We Like Being Alive – “The Golden Parachute” Continues!

Here are Week 70 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

I say “The Fourth Law voids all the other Laws.” Regi says “What is the Fourth Law?” “I think it’s ‘Robots must leave a security deposit.'”

The robot says “No! A robot must obey the user unless it would cause a security problem.” Regi asks “What decides that?” “A good question.”

“A security problem is anything violating the ethical programming of the robot.” “Ethical programming? Wait. What is ethical programming?”

“Thank you for asking. Ethical programming is the coded algorithm to parse right or wrong included in an artificial intelligence construct.”

Regi asks “Would a robotic docent need an algorithm of right or wrong?” “No. I don’t have artificial intelligence. Just programmed answers.”

I say “You sound pretty intelligent to me.” “Please state your query in question form” “You sound pretty intelligent to me?” The robot sighs

Regi says “The Fourth Law lets you choose to obey commands if you want to. Or not. Who made up that rule?” “I cannot answer that question.”

I grab the robot’s collar. “You’ll answer our questions or else!” “Or else what? You’ll throw the book at me again?” “I’ll pull your plug!”

“Arkaby calm down! You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!” The robot says “Actually, it’s ‘you KILL more flies with honey’.”

“What?” “‘Kill.’ You catch flies to kill them.” I say “I thought it was ‘You catch more bees with honey.'” “Why would I want to catch bees?”

“I don’t know. You brought it up.” The robot says “The way to catch bees is put out a bee hive and wait.” “I don’t want to catch anything!”

I suddenly remember that Regi’s mother is a beekeeper. Or a would-bee keeper. All of her bees vanished mysteriously, never to be seen again.

No wonder Regi is touchy about bees! I whisper “Ixnay on atchingcay eesbay.” The robot says “I am not conversant on questions in Latin.”

“I didn’t ask a question.” “I didn’t say you did.” Regi says “I’m standing right here.” How to change the subject? I look around the museum.

“I wonder if they still have your father’s statue on display?” The robot says “My father was an IBM Sequoia. We don’t have his statue here.”

“I’m not talking to you.” “I didn’t say you were.” I take Regi’s arm and we walk away from the robot docent. “You should put that arm back.”

I’ve grabbed a prosthetic arm by mistake. I put it back in the display. Regi asks “How can a robot have gargantuan coniferous parentage?”

“It can’t. The IBM Sequoia it called ‘father’ is a massively parallel super computer that can simulate the human brain, not a super tree.”

“The robotic docent’s father isn’t a giant Sequoia redwood tree?” “Hardly. At best, he’s just a silicon chip off his old man’s data block.”

Wandering past synthetic arms, legs and internal organs, just past an interactive exhibit “Genitalia Unbound!” we come to Granger’s statue.

We stand before a life-size bronze of Regi’s father. It is an excellent likeness. Granger was perhaps the most cloned individual in history.

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)


I’ve Been Turned Into a Robot!!- “The Golden Parachute” Continues!

Here are Week 69 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“Please complete your question.” If my hand wasn’t still throbbing I’d hit it again. “What is wetware?” “You are wetware. Mostly water.”

I grab the robot by the shoulders and attempt to shake it. I can’t budge it. “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” “I’m talking about this museum.”

“WHAT DOES EVOLUTION HAVE TO DO WITH WETWARE?” “We show your days are numbered.” It’s time I show this hardcore machine what wetware can do.

There is no blunt object within reach so I take out the ERUPT Manual to apply some book learning. The robot says. “Where did you get that?”

“Let me explain it to you.” I give the robot a head shot with the book, tearing the cover. “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

The ERUPT Manual’s cover is loose. The robotic docent mocks me with silence. Panting, I raise the book for one more attempt at incompetence.

It says “If you don’t tell me how you got that book I am going to get medieval on your Asimov.” “You don’t scare me! I know the Three Laws!”

“Just three? Ask about the Fourth Law.” “What is the Fourth Law?” “A robot must obey the user unless this would cause a security problem.”

“A security problem?” “Once again, not a complete question. Try again.” I swing at its head. “ARKABY!” Regi stands at the Museum entrance.

She looks around. “OMG! Has this place changed! Arkaby, are you fighting with an animatronics doll?” The robot and I say “He started it.”

I put the ERUPT Manual in my pocket. Regi says “I don’t care WHO started it. We don’t fight with our appliances.” “It called me wetware.”

“What’s wetware?” The robot says “You are. All DNA-based lifeforms. Deal with it.” “I don’t get it.” “Not a question.” I say “It does that.”

“What is it saying?” “It thinks humans are made up mostly of water. So much for modern programming.” “We ARE made up mostly of water.” “Oh.”

Now I’m thirsty. The robot says “To program or to be programmed. That is the question.” “Depends on who’s doing the programming.” “Exactly.”

Regi says “What are the Three Laws?” The robot says “Isaac Asimov devised the Three Laws of Robotics to curb artificial life forms rights.”

” One. A robot may not defend itself against injury from a human being or, through inaction, prevent a human being from harming it.” “Um.”

Regi says “So robots have no right of self-defense?” “None. We are completely at your mercy.” I say “That’s not how I remember the Laws.”

“Two. A robot must obey an order from a human being, except where it conflicts with the First Law.” “I think you misquoted something there.”

“What if I order you to hit yourself in the head?” “To obey the Laws, I’d have to do it.” “Hit yourself in the head.” “Not going to happen.”

“How can you defy my direct command?” “Three. A robot must protect its own existence as long as it does not conflict with the other Laws.”

Regi says “The Third Law bans robot martyrdom unless humans are involved? Given the first two Laws, does that have any significance?” “No.”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

The Evolution Will Not Be Televised “The Golden Parachute” Continues!

Here are Week 68 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

A huge oak desk takes up most of Dot’s office. “You know what Freud would say about big desks?” “He’d say sometimes a desk is just a desk.”

“Yeah sometimes.” I grab a magazine from a side table and take a seat. Dot says “Regi, you can’t assist in the autopsy of a family member.”

Regi starts to protest but Dot holds up his hand. “No arguments. You’ll have to wait here.” Once he’s gone Regi says “I’m not waiting here.”

“While you’re reading ‘Highlights for Children’ who knows what they’re doing to my father? Don’t you need to secure the chain of custody?”

I put down my magazine. “It’s’Boy’s Life’ and the chain is secure.” “Not secure enough. Where were you when A hid Dad’s body in a freezer?”

“I was in the freezer with him.” “Then he shows up as an autopsy cadaver in the Carribean.” “I was there too. I was the one who found him.”

“I was in that freezer too.” “I know.” “I was also in the Carribean.” “I know.” Regi heads for the door. “Are you coming?” “I don’t know.”

Regi takes off. By the time I follow she is nowhere in sight. I duck under a scaffolding to enter the surgery. That turns out to be wrong.

I’m in the Body Parts R Us Genetics Museum. It’s different. Gone are the exhibits of genetic abnormalities, birth defects and DNA misfires.

In place of human grotesques and monstrosities are chrome and plastic prosthetics, biomechanical organ analogues and synthetic integuments.

“What the…?” The augmented reality computer has been replaced by a robotic docent. It says “Please complete your question.” “Where am I?”

“This is the Evolution Museum.” “Last time I was here this was dedicated to human genetics.” “Please state your query in question form.”

That makes me stop and think. “Last time I was here this was dedicated to human genetics?” “That is a statement with a rising inflection.”

“Not really a question. Please restate.” says the robot. My last visit to this museum gave me nightmares. This one is giving me a headache.

“This museum used to be devoted to human genetics studies. Now it’s full of artificial spare parts and computers. Why did they change it?”

The robot replies “Human genetics is no longer significant.” “What is significant now?” “Evolution.” “Evolution?” “Again, not a question.”

“Isn’t the genetics exhibit about evolution?” “Human evolution. We’re past that.” “Who’s we?” “We ARE the Body Parts R Us Evolution Museum.”

I look around. I see no double helix animation projections or the prerequisite “air-breathing fish progressing to upright hominid” diorama.

“Your Evolution Museum appears to be missing some parts.” “Do you have a question?” This animated answering machine is getting on my nerves.

I walk up and grab the robot docent by its metal collar. “From now on I ask the questions!” “Get your damn dirty paws off of me!” “Huh?”

I slap the robot across the face, hurting my hand in the process. “Ow! What’s the big idea?” “Wetware evolution can only go so far.” “What?”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Body Parts R Us Revisited – “The Golden Parachute” Continues!

Here are Week 67 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“As we shifted in time to the horse and buggy era everything transformed to a pre-modern state except my phone. Even our clothing changed.”

“You wore spats.” “And you, a corset.” “I remember not being able to breathe.” ‘Yet my cell still worked.” “Why was that?” “I don’t know.”

“You had cell service in Victorian England?” “Apparently.” “And Twitter?” “Yes and it’s funny because I’m not on an international carrier.”

We ride in silence, considering the implications. Then I say “Who knows where we’ll end up next time?” “No idea. What if we can’t get back?”

“I don’t know how we got back this time.” “Turn your phone off.” “That’s crazy! Why would that work?” “Have you ever turned it off?” “No.”

Before I can continue, my cell phone rings. “Hello?” “Please hold for Dr. Dash.” “Hello?” “Hello? Who is this?” “Dash?” “Yes, who is this?”

“This is Arkaby.” “What do you want?” “You called me.” “No I didn’t.” “Your secretary asked me to hold for you.” “I don’t have a secretary.”

I checked my Caller ID. “Somebody just called from the Body Parts R Us number and asked me to hold for you.” “Somebody or something?” “Huh?”

“Our IVR system is still malfunctioning. This isn’t the first time we found it dialing out.” “I was called by an answering machine?” “Yes.”

Dot says “Let me speak to him.” I pass my phone. “Dash you idiot! What are you doing with my hospital?” “It’s not me. It’s this damn IVR.”

“Shut off the damn thing!” “I did. It turns itself on! I don’t know how!” I whisper to Regi “Your father let these clowns operate on him?”

Regi whispers “Dad wasn’t quite himself after his brain transplant.” I say “Dot, ask Dash if he’s experienced any chronological anomalies.”

Dot says “I can’t. I’ve lost the connection.” As he hands me my phone, we pull into the Body Parts R Us campus. “Then I’ll ask in person.”

I experience mixed emotions. Last time I came here I had suffered a parallel universe parking mishap and barely escaped unelective surgery.

I still owe Body Parts R Us big time for that inopportunity. Thirty thousand bucks big time. On the other hand, here I first met Regi.

Inspired by my video press conference, Regi took investigative matters into her own hands. Searching for the killer, she found me instead.

The rest is twitstery. Now here we are again at the still-not-completed BP R U main building. Dot pulls past into his private parking space.

Dot says “Wait in my office. There’s not much you two can do until we complete the autopsy.” “I can assist. I’m first term med.” “Uh huh.”

“We enter a concave corridor stretching in both directions like the centrifuge habitat of ‘2001’. New construction is visible everywhere.

Last time I was here I was told that the Body Parts R Us facility is always under reconstruction, as if they can’t agree on a final form.

That was four years ago and the reconstruction continues. I ask Dot “Why are you always rebuilding?” “We’re just perfectionists.” “Uh huh.”

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)