from April 22, 2007
On April 13 last, I encountered Mr. Ab Ennis in the Hôtel Adios Watering Hole, where I am wont to arrive of a late afternoon after an intellectually stimulating discussion with the fellows and apprentices who make up the membership of the Myles Junior Think Tank.
Mr. Ennis, who is known in the aforementioned saloon as “Ab,” approached me at my corner table with what could be described as a malicious smile.
As is characteristic of my gentlemanly demeanor, I invited him to sit down. He obliged. Soon thereafter, the new barmistress approached our table to take our orders. I ordered a jigger of fine French chardonnay; my guest requested a quarter-teaspoon of home-brewed rotgut.
After the “blonde bombshell” (as Mr. Ennis described her) left to fill our orders, my companion apprised me of the fact that he had read my last column, concerning the legal rights of robots.
I gazed quizzically at his visage, this to request that he proceed.
Proceed he did, though in a language studded with ungentlemanly epithets.
To be brief, he further apprised me of the fact that in his humble opinion, there is a vast chasm between two major types of robots: those who have been cremated and outfitted with the MJTT mechanism (patent pending), and those who are, in his words, “nothin’ but a bunch o’ tin cans.”
So forceful, so logical, was his presentation that I was obliged to admit that his point was well taken, and that it deserved further discussion, but only within the strict confines of the membership of the MJTT.
He answered me with a more-than-mild oath, to which he added that “the man in the street” (MITS) was as wise, indeed wiser, than those who count themselves as their cognitive superiors.
True to the code of the true gentleman scientist, I ignored Mr. Ennis’s tirade, nodding my head in a thoughtful way, as if to cede his point, from which I tacitly dissented.
It was at this point that the barmistress arrived with our drinks.
Having sipped my beverage to completion, I graciously allowed that his distinction between the two forms of robot was indeed a valid one. Furthermore, I promised him that I would place his opinion before the membership of the MJTT posthaste—a promise that a gentleman scientist must perforce keep.
And keep it I did.
In brief, we at MJTT have concluded that, while the rights of former members of the species homo sapiens who have been cremated, etc., must remain intact, the alleged rights of ordinary, non-former HS’s candidacy for full legal rights should be more fully considered.