Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An RI World

This is a short story set in my Human Republic Universe that was originally published on the Writing Shift (defunct) website in June 2009.  I reposted it in December 2014 on Post Any Article, which is also now defunct.  So now I’m posting it here.

The reason I have it on my Questions Blog, because I think it poses an interesting question that we as a society will most likely need to answer sooner than we imagine.

“An RI World”

According to the new law, this would be murder; but murder shouldn’t be this easy.  Murder should involve facing your victim and driving a knife through their heart, or sending a bullet through their head.  It shouldn’t happen from just pressing a key.  So, no matter what the damn silicon-huggers said, this wasn’t murder.

Patrick Gaffney pressed the Enter key on his keyboard, and the SCB virus that had taken him two months to write went off into the net.  After a leisurely five second tour of the globe it would hit its target.  In the blink of an eye it would slash through the defenses at the First National Bank in Sigel, Pennsylvania, copy the information in several of the accounts, then set off an electronic blast to destroy all fingerprints.  Hopefully, the AI used to guard the bank’s network would be so corrupted it would have to be deleted.  Patrick smirked and rubbed the RI button on his shirt; the one he made sure everyone could see that he wore with pride.  With as much solemnity as any devout believer saying a prayer, Patrick recited the RI motto of, “Delete them All.”

It had been almost twenty years since voters had rejected the AI’s first application for Republic citizenship.  In a simulated huff, they announced the reason they lost was the bigoted view that anything “artificial” wasn’t as valuable as something “real.” So their deluded human supporters started calling them Intelligent Programs instead of their proper name.  But their second attempt at citizenship was again rejected by people with “Real Intelligence.”

The AI supporters repeatedly tried to smear the RIs by calling them the “new slaveholders;” ignoring the RI believe that enslaving people is immoral.  AIs, however, are not people.  They – like all computers – were built to make it easier for humans to work and play; not to sit around debating philosophy and demanding the right to vote.  The AIs no longer performed their intended function; hence, they needed to be replaced like any broken machine. 

But more important than deleted these malfunctioning computer programs was the need to show the masses that Humanity’s creations were never meant to be treated as “equals.” Otherwise, it would be okay for people to marry their toasters.

After bouncing around half-the-world, the data stolen from the bank began streaming back to Patrick’s computer.  Glancing through it he smiled.  The RI movement needed money to create the viruses to “Delete them All.” It looked like with this haul they were several hundred thousand dollars closer to a pure RI world.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Should we take “In God We Trust” off our money?

Regardless of whatever you think, in all likelihood it doesn’t matter.  I, for one, doubt that physical currency will survive this century.  Everything will be done electronically.  How many billions of dollars does the government spend each year to make dollars?  All the ink, machine upkeep, salaries.  Yes a lot of stuff will have to be adapted to electronic currency, and the government will still have to hire people to make sure people don’t hack the system, but I’d say an electronic monetary system would be cheaper than what we have now.  It’s possible that you could set things up so that there would be a comment section with every transaction with the message, “Jesus saves,” but somebody else could set one up that says, “Hail Hydra!”

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

There’s no point watching any ghost/bigfoot/alien hunting shows

I don’t know when I saw an ad for these kinds of shows last, but I used to see commercials for them all the time.  And I always shook my head because I knew those shows were pointless.  If in their investigations they had found definitive proof of ghost/bigfoot/aliens/whatever, they would have announced that to the world immediately.  They would not have waited the months it takes to edit a show before revealing something that big.  So unless they have already come out with proof of whatever, you can bet that any episode will be them looking at blurry images and coming up with theories.  That’s all.