I guess when you are a brilliant scientist, you’ve probably been spending most of your time in your lab, peering into beakers and building funny little machines and otherwise concentrating on science. I have a television in my living room, and sometimes it makes me screw up a frozen pizza, which requires barely any concentration at all.
So I don’t blame you. If I were you, I wouldn’t keep a television in my lab, either. Your science probably wouldn’t be very brilliant if you did that, so good thinking.
On the other hand, television can be quite useful to someone in your line of work, because programs and movies can offer chilling warnings about what happens when scientists do stuff. In your case, I can tell that you haven’t seen much television, because if you had, then you wouldn’t be cheerfully building brain-interfaced robot exoskeletons and then putting them on monkeys.
I know, it hardly makes sense. From your perspective that probably seems like a really scientific thing to do, and it might very well be.
But the upside of not being a brilliant scientist is that my memories are not full of labs or tools or science. My memories are instead full of billiard balls and knock-knock jokes and a small army of wisecracking people who didn’t become scientists either. And movies, too – lots of them.
So for instance, if I’m out camping with three friends, and we hear weird noises out in the woods, and someone says, “Let’s split up and walk in four different directions!”
One of us, having plenty of television under his or her belt can then say, “Hold on, every time that happens in a movie…”
So like I said, vocation-wise, you definitely made the right move. No doubt about it. But on the implementation side, you need to check in with the rest of us more frequently, because you’re building superpowerful, mind-controlled robot suits for monkeys, and you’re just mentioning this to us casually, like yeah, you know I’m trying out satellite radio. And it’s the kind of thing freaks the rest of us out.
First, I want you to stop reading and go watch two movies – Iron Man and Monkey Trouble. Don’t snicker at me, Harvey Keitel’s in Monkey Trouble and it’s the best monkey movie ever. You don’t see me telling you how to do science, do you?
Ah, excellent, you’re back.
Now, see how in Iron Man, Tony Stark builds a sweet exoskeleton and then instantly has the power to defy the US Military and also to beat up anybody in the world? Fortunately for us, Stark is a super cool guy and so he uses his powers for good.
And then, please, just imagine Monkey Trouble if the monkey had an Iron Man suit. Probably a fantastic movie, I agree, but all I’m saying is, monkeys are mischevious and also, I don’t think most of them like us very much.
I’m told they throw their feces, for instance. Seems like a monkey in a robot suit could throw his feces awfully hard – not the way I want to go, let me tell you.
He could also pick up other things, besides feces. A gun or a knife, for example. Or even a rock or a big stick.
Or he could simply rip off your arm, and then go running around the building beating everyone to death with your arm. This is the kind of thing you have to think through, right here.
It would be one thing if I didn’t think the Crazy Robot Monkey could get out of your building, because you all bought your tickets. You knew the risks, going to work in a joint like that.
But something tells me that the monkey would get out of the building, and then it would be our problem. The rest of us, standing around with our beers and our pool cues, and not surprisingly, without any kind of killer robot monkey defense system lined up.
I mean, it sounds like I’m joking but I’m not. You guys just casually mention brain interfaces like it’s old news, the way the guys with their space-time cloak casually announced they’d moved beyond invisibility. The rest of us didn’t really realize how neatly you guys had already knocked out invisibility and cyborg brain interfaces.
This is probably how the extras in a monster movie feel, six months before the movie starts.
It seems again like we aren’t asking you enough direct questions. No one thought to ask you, so listen, you’re not interfacing any monkeys with any robot exoskeletons are you?
Because the problem is, I think you need to be a scientist to even think up the proper questions.
Like I keep trying to tell you, the rest of us aren’t scientists. Do we need to watch every Syfy channel monster movie and then phrase the plot of it in the form of a question for you? That wouldn’t be much of a stretch for me, by the way – I could probably make that happen so let me know if it would help.
The shark and the octopus, for example – we’re in agreement on that, right? We’re going to leave them both how they are, because they’re fine and there’s no conceivable benefit to making something that’s half and half?
Look at me – right? It wouldn’t make a good weapon? Like we said, it would escape and eat people at the beach and we’d end up having to blow it up or something?
Well, that’s just great.