possibly violating Asimovian principles
Friday, August 13 2004
Lin and Mark spent the night because they'd been drinking. This morning we all drank coffee, even Gretchen. Both yesterday and the day before, Lin baked us pies, and on the pie chart of caloric intake for these past two days, pie has probably been the largest slice.
Being something of a technophilic gadget enthusiast, you might expect me to be unusually trusting of robots, including the household kind not usually referred to under that rubric. It turns out, though, that for some activities, particularly those that result in greater sanitation, I'm far less trusting of robots than most people are. I'll trust a washing machine to clean my clothes and I'll assign a toilet the task of taking away my unwanted entropy, but clothes don't have to be all that clean and a toilet is still a toilet even after it's flushed. When it comes to household eating surfaces, I really don't trust the cleaning of anything less observant than a human being. I've been underwhelmed by dishwashers too many times.
Gretchen and I never use our dishwasher, but visiting guests are often given to filling it up with a load of dinnerware and pushing the necessary button sequences that get it going. (I don't even know how to use it.) Today after the dishwashing robot had ended his routine, I went to take the dishes out and put them away. They were all completely dry, indicating the existence of a subroutine I hadn't expected him to execute. But then when I looked aWt the dishes I realized the dishwasher had done far more harm than good. Our robot had failed us, possibly violating Asimovian principles in the process. Spots of cheese had been converted into a material resembling concrete, bonded seemingly permanently to the ceramic dishes, forks, and knives. It took a special scouring implement, one I never normally use, to get that shit off. I immediately found a piece of cardboard and made a sign:
I know you are a guest
who means well
DO NOT USE THIS DISWASHER
Particularly if you do not
rinse the dishes thoroughly.
Baked-on food really sucks.
Thanks - the Mgmt.
I put the sign inside the dishwasher in hopes of intercepting the next well-meaning attempt to deploy it. [Later I added pictures of labeled human body parts around the edge in a postmodern flourish of ridiculousness to make the message less threatening.]
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next