0230 - Altercation - 2022.02.28



Ahh, number two-thirty: the root canal episode.


I shall presume you all laughed at that. I want to talk about imagination.

A few years back, I recall seeing a hyperbolic statement from some Christian blogger who said about President Obama's legacy - and I quote - "...it is not impossible to imagine a presidential library haunted by the ghosts of millions of aborted children."

I submit that this blogger has, in fact, not imagined such a thing. To actually imagine this haunted library, one would have to envision a world in which not only do aborted zygotes leave behind ghosts of some sort, but that those ghosts either choose to haunt - or, more likely, are compelled to haunt - not the mother who chose to abort them, not the doctor or the clinic that carried out the procedure, not even the President or the Oval Office themselves, but the presidential library of whoever was in office at the time of their termination. (Do fetuses terminated during the prior administration haunt Bush's library, or do Republicans somehow get a pass for being, in theory, pro-life?)

One would, furthermore, have to imagine what, exactly, the spectre of an aborted fetus even is. Are they mere shades of what they were in gestation, hanging insensate in the air like translucent popcorn chicken? Are they aged up to the humans they would have been, and, if so, what type of childhood and adulthood are they presumed to have had? Do they have memories? Do they know they were aborted? Can they communicate with each other, or with the living? In this hyper-crowded library, are they pushing and shoving, or do they simply clip through each other like poorly-programmed video game characters? Can they leave?

Who are these ghosts? What do they want? Why are they here, and not in Heaven or Limbo or Nirvana? How long are they obligated to stick around? What can we do to exorcise them?

...all of this is silly, of course, and, I admit, entirely based around a willful misinterpretation of a common turn of phrase. But I am a professional Imaginer, goddamnit, and I take imagination seriously. After all, as Einstein once said, imagination is more important than knowledge. Without the ability to envision that which is not, we cannot create that which is not yet.


0230 - 2167/07/06/17:19 - fifth floor hallway
LC: Travis...
LC: Not Travis... uh... Unit. Are you saying that you and Zoa are enemies? That you fight each other?
Travis' robot: Terms such as "enemy" and "fight" are not accurate in our case. That is not how AIs interact with each other. It would be unsafe and counter-productive.
LC: Okay, but... if you saw two human beings mapped onto your actions, doing the things to each other that you and Zoa do... would "fight" and "enemy" be accurate to describe that?
Travis' robot: Absolutely. Zoa and this unit are competitors for similar services in similar territory, and frequently have gotten into what might, cosmetically, be called a "fight".
LC: I... I can't imagine Zoa doing something like that.
D254: Do you have problems with your imagination?
Liz: Two automatons getting into a physical altercation is... weird. Is it malfunctioning?
Travis' robot: This unit cannot determine whether or not Zoa is malfunctioning, it is only describing Zoa's physical actions.
Travis' robot (human voice): I can tell you this - if that bot starts any shit with us, it's about to start malfunctioning.
Travis' robot (human voice): Hell yeah, Travis, fuck that magnet-haired skank up!
LC: No, that... uh... um... that would not be an ideal course of action, Travis. Please.
Travis' robot (human voice): Hey, if it don't start no shit, there won't be no shit, okay?
D254: I'm not good with colloquialisms. Is "start no shit"... good?
Liz: Based on these specs, I highly doubt Zoa is going to start shitting, so we should be fine.