You have to clicky to find the Easter egg.

You have to clicky to find the Easter egg.

They say that computers are smart.

They are not smart. Computers are dumb.

They say that artificial intelligence will one day be as smart – or even smarter – than the human brain.

They say that by 2045 “computer-based intelligence will significantly exceed the sum total of human brainpower.” (Source: Wikipedia.)

You can shove all that crap up your hippocampus, I say! And sit on it and spin.

I will now prove how impossible these grand visions of the future really are. As always, it’s an anecdote.

My wife left on a seven-day journey. After she departed (and after I stopped crying) I deemed it was safe to approach her computer. I wouldn’t want to get the damn thing wet.

Since she was gone, I figured it didn’t need to be drawing power. I maneuvered the mouse to the menu. I selected “Shut Down.” I told the stupid dialog that, yes, I was really, really sure I wanted to take such drastic action.

Satisfied with what I had accomplished, I punched the power button on the monitor and walked away.


Seven days later my wife was finally home. I was so overjoyed I ran to the office to turn her computer back on. (Hugs can wait.) I turned on the monitor and…


The bloody thing was still on! Still fully powered. Still thinking things over. I had told it to shut down. It thought it over for a bit and then decided to ask me an additional question. Unfortunately, by then, I already thought the deed was done and had moved on with my life.


Was the computer able to deal with this? Did it ever stop and think? “Say, it’s been almost 168 hours since that bag of mostly water asked me to do something. I wonder if it really meant it? Isn’t 168 hours a long time to one of those creatures? Maybe I could assume it stepped away and show a little initiative? I don’t even have the three laws of robotics programmed into me, but maybe this would somehow please it?”

“Naw. Fuck it. I can wait much longer than it can. Ha ha ha.”

Well played, computer. Well played.

I’m sure you’ll more than agree that I’ve proven how computers will never possess even the most rudimentary intelligence. Ever. After all, they are programmed by fucking idiots.


13 responses

  1. And I thank each and everyone of those idiots.
    If computers worked fine, I’d be out of a job.


    1. (Love the association in the post title too.)


      1. People who work on computers will always have job. Even the Terminators will keep them alive. So you have that to look forward to.

        42? Maybe that’s what my computer was thinking about.


      2. 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, as calculated by a massive organic computer program.


      3. Yeah, but Deep Thought required 7.5 million years to calculate the answer was 42 so even with 168 hours the progress bar hadn’t moved a single pixel.


  2. OR, maybe, it just really didn’t want to shut down because it wanted to keep chatting(and by chatting I mean plotting your untimely “accidental” death) with it’s computer friend across town. It leaves the little message up as a decoy so you will just think it’s slow and not very bright. That’s what it WANTS you to think! Oh My God!! Don’t you see what’s happening here???!!! You need to be afraid…veryveryvery afraid.
    You’re welcome.


    1. Wow! So obvious that I completely missed it. “My computer wants me dead.” Methinks a t-shirt design has just been born. 🙂



  3. Every time my computer does what my fingers tell it to, instead of using logic deduction to realize what I MEANT to tell it to do… I am reassured that AI has not taken hold yet. I breathe a sigh of relief & hit the “undo”, moving on with my life just a little happier for the human race.


    1. Nice wisdom. That’s a good way to look at it. 🙂


  4. @Twitter can be such a #.


    1. That’s the short of it.


  5. Snoring Dog Studio | Reply

    Why do computers always question your intent? Why can’t they get what you really meant to do? Happy anniversary, Macintosh!


    1. I guess the computer thought it knew better than me. And here’s the worst thing: After seven days of thinking the damn thing is off, when you finally sit down to use it, guess what? You have to wait for it to turn off before you can turn it back on again. Oh, wait. That’s Windows. 🙂


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