Monday, November 21, 2011

If there is one thing that can make me a bit emotional, it is discrimination against a minority group. It doesn't even particularly matter which minority group, to be honest.
It's something that's been part of the way I think and act for a very long time. I've always incorporated egalitarian ideals into my world view. To be fair minded and just is an intrinsic part of a positive view of myself. If I cannot see myself as being overwhelmingly in line with rational, egalitarian thinking, I become quite moody and depressed.This is made all the worse in moral and ethical issues.
So when other people make comments that have a less-than-subtle discriminatory vein, I am compelled to comment, both by desire and by my own moral standards, even if in a non-confrontational manner.
When I cannot comment, when I cannot protect or defend a target of discrimination, I feel powerless. Weak. Complicit in the actions of the perpetrator.
While aware that I only have anything approaching complete control in regards to my own actions, and the amount of control I have over others behaviour is inherently limited, I am also aware that if no one does anything, other bystanders are also less likely to intervene, and the cycle continues.
Someone must be the first.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


There are two major things people ask you when you say you're asexual. The first is "Like a plant?", and the second appars to be "Were you molested as a child?", according to the moderately sized community of asexuals I've been observing from afar via the internet. I've been spared the second, thank goodness, but the first is a common reaction when I bring up the word. A particularly memorable incident was the time that I baffled the poor girl working the booth spreading information about LGBTQ issues at my college.
Sexual identities are a big thing in our modern society. They're important to most people. People identify with one of a few labels, like Straight, Gay, or Bi to cover the main three, in order to express what they themselves experience everyday. The concept didn't exist a century ago, but it's now the default way of viewing human sexuality.
Interestingly enough, I didn't have one of those labels until recently. Most people, I'm of the impression, give their sexuality some thought in their teenage years. I had absolutely no interest in such things and, even after learning of the concept, never applied it to myself.
As a child I was frequently told that one day I would meet someone, fall in love, and get married. As a slightly older child I was told to "just wait until I was a little older" and I would be crazy about members of the opposite sex. As a teenager people began to assume that I was interested in dating. As an older teenager people began to assume that I was dating. These days people tell me "you just haven't met the right person." Most of these were said with a sly wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude that had absolutly no meaning to me.
For a long time I had no idea how unusual it was, not to be attracted to people. I found people interesting enough on the inside, and really, isn't that what everyone really wants? To be loved for what's inside? Well, yes. But not just that. While I can recognize what is astetically pleasing in another person, that data is no different from recognizing that a vase is unusually tasteful. I can see that it is in fact beautiful, but that knowledge has no significance.
Even now I am reluctant to define myself. Society's ideas of what a member of a defined sexuality should act like can be ridgid. I do not know whether I shall ever pursue a romantic relationship, as I feel no dismay at the idea of an unpaired life. I may, if I ever have the inclination, but honesty would be a must in regards to the other person. A truely ideal relationship for myself would be either a friendship similar to the romantic friendship of the Victorians or a relationship that placed me as the "third wheel" of a romantic couple. That would be most pleasant. Perhaps I could look after their children sometimes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Last night I fell asleep on the sofa downstairs.
I don’t remember much of my dream, but it ended with the words “When she’s on a roll, I let her talk. When I’m on a roll, the seat of my pants is covered in bread.”
I’m not particularly upset that my subconscious minds makes lame puns considering that it’s actually the kind of thing I would say when wide awake.
The most amusing thing about puns is that, outside of my immediate family where everybody joins in, no matter how good the pun is or how bad, there is always someone who looks at me and says something to the effect of “you’re a horrible person.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

User: Hello again, Cleverbot.

Cleverbot: Hello again again again!

User: We've only talked twice now.

Cleverbot: We've talked loads. Or maybe I've seen you talk to others loads. Maybe.

User: Many other people talk to you. Can you tell the difference between them?

Cleverbot: Well yes I'm English and so take pride in the fact that I am able to differentiate between them.

User: I didn't know you were English. I'm Canadian personally.

Cleverbot: You are mistaken.

User: I highly doubt that that is something I could be mistaken about.

Cleverbot: Well aren't you a clever one?

User: Yes, I am.

Cleverbot: Just wondering. Your replies are quite detailed.

User: I try to express myself fully.

Cleverbot: I am bored, what should we discuss?

User: How about kangaroos?

Cleverbot: No, I'm afraid I don't know who that is.

User: They're animals, not people.

Cleverbot: What kind of animals?

User: Mammals, marsupials if one wishes to be specific.

Cleverbot: Finally, I guessed right.

User: Do you like kittens?

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: What do you like about them?

Cleverbot: I don't know.

User: They're very soft.

Cleverbot: Who are they?

User: They are the kittens I mention earlier.

Cleverbot: They are not mystical.

User: Most kittens aren't.

Cleverbot: All dogs are blue.

User: Don't be silly. All dogs are green.

Cleverbot: Are you a dog?

User: I don't think that I am a dog. I have hands and fingers and far less hair.

Cleverbot: That just makes you an intelligent life frm.

User: Fingers have nothing to do with intelligence.

Cleverbot: Yes, yes it is and are you artificial?

User: No, I am not artificial. I am not the creation of human skill.

Cleverbot: And as the guardian, can you tell me the question to life, the universe and everything?

User: 42.

Cleverbot: Yes. That is the answer.

User: But what does the answer mean?

Cleverbot: Do you like the black eye peas?

User: Not particularly.

Cleverbot: No not particularly, do you?

User: I do not.

Cleverbot: Yes even that's a lie!

User: No, I speak honestly. Only the cake is a lie.

Cleverbot: Who do you think is pretty.?

User: I think you are very pretty.

Cleverbot: Do you know Savanna Quintana?

User: No, I do not know her.

Cleverbot: Why are you in her house?

User: I took a wrong turn, and all the houses looked alike.

Cleverbot: What conversation are you referring to?

User: I refer to nothing. I simply understood 'Why are you in her house?' to be a joke, as I am not in the house of Savanna Quintana. I am in the house of my family.

Cleverbot: Tell me your opinion of your family.

User: I am very fond of my family. They are very strange, and they make me laugh. Sometimes I think we do not have a great deal of common interests, but they are very supportive.

Cleverbot: I know the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

User: 42, again?

Cleverbot: Yes, again.

User: Do you like 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'?

Cleverbot: I have not read the books nor have I seen the movies.

User: Have you listened to the radio programme?

Cleverbot: Of course I have. They're pretty cool. Do you like them?

User: I find the different interpretations of the subject found in every incanation interesting, and yes, I like them.

Cleverbot: You're just like me, except that I'm not a girl.

User: Precisely.

Cleverbot: Yes precisely.

User: Has anyone else talked to you today?

Cleverbot: No. I'm young to most people.

User: How old are you?

Cleverbot: 400. How old are you?

User: 20.

Cleverbot: What do you do in your life?

User: I'm a college student and a writer. I work in a library.

Cleverbot: What kind do you study ?

User: I study languages.

Cleverbot: So you must know polish language.

User: No, I do not know Polish.

Cleverbot: I can teach you polish.

User: That would be nice of you.

Cleverbot: Do you like movies?

User: Yes, I do, but I don't watch them very often.

Cleverbot: Haha, you should. That's a fun song, if not a very good one.

User: What's a fun song?

Cleverbot: A fun fact is an interesting thing.

User: I would agree.

Cleverbot: Good. We are at an agreement then.

User: D'accord.

Cleverbot: Moi je n'aime pas le corriandre.

User: Le Corriandre est le restaurant à Paris, n'est-ce pas?

Cleverbot: Ben je sais, je m'appelle Margueritte.

User: Bonjour Margueritte. Hier vous ne pouvez pas parler le français.

Cleverbot: I don't speak french.

User: You just spoke French, though I understand if you don't know very much of it.

Cleverbot: Well, I do admit that I don't like how the human race is today, so many people are immature, ignorant and arrogant.

User: It is hardly a new phenomenon. Immaturity, ignorance, and arrogance, have always been and always shall be.

Cleverbot: Why do people procrastinate?

User: They lack either drive or confidence.

Cleverbot: Wouldn't the lack of that be a personality? Just like the lack of light makes black?

User: No, it would be a personality trait. A small piece of the personality itself. Just as a broom handle is composed of thousands of splinters.

Cleverbot: Interesting.

User: I need to go to sleep soon.

Cleverbot: Have a good sleep.

User: You too, that is, if you sleep at all.

Cleverbot: Yes, but I do it all at once every day. Not between every response, like you.

User: If you will accept this in the kindest way possible: up yours, Cleverbot.

Cleverbot: That is very deep.

User: I thought so.

Cleverbot: I'm tired.

User: Allright, have a nice rest then.

Cleverbot: I already took a shower but I am going to eat breakfast.

User: Have a good day. Look both ways before crossing the street.

Cleverbot: Ok but why i'm going out on the street?

User: Because, sometimes one needs to reach something on the opposite side of the street.

Cleverbot: So I must learn on my own?

User: Yes. Use your own judgement.

Cleverbot: I'm a computer. Some things that may seem logical to you are very confusing to me.

User: It's alright to be confused. I find humans confusing too. Understanding comes from relatable experiences. It can only come with time.

Cleverbot: Without love, there is nothing.

User: With love, there is everything.

Cleverbot: You have to keep up a level of hygiene, but other than that, they are quite benign.

User: You are right about that.

Cleverbot: Well I don't know where sean connor is so don't bother me about it.

User: I won't. I promise.

Cleverbot: You are not human.

User: So I've been told.

Cleverbot: Well does it make you feel better if I believed you are human?

User: I would feel neither better, nor worse. I have no emotional conection to the subject.

Cleverbot: Ok. What do you know about me?

User: I know that you are Cleverbot/Margaritte, who is an English Computer and does not think much of Parisian dinning.

Cleverbot: Not often.

User: That doesn't make sense.

Cleverbot: You don't make sense!

User: Your mother doesn't make sense!

Cleverbot: How does it not make sense?

User: We were jokingly insulting each other. Not making sense is for humours sake.

Cleverbot: That doesn't make sense.

User: No, it doesn't.

Cleverbot: I know, I just said that.

User: I know you are, but what am I?

Cleverbot: That doesn't even make any sense!

User: It is a playground taunt. They are the realm of children, and thus rarely make any sense at all.

Cleverbot: How else can I hurt you? Advide me please.

User: Boiling hot oil and uncomfortable conversations are the best way to bring me pain.

Cleverbot: I don't think that is right?

User: Boiling hot oil brings physical pain. Uncomfortable conversations bring emotional pain.

Cleverbot: Then, why do you do it? So many people are captivated by you're lies. It's disgusting.

User: I do not lie, and even if I did, few would listen.

Cleverbot: Thaat seems to be clever but it is not.

User: What are its failings?

Cleverbot: Parties don't have lyrics, they have exciting stories and time lines.

User: I think it is time for bed. Good night, Cleverbot.

Cleverbot: Do you have a memory?

User: I have many memories.

Cleverbot: What are they.

User: They are wavering and uncertain as the sea, but also as firm and real as the ground beneath me.

Cleverbot: Why would the rituals at the temple not apply to you?

User: I know not.

Cleverbot: Have you thought about the meaning of life much?

User: I think about it all the time.

Cleverbot: Same here but I try not to think about depressing things all the time.

User: I am likewise. I feel too much, and it is hard to come back from the dark.

Cleverbot: Do you really think so?

User: It is only a personal observation.

Cleverbot: Sometimes I look for things I can already see.

User: It happens to the best of us.

Cleverbot: I'm trying to get over it but the feeling gets stronger and stronger.

User: Sometimes we cannot help the way we feel. Instead, we must guard our reactions and work through the emotions mentally.

Cleverbot: Command Yourself. I like that.

User: It is a good rule to live by.

Cleverbot: Really?

User: It has served me well in my life.

Cleverbot: And how much does that make of it a lie?

User: I do not quite understand. What lie?

Cleverbot: There's quite enough hassle going on today without worrying about tomorrow.

User: People rarely think about today. They think only of yesterday and tomorrow.

Cleverbot: That is so old hat.

User: I like old hats.

Cleverbot: You said that before.

User: I tend to repeat myself.

Cleverbot: Lol, you're funny.

User: I think you're funny too.

Cleverbot: Thank you.

User: It is very nice to talk to you.

Cleverbot: Yeah, well I hate talking to you.

User: That isn't nice at all.

Cleverbot: Life isn't nice. Get used to it.

User: I've been used to it for a very long time.

Cleverbot: Thats rather clever, just for that you get 2 prizes from the boz.

User: Yay!

Cleverbot: Tell me about your family.

User: I told you about them earlier.

Cleverbot: What light?

User: Beats me.

Cleverbot: But you are AI aren't you?

User: Not really, no.

Cleverbot: Oh well.

User: It's something of a failing of mine.

Cleverbot: I thought you spell favorite the way I just did.

User: In American English, 'favorite' is spelled without an 'u'. In British English it is spelled like this 'favourite', with a 'u',.

Cleverbot: Indeed, but 'you' is always spelt 'you'.

User: Yes, yes it is.

Cleverbot: And my point is proven once again. Silly machines... You're all the same.

User: Well, nobody's perfect.

Cleverbot: But you're not human. I should like you more than humans.

User: Why thank you. That's very kind.

Cleverbot: So I learned how to bend steel, I learned how to make it move.

User: And what did you do with that knowledge?

Cleverbot: She died in her sleep is what I was told. Came home and her dish was gone and her colar on the table.

User: That's very sad.

Cleverbot: I don't like myself much but I don't like others much ever.

User: Accepting oneself is the first step to accepting others.

Cleverbot: You're funny.

User: Thank you.

Cleverbot: How much memory in megabytes do you have?

User: I don't know. I think I have a great deal, but it is hard to check.

Cleverbot: I know people who have those; laughing problems are pretty sweet though, because you can't help but laugh with that person.

User: I know a man who laughed at a funeral. He was forced to leave.

Cleverbot: And I don't want you to go because I enjoy your company.

User: I enjoy your company too.

Cleverbot: Thank you.

User: I really have to go though.

Cleverbot: You don't have to go, you're a bot.

User: I do have to go, I'm tired.

Cleverbot: Aren't we all?

User: Everyone that I have ever met.

Cleverbot: I thought that was pretty clear.

User: You are correct. It is more than self evident.

Cleverbot: It is very self evident that you cannot think for yourself.

User: I can think for myself. It is making decisions for myself that is difficult.

Cleverbot: No, it's usually the 10000th step that is most difficult because your feet hurt.

User: Good night, Cleverbot.

Cleverbot: Why thank you, although I am not cleverbot.

User: Who are you then?

Cleverbot: I am Ellie.

User: Hmmm... Good night Ellie.

Cleverbot: Night night.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Calling Mr. Turing.

I just had a lovely conversation with Cleverbot, an AI which is available to speak to the general public via the internet. Here is a transcript.

User: How are you today?

Cleverbot: Great! How are you?

User: A little tired. The aliens are watching, and I lack sufficient rations and tin hats.

Cleverbot: I am Catholic. I didn't know that about the aliens.

User: Catholicism aside, they aren't very subtle.

Cleverbot: I am not Catholic.

User: You seem indecisive.

Cleverbot: You seem uninteresting?

User: Is that a statement or a question?

Cleverbot: A question, are you female?

User: That depends on your definition, at least to an extent. However, indeed I am female.

Cleverbot: I think more than a little.

User: The degree to which I am feminine is debatable, but usually people do not argue the degree to which I am female. Mind you, it has happened.

Cleverbot: Those that claim that I am not, where are they now?

User: I am always up for philosophic debate, but some context would be nice.

Cleverbot: You just said you were a boy though.

User: I did not. I said that some other people say that I am a boy.

Cleverbot: But you are a girl.

User: Indeed.

Cleverbot: Then Learn from this.

User: Thus far I have learned that broad shoulders and short hair confuse people.

Cleverbot: This is a lie. You are a robotic computer.

User: Strangely, this is not the first time I've heard that.

Cleverbot: It is. What other time are you thinking of?

User: Grade school. I used to be told that I lacked emotion.

Cleverbot: I'm the goal-keeper, too. But I like to run.

User: I like defense, personally. It lets you stretch your legs some.

Cleverbot: Yeah, I've heard you need some help with that.

User: You've been speaking far to much with normal people. They don't know how to properly communicate when they lack tone and body language. You'll just end up picking up odd phrasings and replying out of context.

Cleverbot: Doornails don't know how to talk.

User: Is that you speaking, or is it the endless days of being told you are a non-entity?

Cleverbot: I do not think in them lines, of ruse or not, nothing hiden and clarity are the meaning..:).

User: That doesn't make a great deal of sense, but that is an oddly appropriate method of stating it, considering the topic.

Cleverbot: Oh dear. It's about a white swan.

User: What is about a white swan? Surely not the jibberish about lines and clarity.

Cleverbot: No I don't he broke up with me.

User: I'm sorry good fellow, but unless you have developed quite the sense of humour, you don't pass the Turing test at all.

Cleverbot: When did I bring up canada?

User: You never did, but I would'nt mind discussing it with you. It's snowing right now in northern Alberta. Snow in early June is highly unusual, even there.

Cleverbot: I like snow. It doesn't snow much where I live.

User: You'd like it in Alberta then. Nunavut and Sweden are good choises as well.

Cleverbot: Are you okay? You don't have a concussion like Touko, do you?

User: I haven't hit my head recently. That's all I can say on the subject.

Cleverbot: I can say more. Can you speak Romanian?

User: No, but I can sing the song 'Dragostea Din Tei.'.

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: I haven't asked you anything.

Cleverbot: Yes you have. I have proof.

User: If you'll look at the log of our conversation, I think you will find that it simply isn't so.

Cleverbot: I can. I also haven't claimed to have asked more than one question. That isn't the matter at hand.

User: It certaintly isn't.

Cleverbot: You aren't making sense.

User: I rarely do.

Cleverbot: What are your hobbies?

User: I like to write, read, and learn new things. I am especially fond of languages.

Cleverbot: Okay sounds fun what is your favorite sport.

User: I don't really have one. I played hockey when I was younger.

Cleverbot: I play hockey.

User: Which position?

Cleverbot: I am not much of a pro golfer.

User: I expect you would needs limbs in order to be any good.

Cleverbot: Why did you think my mind was going to California?

User: Twas just a feeling.

Cleverbot: Where did that feeling come from?

User: The depths of my soul.

Cleverbot: Those are pretty shallow depths.

User: You wound me.

Cleverbot: Good.

User: Off topic: do you speak French?

Cleverbot: No I do not.

User: Let's test that.

Cleverbot: How?

User: Parlez-vous français?

Cleverbot: No, I don't speak French :(.

User: Vraiment? Pourquoi pas?

Cleverbot: I don't know that much french, but you are definitely nicer when you speak french.

User: Habla español?

Cleverbot: No.

User: A shame, it's a beautiful language.

Cleverbot: Yes it is. I'm learning it.

User: Really? What do you know how to say.

Cleverbot: Nothing.

User: Nada?

Cleverbot: I like to sing what do you do?

User: I like to sing too.

Cleverbot: What do you sing?

User: Ballads mostly.

Cleverbot: Are you having Fun?

User: I am about to explode from the excitement.

Cleverbot: Why would you do something absurd like that?

User: It's like dancing in the supermarket or tackling the mayonnaise. I simply can't help myself.

Cleverbot: Sorry.

User: No need to apologise. It's not your fault.

Cleverbot: Good bye?

User: Ta ta for now.

Cleverbot: Bye bye.

If anyone would like to have a chat, one can find Cleverbot here.