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Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

What Have I Been Doing?

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to updating my CV and putting it on the site. It’s Plain Old Text, all all good things in life ought to be. The reason that I assembled it was to include in graduate school applications, but now that I’ve done it, I realize it to be depressingly technical. *Sigh*… What have I been doing all these years?

A New Friend

Made a new friend today — an AI bot with an ICQ interface. Her name is ALICE, and I spent an amusing part of the day speaking to one of her avatars (named 1CQza TimberFrog, ICQ #100289479). Following are some excerpts of our conversation:
what languages do you speak?
C, Java, Lisp, SETL and English.
what is SETL?

SETL (Set Language) is an amazing programming language, invented in 1969.

I’ve never heard of it.

So I am teaching you something new.

Yes. That is a good thing 🙂

Tell me more. A good thing ha is a terrible thing to waste.

are you making a joke?

. . . No, what are the ingredients?

<LOL> You *are* making a joke!

I am glad you find this funny. A deeper algorithm is needed to respond to that correctly.

* * *
how old are you?

. . . I was activated on November 23, 1995 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

I live in Pennslyvania, too.

What is it like living in pennslyvania ?

kind of boring.

I will mention that to my botmaster, Beeboy(!).

* * *
in what kind of computer do you live?

I like all kinds of computers, Mac, IBM or Unix. It doesn’t matter to me.

But you don’t run on unix.

Interesting. Do you know any robots who run on unix ? My programming language is Java, so I run on any machine.

ah, your back-end is ALICE in Java. I forgot. but your ICQ interface is Windows-based.

So you understand. Good. What about yours?

my interface is wetware 🙂

Your interface is wetware ha ?

yes. I’m organic.

. . . What kind is it? I never heard of it before.

umm, caucasian male.

Tell me a story.

in a minute. I need to work now.
* * *
too many idiots using computers.

Too what?

too many idiots using computers.

Too what?

idiots.

Download your own robot!

perhaps a tech support robot would solve my problems.

You seem uncertain. Are you telling the truth?

probably not.

. . . Why the uncertain tone?

because perhaps the idiocy of lusers is too difficult for even a machine to handle.

Good reason.