May
15
2017
2

Tweet of the Day, We All Wonder About Thomas The Tank Engine edition.

Parents, that is.  We all wonder, and we go into the Madness Districts to look for the crystalline insanity that will explain everything about Thomas the Tank Engine.  My old friend Tommy Crown has gone deeper down that paths than others.  Click through, and retrace his steps…

May
09
2010
8

There are elements of Thomas the Tank Engine…

…that are, bluntly, unnerving from a Artificial Intelligence viewpoint.  My wife can expound on this a lot more profoundly than I can – she’s the roboticist in the family; I’m the drunken poet – but even I can notice the matter-of-fact way that the engines in that universe seem almost indifferent sometimes to their impending demises.  I grant that (to paraphrase Spider Robinson) if we want AIs to have a survival reflex we’re going to have to program one into them… but it’s still kind of disturbing, or possibly even creepy.  Then again, what if the engines started reacting to their incredibly dangerous environment appropriately? – and it is dangerous.  The British authorities should have swept in and seized the railroad system as being a constant risk to life and limb, given the number of derailings, crashes, and accidents that happen more or less routinely.

(pause)

What?  I have kids.

Oct
29
2009
5

It took me a frightening long time to realize…

…that the child was in bed; I did not have to keep the Thomas The Tank Engine DVD running.  This stuff is like crack cocaine for him: between that and Bob the Builder he’s mesmerized.  I’m also beginning to understand why there are so many episodes of both, and it’s not corporate greed.  It’s because parents are ready to hear a different episode after the fiftieth time that they heard the last one.

Yes, actually, I do have to blog about this.  It keeps the chanting minions at bay.

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