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The Accidental Podcaster: Nice Guys Finish Last
Today is a day that should have been spent holed up in a blanket fort.

So Dee made a Robot Me for his playthrough of Fallout the other day. It's pretty sweet. It has claw hands that look kind of like Lego people claws, but they also have a taser-like shock thing to them so RoboMe can zap people. This pleases me. He also gave it svelte robo-legs so that it can do robot dances, at one point I had a turtle helmet (I love turtles), and colored its metallic exoskeleton and armor green. Because BaronBot had nukes and could not be trusted1, I of course had to be given three times the nukes. Because it's a robot based on me, it immediately became an overachiever, refusing to leave Dee's side, pestering his character for assignments when Dee the player would get up for a few minutes to use the restroom, and announcing frequently to anything in earshot how it "requires no sleep" and "is ready to serve."

There are times when I wish I were more like a robot, switching off emotions and operating solely on logic and programmed order. Not being depressed when something doesn't go according to plan. Not worrying about all the minutiae that goes along with navigating complex social constructs. If the GPS has a route plotted out and the driver makes an adjustment, the GPS doesn't freak out (usually), it just pauses a sec to recalculate and, if the driver is me, tells me to turn off the high point of a bridge (have I mentioned I hate my GPS?). If you load a schedule table into a program designed to give you the most efficient options based on which things a client needs, it's going to spit out what that most efficient option is without giving a crap about whether the client prefers a Monday or a Tuesday. It doesn't care that someone prefers manually sticking coins into a vending machine versus running a credit card. It's not going to be annoyed that some jacknugget pushed in front of it in line at Panera and took the last spinach feta souffle that the robot specifically went in for, or that said jacknugget then bitched incessantly at the Panera workers about said souffle the entire time the robot had to stand there waiting for their breakfast sandwich substitute. The robot would simply wait until the jacknugget made a threatening gesture toward the Panera worker, or until his voice reached a certain decibel level, then it would roll saunter over on its svelte robot dancing legs and raise its little Lego Claw of Death and it would incapacitate the jacknugget per its programming. Because like the honeybadger, RoboMe would not care. RoboMe would not give a f---.

Actual me, on the other hand, can't shut that stuff off. I do care about how people feel about things. I do care when people treat other people badly. And just because I have to be responsible and do the "right thing" doesn't mean I have to like it. Which is what I was staring at the ceiling thinking about last evening after a really rough day at the day job and then having to set our feral Ash back out to the wild. How much less stressful would life be if we just stopped caring, if we just took a cue from the simple this-or-that thought patterns of robot kind?

It reminded me of a question that came up one time on On Tap. Hax was guesting and Varyar was filling in that night for Bio, and the question that came up had to do with which we thought was more important to humanity, art or science? Killer and Varyar both immediately went the science route on the argument that without science and technology, humans wouldn't be able to survive. A fair assertion, but the counterargument we presented was the question didn't ask about survival, but specifically which is more important to humanity. Our argument was that the great separator that makes humanity different from everything else - robots, animals, undersea squid creatures, what have you - is our capacity for not just thought but for complex emotion. And what is art except emotion expressed in a tangible way?

So if humanity and emotion are inextricably entwined, and most of our stress problems are tied to the fact that we actually give a shit, it's no wonder the adage 'nice guys finish last' rings true.

...if anyone needs me, I'll be in my blanket fort.


*****

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: Alasdair Wickham, The Dead Roam The Earth: True Stories of the Paranormal from Around The World
THREE THINGS I'M LISTENING TO ON REPEAT: Kenny Dorham, My Ideal; System of a Down, Chop Suey!; Bob Brookmeyer, Misty

1 Seriously, I warned him of that and then BaronBot stole a bunch of supplies and tried to sell them back to Dee's character at a profit. Again, NOT TO BE TRUSTED WITH NUKES.
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