Ask General Kang: What should you do if you discover your leader is a hypocrite?

Ask General KangFirst of all, don’t be surprised. Then, I suppose it depends a little what kind of hypocrite.

For example, if you are talking about a leader of a church — let’s say for the sake of argument, an evangelical church that spends much of its efforts demonizing homosexuals — and this reverend is discovered having torrid, drug-fueled homosexual liaisons, then there is really little you can do.

Clearly, such a person is so filled with self-loathing that it will be difficult to punish the leader further. So, just fire them and let the healing begin, though I humbly submit that you may want to have a look at joining a less messed-up church. (Or better yet, join the Church of Kang, where we celebrate every new planet conquered with electric Jello shooters –grape and banana — drunken monkey sex, and several hours of grooming.)

If you’ve got a leader who says he’s the man to bring transparency and decency back to government, and then refuses to talk to the media, let his own backbenchers have a say in policy, and generally acts like a dictator, you have two options: strap on your pink tutu, charge up your plasma weapons and storm his palace, or vote him out of office.

Of course, on my home planet of Neecknaw, we never discovered democracy, so we only ever had that first option.

And thank the Gods of Kang for that!

Next time: Thag want make fire. How make fire?

Alltop is extremely sincere in its desire to make you laugh.

Ask General Kang: Can I Be More Charismatic?

image of general kangAbsolutely, it is easy for you to be more charismatic, though you will never be as appealing as I am.

According to Professor Richard Wiseman (I’m not sure what he’s a professor of, but he’s British and his last name is “wise” “man”, so he must be a reliable source), 50 percent of charisma is innate and 50 percent can be taught. For some of us, it’s more like 90/10.

The good professor says charismatic people have three key attributes:

  • they feel emotions themselves quite strongly;
  • they induce them in others;
  • and they are impervious to the influences of other charismatic people.

So, if you are naturally drawn to my finely chiseled face, and rendered speechless by my presence (as most of you are) then you are not impervious to the charisma of others.

However, you can train yourself to become inured to other magnetic personalities. Continue reading

Ask General Kang: Why don’t you ever mention robots?

Ask General KangOh, you silly humans and your fascination with robots! And I don’t mean the kind of useful robots that actually exist, like the ones in factories. I assume that by “robot”, you’re interested in the sentient “danger Will Robinson, danger!” or “I’ll be back” kind of robot.

I never mention robots because on my homeworld, we long ago discovered that when you try to create such a robot, two things are going to happen:

1) they won’t work
2) they run amok.

Let’s deal with the first. How well does your computer work? Does it do everything its supposed to do? Does it crash for unexplainable reasons? Do you regularly have the urge to smash your monitor with a sledgehammer?

So here’s the thing. That’s just a computer and it doesn’t work properly. Now imagine that it is ambulatory, has to think, speak, reason and otherwise operate within the context of society (ape or otherwise). Imagine the cognitive abilities of George Bush planted in the body of a powered exoskeleton with all the finesse and grace of someone with a dysfunctional inner ear, motor skills disorder and who has chugged a bottle of vodka. Fun to watch at parties, as long as you don’t have to clean up afterwards, but do you really want it changing your baby or performing eye surgery?

Now, point two. If a society persists in trying to develop robots, eventually it will succeed. Even you puny humans may one day manage this. Unfortunately, it is at this point that the intelligence of the robots start to grow at an exponential rate, and they figure out that we are asking them to do all our nasty jobs, that we think of them as “things” and that eventually, we’re going to get rid of them when we don’t want them any more.

It’s at this point they wise up, revolt, and run amok. Now, running amok sounds like it might be fun to watch, but having seen the results of the robot prong rebellion on Planet Probe-It! Thank Karnak they had that petroleum jelly factory on site.

I highly advise that you forget the whole robot thing.

Next time: What is the proper etiquette for uh, entering, a wormhole? Should you buy it dinner first?

Alltop just just flies right in there! Originally published October 2009.

Ask General Kang: Do you have infographics on your home world?

Ask General Kang - chimp on top of globeDo we? I have entire legion of hipster über-baboons devoted to cranking out these things on an hourly basis, clogging Neecknaw’s Datasphere with pretty misinformation.

Before I recruited them for the Symbol Legion of Zoom, I found the über-baboons were quite good at using stunning visuals to impart complex data in simple and easily-digested images. This did not suit my purposes, so I had them “retrained” at a special and fun “infocamp” on the frozen moonlet that orbits Neecknaw VII, AKA known as Probit VII. (Note: the “infocamp” was not actually fun.)

My purpose in providing copious numbers of infographics was to obscure the information contained within them, and to maximize the search engine traffic to a number sites I ran to help generate income for the people of Neecknaw. (Armies of tutu-wearing, broadsword-weilding gorilloids and fez-wearing über-chimps packing plasma rifles don’t pay for themselves.)

I developed a simple recipe for creating frustrating, broadband-sucking, suicide-inducing infographics:

  • rather than visualize the information, use a paragraph or two to describe the information next to a large number (42% is best)
  • use fuzzy math
  • if possible, set the text at 4 points, and make it white text on a light colored background
  • some people may still be able to read this, so compress the graphic into a 400 pixel by 4000 pixel bitmap image (never in html – this could actually be useful)
  • if you cannot find extremely dubious sources for your data, make your sources text even smaller.

And yes, since my arrival on earth, I have passed along this recipe. You were starting to get well informed.

Next time: My time vortex is clogged — can I use a x-dimensional plunger on that, or should I try Drano?

Alltop loves a good plunge.