Thursday, August 7, 2008

Android Boss

The Terminator is not a cyborg.

That's what they call it in the movie, of course. But they fucked up. It's not a cyborg.

See, a cyborg—cybernetic organism—is an integration of living systems with non-living systems, part organic, part machine. An example of a cyborg would be the Six-Million Dollar Man, who was mainly human but enhanced. Another example is the Borg race from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The Terminator doesn’t have integrated living systems. All it is, is a “metal endoskeleton” with a layer of flesh over it. The flesh is only a mask. The Terminator appears to be human, and masquerades as human, but is not. The Terminator would be more accurately classified as an android.

This is an important distinction. If you had an artificial heart, you'd be cyborg. But if you had an artificial soul, you'd be an android.

It so happens that a good friend of mine works for an android.

You wouldn't know it was an android right away. It's a very good one. It is programmed with Non-Threatening Effeminate Male: Social Interaction Code 2.0, (upgraded from the first models to incorporate sports knowledge, and therefore appear less "gay"). I can hear its artificial "Hi, how are ya?" in my head as I write this.

There were several clues that led my friend and I to determine that his boss was an android. Follow the trail:

*First of all, the thing is a manager unit in a large corporate entity. Corporate entities, as we know, are systems of artificial intelligence--machine gods, etherial robots. Any manager unit, due to its close association of "self" goals and policies with "company" goals and policies, should be immediately suspected of being a dirty andy.

*Second of all, it is from Texas, yet possesses no identifiable regional accent. If you've ever known anyone from Texas, you know the accent, and you know that they're damn proud of having it. No born and Bred Texan would shed that accent. The accent is, as organic accents always are, an indicator of genuine humanity. Instead of a Texan accent, the android boss sounds exactly like the generic Television male voice we're all so familiar with from commercials, sitcoms, newscasts, etc.

*It has been quoted as saying, "everyone is replaceable," revealing his association of a workforce of unique, individual human beings with "parts." This is robot thinking. The robot does not value "humaness" because it is not human.

*It experiences "short circuits" of understanding when rules and policies are not followed. I've seen it scrunch up its face when being told that someone was leaving work early. It clearly did not compute.

*It solves all problems with the creation of more paperwork. Paperwork is a mechanism, for the machine to communicate with itself. Robots reproduce by assembling more of themselves. The android boss has shit out dozens of new Paperwork robot bastards in the couple of years that he's been in charge.

*An anecdote: The android boss had declared that no vacations, for anyone, were to be taken during a certain period of months, because that period was the business's high season. An employee petitioned for time off--with plenty of people available to cover his shifts--to go out of the country to visit his sick mother after her cancer surgery. Upon hearing about the employee's mother, the android boss's reply was: "Well, she should have scheduled her surgery for our down season."

It all adds up folks. When the machine's values are your own, your soul has died and been replaced with programming. Your human body is a mask over synthetic values. You are an android.

This world has made thousands of them.

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