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Date: 30/01/10

Spiritus In Machina

The Judge's Odd Character Traits, #142b.

I tend not to be sentimental over people or animals. I recognise at some deep level that all biological constructs (such as ourselves) have built-in term limits, and we all have to go someday.

I feel differently about machines (using the term in its broadest sense). A few years ago, at the time of my last major clear-out, I had to send an old TV set, an old tape recorder, a couple of old radios, and various other bits of non-functioning technology to the municipal knacker's yard. I felt deeply uncomfortable about it.

When I defrost my elderly fridge-freezer and it comes back on again afterwards, I pat it on the top. I talk to my PC. I talk to my workstation in the office (although, to be honest, what I tend to say is as close to, "What are you doing now, you obsolete piece of shit!" as basic courtesy to my colleagues will permit).

In short, I tend to anthropomorphise 'things'.

Which is probably why I find this cartoon strangely distressing (click on it to go to the full-size original at xkcd):

XKCD cartoon about the Mars Rover

(Tip of the wig to my old chum Alex once more)