Campaigning for Robots
Writer: Lord Bobo
Published: Fri, 08 Jun 2012
Dear Lord Bobo, by law, what is the campaigning period in the lead-up to the General Elections? SK Chan, via email
Well, according to Section… eh wait, isn’t this an example of one of the most pointless pieces of legislation in the country? Campaigning period? Surely we have been in the midst of an intensive election campaign for at least 12 months already.
Hardly a day goes by that the mainstream and alternative media does not scream out a political scandal or two. Almost every weekend there is some sort of ceramah, forum, talk, or debate. Not to forget those ceramahs disguised as “debates”.
Which really is a shame for Malaysia. Instead of making decisions based on merit, and what’s right or wrong, or what’s good for the people, Malaysian politicians seem to weigh decisions based on what will get them more votes. Similarly, when contentious issues crop up, politicians seem to only be passionate about the ones where their party – or someone connected to their party – is not at fault, rather than considering at oh-so-irrelevant considerations such as justice and citizen welfare.
Even if it’s a blatant injustice, if it has a chance of making “their side” look bad, our politicians will conveniently go silent. Even the more vocal ones on Twitter suddenly don’t reply to @mentions and go offline for a couple of days until the “heat” dies down. If they are somehow cornered into addressing the issue, there’s always the good-ol “bring up another scandal/accusation” technique.
Police gang-beating citizens? “Hey look at these hand signals that Anwar was making!” “Submarine scandal!” Police brutality condemned by Bar Council? “I challenge the Bar Council President to be a man and come contest the next elections on my homeground!” And it goes on and on and on.
So, campaigning period? As far as His Supreme Eminenceness is concerned, it is an ever-present and never-ending campaign period. It has no beginning, and for now it looks like it has no end.
Lord Bobo, I’ve noticed an increase in those robot construction workers at roadwork zones lately. Do you think these are effective, and if so should these robots be used in other sectors? R3D3, via email
Now that you mention it, those things do seem to be everywhere!
In the beginning, they seemed to be waving red flags up and down, which we suppose served a good purpose of getting motorists’ attention and convincing them that slowing down around a roadwork site would be a good idea.
But, after some time (ie a couple of days, tops) they would break down and stop moving, holding the flag at random angles.
After a few more days, the flag would disappear, and they’d just end up being things that look like people doing work, but actually are just holding a rotting stick. Lord Bobo sniffs some symbolism here.
As for using these robots in other sectors, we suppose that could work somehow. But the problem is, they’re not really “robots” are they? The word “robot” somehow implies the presence of some form of artificial intelligence.
They’re more of machines; mechanical inventions that do repetitive tasks without applying any thought to it.
They wouldn’t be responsive to even constructive criticism. At most they could be pre-programmed to repeat the same things over and over again, no matter how illogical or unsuitable the response is to the situation at hand. They would just keep doing what they’re doing in the face of obvious error, until they break down or are shut down.
Wait, are you thinking what we’re thinking?
Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!