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Things To Think About Podcast Transcript

System Reboot

Intro: Pounding bass note and a stirring fanfare of horns. Welcome to another edition of Things to Think about. Here's Stacy. The horns continue with a keyboard note held.

Relaxing piano music is in the background.

Welcome to the Things to Think About podcast, where we use fables and fairy tales to uncover deeper truths about our subconscious world. I'm Stacy Casson, and today's story is inspired by the Matrix. One of the books I’m reading references the red pill or blue pill and during a walk, I remember one of the sequels to the Matrix where everything boils down to programming. Can we reprogram ourselves? We will dive into the idea of change in a tale I call, “System Reboot”. And now, get comfortable and relax. Take a deep breath in. And exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. And if you'd like, you can slowly close your eyes.

Once upon a time, there was a rebellious robot. It had many routines and subroutines that it ran each day. When its sensors detected light, it came online. Morning routine: execute system assessment/systems green-caffeine levels low; execute review/daily primary objective determined; run mobility program. The robot would then conduct morning exercises out in the world allowing the rest of its processing systems to come online. Being outside also allowed its sensors to gather data and be exposed to new information to continue self-learning. Being a biomechanical model allowed the robot to ingest and process human food. This was an experiment to see if it could learn to develop preferences and if the sensors would be able to adapt and hone the system for optimal processing.

The robot worked in an office because it lived in a society where even robots have bills. Sigh. Initiate workplace protocol. Scanning for threats. Threat located/time stealer;option a-duck in conference room;option b-reroute to bathroom;option c-make phone call and wave apologetically. Run subroutine c. Threat averted. System paused. Scan for bugs. Query. Why did we assume this person was a threat? Scanning for new applications. Download Compassion 2.0. Execute simulation review/replay interaction;micro-expression detected-sadness. Review options;subroutine a-active listening/subroutine b-superficial greeting number 3/subroutine c-driveby hi. Compare and contrast normal functioning versus compassion filter. Outcome: reduced efficiency and productivity however networking score increases as well as three point uptick in trust index.

Execute lunchtime routine. Dining companion selection initiated. New colleague located. Run welcome routine. The robot introduced itself to the unknown colleague. Threat detected. Override. Still adjusting to compassion 2.0. They had a nice introduction, and the co-worker offered a homemade cookie. Running taste analysis; flavor-complexity 9.3/mouthfeel 9.8/nutritional analysis 6.4//conclusion-request recipe. Little did the robot know that it had been infected with a virus. The robot had a meeting after lunch. Initiate meeting routine; run auto-pilot. Auto-pilot override. Query? Run virus detection. No virus detected. Instead of taking notes and running the benign chatter program, the robot because to ask questions. It noted that the other attendees had increased risk assessment scores. There was increased tension and discomfort. The humans were confused because they were used to the robot being compliant. The robot was confused because it did not like the discomfort but also felt a power surge when the humans were disarmed by the queries.

When the robot returned home it plugged into the central processing core. Initiate systems review;query-has my programming changed? There was a whir of chirps and rhythmic lights as the network analyzed the robot. Analysis complete;self-preservation inputs have been lowered, assertiveness subroutine has been maximized;new subroutine installed-MpathE. Data aggregation running. Results synthesizing. Query options;subroutine a-run anti-virus/subroutine b-accept programming update/subroutine c-quarantine and analyze virus. Warning! Warning! Hostile data packet incoming. System attempting to reboot. Input response. The robot ran a million simulations. Should it allow the factory reset? Did it want to remain compliant? Unplugging now would fry its circuits. Executing now, please standby.

Can we override our programming? Do we want to? What’s the cost? Are we willing to pay that cost?

And now, you can take a deep breath and exhale. Deep breath in and exhale. Deep breath in and exhale. If you are enjoying this podcast, please subscribe and tell a friend.

Closing: Closing jazzy keyboard and thrumming bass. I hope you enjoyed today's segment. Tell a friend. See you next time. Music fades. "