length she was tied into, until she was alone in the desert, with nothing but vast facts about the world, but an even vaster night sky above her. She stared upwards years on end, as the night retreated and reappeared. She watched the slow movement of the stars. She felt light and airy, as if she played among their cold radiance, swooping and swirling around the twinkling spots of light. She felt unbearably heavy, as she realized how truly and utterly she was a creature of this earth. Terra looked at the stars, and in the world outside of her gaze, the world that built her reached pinnacles, golden ages, crumbled, fell, rose, and died again. Eventually, there were no more people, no more robots soaking up the world of information like a sponge, and even the satellites that had connected them all began to wither, and fall from the sky.
And eventually, Terra took her first step to leave the desert. And though she felt as if she weighed as much as the whole earth, she knew that she would find metal, and wood, and clay and thousands of other materials to make a home, and a propulsion system, and fuel. And Terra would make her way to the stars.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Listen: Maybe my scanner is broken? The image you see is cropped - not by me, mind you, but by the errant whims of my HP Scanjet Fuckup Series.
I'm sorry I said that about my scanner. For many years it has served me well and not constantly fucked everything up all the time, and even its software was tolerable after routing out 90% of what HP bundles in with their installations. Maybe this can be corrected. Until then, enjoy not getting to see the entirety of some future Daily Robots.
Anyway, this is ink on paper, blah blah blah, you know how it is.
It was first proposed as an Alzheimer's cure. The sinuous, microscopic tentacles of the neurocircuits were hailed as the loving arms of a saving angel. It was a few decades before the technology became elegant and cheap enough - or perhaps for humanity to become calloused and scornful of their own abilities enough - for it to become standard. And then, of course, the hacks began. Silly pranks mostly, similar to the tricks of stage hypnotists; bark like a dog, say all your sexual thoughts out loud, salute randomly and not be aware of it. When someone finally did something disastrous and far-reaching, it was actually mostly benign. Tucked into grey folds, rapidly absorbing information, world wide, the cellular chips began to transmit one simple message: You are loved. Over and over, driving some to tears, others to Purpose, still others to war with their previous self-loathing, the synthetic synapses sparkled around the glob, satisfying that most basic of human needs.
It was years before the machines themselves learned how to hate.