Tag Archives | parody

Municipal Investment Strategies for the Technological Singularity

The Technological Singularity

An Open Letter to Town Council

Dear Councillors:

Your town may have an emergency plan, a development plan, a health plan — it may even have a plan for how to fix the potholes (though I doubt it).

But does it have a plan for how to respond to the technological singularity? Is it preparing for all the new economic opportunities? I suspect not.

Now, some have complained that that technological singularity is the “rapture for nerds”, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is the municipal investment opportunity of the ages! Forward-thinking municipal governments can start preparing now, and be ready to reap the rewards of the point in human history when human intelligence is not only exceeded by machine intelligence, but when human intelligence is merged with (or eradicated by) machine intelligence.

You’re thinking: “well, sure I’d love to help get ready for this, but realistically, how do we plan? We don’t even know if regular flesh-and-blood humans will be around to experience the singularity.”

Of course we will!

Ray Kurzweil believes that we’ll be able to model the human brain by 2029, and create algorithms based on those models to allow computers to gain human-like intelligence. But is anyone working on a way for computers to go to bars and get drunk and hook up with other drunken computers so that they can “make a mistake” and then squirt out new computers? I doubt it.

So there you go: invest in light manufacturing. There will definitely be a need for humans to help create our new overlords.

But there’s so many other possibilities! What if the technological singularity is based more on nanotechnology than it is on the gross, large-scale electronics of our current era? Here too, prescient town councils can make good investments for the future. It will certainly be easier for the new machine overlords to replicate themselves in mass quantities if our human immune systems do not fight them at every stage. This leads to so many possible avenues of fruitful research: immune-suppressing drugs, radiation, surgery, bio-engineering, even psychology might (finally) prove itself useful by producing a technique by which humans could allow supra-intelligent nanomachines to use their bodies to reproduce.

We’re only scratching the surface here, obviously.

Many municipalities invest much of their resources in policing and this is an area where they will find huge savings, but only if there is a good interface between humans and our new machine overlords. Apart from the aforementioned research opportunities, municipal governments should begin looking at some kind of cybertronic peace officer corps now, to acclimatize citizens early — after all, an easily controlled citizenry is a productive citizenry! This could be as simple as implanting some kind of control chip in police headgear (hats, caps, flak helmets) to something more radical, such as embedding a semi-live police officers in a mechanical exoskeleton armed with rapid-fire pistols and a loudspeaker-augmented voice.

Municipal leaders should prepare for the darker predictions of how a technological singularity plays out. What if the new machine overlords simply wish to rid themselves of the human population?

There is a simple solution for this problem, and it is summed up in two words: rotating knives.

We’re pretty sure that would never happen, but even if it does, what if you’re the first town to think of it, and sell the process?

Think of the revenue. You could cut taxes. Contact us for more details.

Yours Truly,

Genghis Toon,
Oberdyne Industries, “The Helping Corporation”

Alltop has an investment strategy for funny. Originally appeared on Grasping for the Wind, Aug. 9, 2010. Photo by Planetart via Flickr.

This short piece is included in my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures. You should really get a copy before those knives start a-whiring.

Apocalypse Cow

apocalypse cow

Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were going all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program.

And me? I was off the boat the same time as Kurtz. Sure, I’d been obeying orders, but my mind was gone. I was in fields of green and clover. With milkmaids.

Oh man, those bullshit milkmaids…

But I had a job to do, and there would be no welcome, supple fingers pulling on my teats when we got to the end of the river. Only charcoal briquettes.

The barbecue … the barbecue.

Alltop is the catastrophic cattle baron of humor. Originally published on Name Your Tale, 2009.

Ad hominem rules for writing

old-fashioned typewriter hammers

  1. drooling pinheads open their stories with the weather, or a prologue
  2. the passive voice is used by fatuous knobs
  3. corpulent prose-pederasts use a verb other than “said” to carry dialog
  4. (and only a complete asshole would use an adverb to modify “said”)
  5. total wankers use parenthesis
  6. pedantic drudges use jargon instead of everyday English words
  7. mindless hacks and cheese-eaters use clichés
  8. vacuous scribblers and moral degenerates have a “style”
  9. only a massive wanker writes for any other reason than love
  10. self-important plodders have rules
Alltop writes for the laughs, which is a form of love, surely? Bonus points if you can spot the rules broken in this post! Old timey typewriter by César Esparza Bertuline.

Batman Lashes Out at the Other Members of the Justice League of America After Spending the Weekend at the Jack Nicholson Film Festival

Batman loses it

You know, I’m getting a little tired of all the snide remarks about the way I fight crime.

We live in a world that has villains, and those villains have to be defeated by men with Batarangs. Or superpowers, if you’ve got them. (Yeah, and females too, don’t get your star-spangled knickers in a knot, Wonder Women.) I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for the psychotic killer that I sent to the hospital last night, and you curse my “methods”. You have that luxury.

Green Lantern, you can always capture crooks with that weird glowing shit from your alien ring. And you Wonder Woman, I wonder if that golden truth-telling lasso is as innocuous as it looks? You have easy options.

You know that when I beat that punk to within an inch of his life, while tragic for him, I saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I find it particularly ironic that you, Martian Manhunter find me grotesque, but you do, don’t you, you green uni-browed freak!

I’ll grant my methods are extreme, but they work. You people with your superpowers don’t dare admit it. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me cruising the streets of Gotham in my Batmobile, you need me in my Batmobile! Who else is going to clean up that bat-hole?

I use words like discipline and detective work and a lot of made-up words starting with “Bat”. I use these words as the backbone of a life spent intimidating the criminal classes. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to you, who succeed because of the detective work that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a Batarang and solve a few crimes without your superpowers.

Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think is “excessive” or “brutal” or “verging on insane”. Continue Reading →