Monday, March 26, 2007

How to Survive a Robot Uprising

So I was poking around in my favorite local used bookstore and I came across this book. The author, one Daniel H. Wilson, is apparently a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. One has to wonder if this was his thesis.

I bought the book partly because it's so cool looking- I'm a sucker for shiny metallic red-edged pages- and partly because I was intrigued by the way the author can't quite seem to decide if he's writing a wildly humorous or deadly serious book. His attitude seems to be something like: "It's silly to be afraid robots will take over the earth, of COURSE it's silly, ha ha ha. That sort of thing only happens in The Matrix or Battlestar Galactica. But.. on the other hand, I've seen what these crazy scientists are doing with robots these days. Hey wait, I AM one of those crazy scientists. Run! Run for your life, the robots are comiinngg!!!"

Therefore interspersed with serious factual information about robots and how to disguise yourself from infrared sensors, one gets helpful advice like this in the How to Spot a Robot Mimicking a Human chapter:

Test Those Social Skills: Humans unconsciously acquire a vast amount of social knowledge, such as how to stand in line, the concept of personal space, and why we should all wear pants to work. if the guy standing on your porch doesn't follow these rules, don't let him inside- whether he is a robot or not.

And,

Follow your nose: Does your new friend smell like a brand new soccer ball?

1 comment:

Reluctant Housewife said...

that's hilarious! I must find this book... What a great find.

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