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Author Topic: ...I'm afraid of nanobots.  (Read 4430 times)
Kitsune
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on: April 01, 2007, 05:50:48 PM

I supplement my contractual corporate IT work with on-site service to home customers for spending money.  This has brought me in contact with a lot of very stupid people, a few impressively savvy people, and a few... others.

I was called to a woman's home to check out her computer, tell her what it needed to be ready for Vista, and give her a quote on the upgrades.  Simple enough.  I arrived at her home to find her computer still packed.  She'd owned the thing for three years but never set it up or plugged it in.  And she'd had DSL service for months and never set it up.  Okay, no problem.  I set up the computer (which was an infomercial piece of crap, decent hardware but stuffed to the brim with useless software and probably cost five times what it's worth), installed her DSL, installed SP2 on it and patched it up with all the Microsoft updates, and generally got it ready.  This took a couple hours to do, and she sat in the room while I worked, talking about the current state of computers.

Out of nowhere in this conversation, she suddenly throws in, "I'm afraid of nanobots."

It takes me a couple of seconds to double-check with my memory to confirm that she said what I'd thought she'd said.  Then I ask, "Why are you afraid of nanobots?"

"I'm afraid they'll become intelligent and start thinking for themselves," she replies.

"Um," is all I can think to say for a second.  I decide that taking her seriously is the best policy, so I say, "Nanocomputers are less powerful than old calculators were, I really doubt they'll be becoming intelligent on their own.  I'd be more afraid of, um..."  I think for a suitable example.  "...squirrels becoming intelligent."

There's a moment of soft, ominous silence before the woman quietly says, "Squirrels are intelligent."

At this point, I dropped the subject as fast as I could.


(Despite the date, this is an entirely truthful account, shared for the amusement of others.)
Llava
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Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 06:59:57 PM

Hilarious.

She's right about the squirrels though.

They're planning something.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
angry.bob
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Reply #2 on: April 01, 2007, 10:39:25 PM

There's a moment of soft, ominous silence before the woman quietly says, "Squirrels are intelligent."

This would have been the perfect opportunity to reassure her with the Squirrel's lack of an opposable thumb. No matter how smart they get, their potential villainy is curbed by the inability to do much more than grab acorns like a one-year old holding a beach ball. And thanks to a vigilant population of bored domesticated dogs looking for things to chase, they aren't getting enough free time to develop some sort of hydraulic gripping mittens to let them use tools.

We're totally safe.

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Big Gulp
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Reply #3 on: April 01, 2007, 11:13:03 PM

She's right about the squirrels though.

They're planning something.

Ever tried to squirrel-proof a bird feeder?  I'm here to tell you that squirrels are the most devious, conniving creatures Satan ever brought forth on this earth.  And despite my mom's protests, I gave my dad my old pellet gun and told him to have fun.  All other methods were dismal failures.
Daeven
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Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 01:07:32 AM

We're totally safe.

Unless, of course, they're psychic. Naturally that would explain the popularity of American Idol.

"There is a technical term for someone who confuses the opinions of a character in a book with those of the author. That term is idiot." -SMStirling

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Tebonas
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Reply #5 on: April 02, 2007, 01:19:13 AM

"Nanocomputers are less powerful than old calculators were, I really doubt they'll be becoming intelligent on their own.  I'd be more afraid of, um..."  I think for a suitable example.  "...squirrels becoming intelligent."

Distributed Intelligence

Thats what she should have answered you  :-D
Samwise
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Reply #6 on: April 02, 2007, 02:09:30 AM

This would have been the perfect opportunity to reassure her with the Squirrel's lack of an opposable thumb.

That's only one good mutation away.  I had a polydactyl cat once who could use his spare digits to grip things.  He'd stand up on his hind legs, stick one arm in the kitchen trash, and fish chicken bones out.

Make no mistake, the squirrels are ready.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Righ
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Reply #7 on: April 02, 2007, 02:10:35 AM


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Big Gulp
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Reply #8 on: April 02, 2007, 05:42:29 AM

This would have been the perfect opportunity to reassure her with the Squirrel's lack of an opposable thumb.

That's only one good mutation away.  I had a polydactyl cat once who could use his spare digits to grip things.  He'd stand up on his hind legs, stick one arm in the kitchen trash, and fish chicken bones out.

Hemingway cat?  My brother has one of those.
Numtini
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Reply #9 on: April 02, 2007, 09:01:45 AM

Here in New England, I'd guess a quarter or more of cats have an extra paw. Not all of them have opposable thumbs though, but we've had two that do. (They're really more tripled pawed than double pawed.) So far there's no muscle to back it up though, it's just a limp digit. But it flexes in the right direction.

I've always said if they could open the cat we'd all be dead.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Tebonas
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Reply #10 on: April 02, 2007, 09:05:35 AM

My friggin cat opens the refrigerator and steals meat out of it if smells something. And thats without opposable thumbs. I don't even dare imagining what it would do with those things, but it might be painful and slow!
Engels
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Reply #11 on: April 02, 2007, 10:43:24 AM

My cat takes a shit in the litter box, doesn't cover it up, then deposits the scooper into the box, and waits for me to get sick of the smell.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 01:27:35 PM by Engels »

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Bunk
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Reply #12 on: April 02, 2007, 11:07:03 AM

This has nothing to do with opposable thumbs, but it is funny: My buddies cat doesn't like it when he has more than two friends over at once. If he does, the cat promptly walks in to the bathroom and takes a shit in the middle of the bathtub. He does it pretty much every time, and only does it when there are three or more people over.

Also had a friend whose cat used the toilet. Never learned to flush though.

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bhodi
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Reply #13 on: April 02, 2007, 11:19:32 AM

The first thing the squirrels are going to do is get revenge on this guy.
Morat20
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Reply #14 on: April 02, 2007, 11:29:32 AM

This has nothing to do with opposable thumbs, but it is funny: My buddies cat doesn't like it when he has more than two friends over at once. If he does, the cat promptly walks in to the bathroom and takes a shit in the middle of the bathtub. He does it pretty much every time, and only does it when there are three or more people over.

Also had a friend whose cat used the toilet. Never learned to flush though.
My friend once had a dog who, upon hearing the phrase "Someone get the phone", would run into the bathroom and hide in the shower. I often wondered who the fuck was calling them.
Yegolev
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Reply #15 on: April 02, 2007, 02:12:44 PM

Reminds me of a neighborhood woman that once told me the could not stand between the refrigerator and the stove because of the electromagnetic waves.  She had a NO CELL PHONES sign on her front door.  She also lookd much like Odo from DS9 and I called her that all the time... not to her face, though.  My wife, however, called her Odo when we were talking to our neighbors and it got a look from the neighbor.  I plotzed silently.

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Sky
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Reply #16 on: April 02, 2007, 03:20:36 PM

A librarian who returned from retirement is mad because we won't take down our wireless network, thus creating an unsafe work environment because of the radiation.

I knew some guys in a biker gang who cooked meth in Frisco that would hold meetings behind a refrigerator because it would muffle their conversations from the feds who were using laser listening devices on the window.

Righ
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Reply #17 on: April 02, 2007, 03:29:03 PM

I knew some guys in a biker gang who cooked meth in Frisco that would hold meetings behind a refrigerator because it would muffle their conversations from the feds who were using laser listening devices on the window.

That's amusing because I used to tell stories to dealer about how police would do stuff like that. I had dozens of stoners convinced that the pigs were 'reading' the glass vibrations with lasers, and looking at their computer screens with van Eck inductors. I even had one freak believing that the mice in the walls were put there by the government after having been trained to sniff out pot.

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Miasma
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Reply #18 on: April 02, 2007, 03:38:12 PM

During a conversation dealing with puppies and dogs I once convinced an older relative that a corporation had successfully genetically engineered a breed of dog whose growth was stopped at six weeks so that they would stay cute and adorable their whole lives.  I told her they were being marketed under the brand name "Perma Puppies".

Sad thing is it will probably happen in the next fifty years or so.
Xerapis
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Reply #19 on: April 02, 2007, 06:50:51 PM

I would totally buy a PermaPuppy.  Do you think they'll have them in mauve?

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Reply #20 on: April 02, 2007, 06:57:37 PM

I'd totally buy a permakitten if they actually stayed young and bouncy instead of just staying small as they grew old and creaky.

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Llava
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Reply #21 on: April 02, 2007, 09:33:26 PM

Holy crap.  That's the best idea ever.

Permapets.

Make it happen, Infinium Labs!

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Lanei
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Reply #22 on: April 02, 2007, 09:52:49 PM


Also had a friend whose cat used the toilet. Never learned to flush though.

Teaching a cat to flush is a good way to get woke up in the middle of the night by the toilet being flushed 30 times in a row.  Not to mention the water bill.
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