Someday, our robots will wander into that UNCANNY VALLEY where they appear or behave enough like us that we find them disturbing. We don’t expect our robots to act like humans – they’re supposed to act like… robots.
Why is this unnerving for us? Perhaps it’s because we humans use a lot of shortcuts to navigate the world we find ourselves in. We don’t catch onto every detail around us – just enough of them so our brain can identify the familiar, and we can be confident that we know where we are or what we’re seeing.
Imagine. You’re at home – you think there aren’t any other people around. Your dog wanders into the doorway, looks at you, and starts singing “Happy Birthday” in a high-pitched voice (this DID happen to someone I know.) Your brain tries to reconcile the data:
- You are by yourself.
- The voice is coming from where the dog is.
- The dog must be singing.
- Dogs can’t sing.
- It is your birthday.
Things don’t match what we expect. Our brain seizes up until something breaks the spell; either the mischievous child who is really singing is revealed, or we break down (or the dog sings opera, and everyone know that THAT can’t happen.)
It’s very hard to take things at face value without adjusting them for what we know. If you think the Earth is flat, you can fall off the edge; how do you explain it when you reappear at the other edge?
Our experience and expectations color what we see and determine what we are willing to accept.
This week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Burial Details”:
Be sure to bury your charges deep.
An old farmer scraping by after the Sahrian invasion buries his most precious treasures to hide them from the aliens’ “salvation”.
A tired voice in my head that said “They’re all buried now”; and then I HAD to find out what it was about. If you want to know, use coupon code PS23Q to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until September 24th. Here’s the link:
Today is the release date for “Killing Them Softly”:
In a strange series of coincidences, young women start dying in Barnstow. Detective Jimmy Delaney doesn’t believe in coincidences – and he’s doubly suspicious when his irresistible nemesis Diana hires him to solve the murders. But can he stop the killer before they strike again?
“Killing Them Softly” is a detective story with sci-fi elements, and the fifth in the Detective Jimmy Delaney series, and is available at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Obsolete”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri