And following of course, I write. Crossposted to my quasi-writing journal (nimhue), which I rarely keep up properly.
When does a robot reach the end of its lifespan?
When does a robot die?
I had hoped - but perhaps hope is an inappropriate word in my circumstances; I cannot hope, no more than I can dream or love or hate; I am programmed for logical paths and logical conclusions founded on some evidence, no matter how sparse or tangential that evidence may be. Emotion is beyond me, as it was programmed to be, and as it will always be programmed to be.
But I digress, and perhaps that is part of my dying.
It had been my conclusion, one of many conclusions I had come to, that the children loved me - within the bounds of my understanding of children and love - despite my inability to love them back. It had been my conclusion, borne on the primary conjecture that the children loved me, that they would desire to keep me with them as long as I could be maintained.
It had been a faulty conclusion, it seems, and I must infer therefore - my programming will not allow me to evade the pursuit of a thought to its final destination, nor would I desire it to, if I were programmed for desire - that the conjecture on which it was founded was also faulty.
The children did not love me.
It is not despite the children, then, that I am discarded. It is, in absurd irony - if I grasp this subtlety correctly - because of the children. It was their familiar voices that clamoured for a new nanny, a new playmate, something of the newest models in a colour other than my unrelieved grey, something smaller, less humanoid.
Something that was, in every respect, not me.
I am an old model; my last production sibling was taken off the assembly line, carefully hand-polished and inspected for its circuitry's perfection and ease of manipulation, boxed up and shipped off over two years ago. I was one of the first models, new enough that my serial number has an 'a' at the end. I am five years old, as humankind counts it, and I was made on the twenty-sixth of May. Tomorrow will be the end of my fifth year, and I will be six. I would be six, if I had enough battery life to process until that hour, but I have only a few minutes remaining, and it is only ten o'clock in the evening.
Bedtime for the children. My runtimes are loading and cycling as I lie here musing, preparing to issue familiar commands. "Wash your face, Anna." "Did you brush your teeth, Michael?" Somewhere in my circuitry a selection of bedtime stories has begun to sort itself by their moods today, what they will likely anticipate.
Something sad. I would have chosen something by the brothers Grimm.
The new model, still learning their patterns, will be opening holographic doors and displaying it like a movie as it tells. I would be jealous, if I were programmed to be so, I think. I am not jealous. I am possessed of a mild curiosity what it would require to alter my circuitry to project bedtime stories, and I pursue the question to an answer: New circuitry.
When does a robot die?
In a few more minutes, then, my battery power will run low, and I will enter hibernation. You will know, because the tiny red light in my eye that indicates low power will turn on, and I will be locked in stasis until I am either charged at my docking station - just beneath me, in the can - or the battery is drained completely.
And then, I suppose, I will die. It is as good an endpoint as any.
I have concluded that after that point I will begin to corrode, slowly - I was made to withstand children, after all - that my joints will freeze and fall apart, that I will disarticulate and decay into scrap metal. I have examined my makeup closely in order to respond truthfully to such an inquiry. My battery is nothing more than water and metal, there is no acid nor anything corrosive in it. I am safe to be discarded with the daily rubbish.
Perhaps I should have lied. I have never considered such a thing before, nor do I conclude that I would have been able to. But there is a certain appeal to the quick disconnection of being recycled or incinerated.
My battery is nearly drained, now; and I can see in your expression emotions I do not have the processing power to read any more. All peripheral functions of nuance and subtlety have shut down. It is strangely kind of you to stay and listen; I conjecture that it would be good of me to be touched by it.
The children did not love me, and you do not love me, but you are human. You can lie and you can play at the game I was always a bystander for; you can pretend. If I could ask one more thing at this juncture, it would be that you pretend. Pretend briefly, for those minutes that remain me, that you do love me.
And if you can do that, I would ask that you tell me a story. Something by the brothers Grimm.
Skipped church this morning due to a migraine. Benadryl and Aleve made me feel better, and I got around to putting ribbons on my ripped jeans, which I am now wearing happily. They look cool.
Yesterday was an expensive day; we were going out just to eat and get tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Civic, but we ate at Cebolla's, which is just next door to a furniture place that's going out of business. And we went in, figuring there would be nothing left.
We came out with a couch/loveseat combo for the front room, complete with recliners and a massage/heat option. It was $2000, but it's nice furniture, and very pretty. And we needed furniture, it was going to happen eventually. Nonetheless, spending $4000 on a new furnace and $2000 on new furniture makes me cringe. No more spending for Nykkits.
Fortunately, we're running out of things that I can justify buying :)
Decided yesterday afternoon to have an impromptu Not-A-Superbowl-Party party this afternoon/evening, and thus I should get downstairs and peek at wings and meatballs and such. Anyone (and I mean anyone) who's within visiting distance of Fort Wayne is, as usual, invited. You can text message me (see my userinfo page) if you need a call with directions and all.