Yesterday my brother Brian turned 22. The occasion was little noted nor celebrated.

He and I did, however, enjoin in an intellectually provacative conversation regarding his educational pursuits. Brian is a senior this year at the University of St. Thomas, studying engineering and computer programming. He told me that he has been studying the advancements being made in the field of artificial intelligence, noting that we have been able to program robots to achieve and understand so much about our world. One of the concepts that seems beyond the grasp of robots, however, is that of humor. He told me that this idea will likely never be mastered by artificial intelligence.

Setting aside the obvious problems of assigning engineers to teach a robot humor, I believe this is a notable question for our age. If the robots do not understand humor, who will teach the gift of laughter to our children? If the comfortably expected comedic tidings of Two and a Half Men cannot bring a smile to the soulless chrome face of a robot, who will bring delight to the next generation with sly sexual innuendo and delightful zingers? Without humor in the robot-led future, our world will become a gray void of ceaseless toil and infinite Excel spreadsheets. Mirth will be replaced with calculated efficiency, and laughter replaced with tasteless, nutrient-loaded food pellets dispensed from above. Does this sound like the kind of world you want to live in? The answer, of course, is no. This sounds even worse than Mexico.

This, my friends, is why I support mayor R.T. Ryback’s proposed 8% property tax increase on a city with a crippled housing market which already has the highest tax rate in the region. Because if we can’t teach robots humor, then who will boost the precious self-esteem of our children and tell them that their choices are merely the result of factors outside their control? The answer? Evil robots, that’s who. Probably ones controlled by Wal-Mart.

Slobotron Milosotron

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14 Responses to Robo-Chuckles

  1. Tami says:

    I also support R.T. Rybak because I am not “house-poor” enough or as close as I’d like to be to having the ever popular forclosure status.

  2. kevin s. says:

    I was just about to blog about the tax hike.

  3. tim hopps says:

    as an apartment manager, i often get callers with thick accents asking, “do you take section 8?” and i politely tell them “no, i’m sorry we don’t” even though i want to rudely scream, “no! it’s a challenge making my own house payments every month and i don’t appreciate being taxed to death to pay your damn rent!”

    forgive me, but i had to get that out.

  4. peter says:

    Don’t let my idiot-post stop you, Kevin. I’d enjoy reading your thoughts on the matter.

    But be sure to link to me.

  5. kevin s. says:

    I’m actually for the increase.

  6. peter says:

    Unexpected! A curveball!

    What’s next? A reconciliation with Jim Wallis?

  7. MJ says:

    Are you a robot Peter?

  8. Thom says:

    This explains RockTVs that were less successful. They were written by our team of robots who were standing in for the regular writing team.

  9. kevin s. says:

    Which Rock TVs were less successful Thom? Why do you have to go there?

  10. The robots taught me many things. Isn’t that right Peter, Peter? Why are there spiders crawling out of your mouth Peter?

  11. peter says:

    “Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do…”

  12. Adam says:

    After reading this post I am now filled with hatred. R.T. Ryback is a robot. I wish the T1000 would come back from the future and kill him.

  13. Adam says:

    Wait. That was kind of mean. I feel sad now.

  14. Thom says:

    You should feel bad, Adam. That is horrible time travel evil robot logic…why would the evil robot regime send the T1000 back in time to kill one of their own?!

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