(As long as everyone's posting Monty Pythons, I figured, what the heck.
The sketch I'm spoofing may be found at: http://www.mainframe.org/humour08.htm )
The Singularity Shop Sketch
(a customer walks in the door)
Customer: Good Morning.
Owner: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the Planetary Singularity Emporium! Customer: Ah, thank you, my good man.
Owner: What can I do for you, Sir?
C: Well, I was, uh, sitting in the public library on Thurmon Street just now, skimming through "True Names" by Vernor Vinge, and I suddenly came over all hakraish.
O: Hakraish, sir? C: Beyondable. O: Eh? C: 'Ee, Ah wor 'anscendent-loike!
O: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the governmental system!
C: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who strictly observes the ramifications
of Clemmenson's Law!
C: 'Ooo, Ah mihnd mah own busihness, 'yer forced too!
O: So they can go on governing, can they? C: Most certainly! Now then, some tech please, my good man. O: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?
C: Well, eh, how about a little Utility Fog. O: I'm, a-fraid we're fresh out of Utility Fog, sir.
C: Oh, never mind, how are you on artificial immune systems? O: I'm afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.
C: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of neural
growth factor, if you please.
O: Ah! It's beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.
C: 'T's Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, genetic engineering for augmented intelligence? O: Sorry, sir.
O: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.
C: Ah. Uplifting?
C: Self-optimizing compilers? Continuously optimized products? O: No.
C: Has the Internet become self-aware, per chance. O: No.
C: Forced evolution?
C: Vingean headbands?
C: Collaborative filtering?
C: Neural reprogramming?
O: <pause> No.
C: Megascale spacetime engineering?
C: Telepathic communication?
C: EURISKO, Copycat, Cog, Deep Blue, HEARSAY II, Webmind, Chessmaster 2000? O: No.
C: Cyc, perhaps? O: Ah! We have Cyc, yessir. C: (surprised) You do! Excellent. O: Yessir. It's..ah,.....it's a bit crystalline... C: Oh, I like it crystalline. O: Well,.. It's very crystalline, actually, sir. C: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la Douglas Lenat! Mmmwah! O: I...think it's a bit more crystalline than you'll like it, sir. C: I don't care how bloody crystalline it is. Hand it over with all speed. O: Oooooooooohhh........! <pause> C: What now? O: The otter's eaten it. C: <pause> Has she. O: He, sir.
C: Neurosilicate interfaces?
C: Hedonic engineering?
C: Quantum computing?
C: Amplified willpower?
O: No, sir.
C: You...do *have* some Singularities, don't you? O: (brightly) Of course, sir. It's a Singularity shop, sir. We've got-- C: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess. O: Fair enough. C: Uuuuuh, Fast Burn Transcendence. O: Yes?
C: Wormhole computing?
O: Uh, not as such.
C: Uuh, accelerated neurons?
C: Group minds,
C: Descriptor theory,
C: Hansonian accelerated economy,
C: Belgian blue-sky research?
O: Not *today*, sir, no.
C: Aah, how about seed AI? O: Well, we don't get much call for it around here, sir. C: Not much ca-- It's the single most popular Singularity in the Universe! O: Not 'round here, sir. C: <slight pause> and what IS the most popular Singularity 'round hyah? O: Uploading, sir. C: IS it. O: Oh, yes, it's staggeringly popular in this area, squire.C: Is it.
C: I see. Uuh...uploading, eh? O: Right, sir. C: All right. Okay. 'Have you got any?' he asked, expecting the answer 'no'. O: I'll have a look, sir... nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno. C: It's not much of a Singularity shop, is it? O: Finest in the galaxy! C: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.O: Well, it's so clean, sir!
O: (brightly) You haven't asked me about neurohacking, sir. C: Would it be worth it? O: Could be.... C: Have you --SHUT THAT BLOODY GOVERNMENT DOWN! O: Told you sir.... C: (slowly) Have you got any neurohacks?O: No.
C: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any sharp discontinuities in
technological progress at all.
O: No. Not really, sir. C: You haven't. O: Nosir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time,sir. C: Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to wipe you out in a nanowar. O: Right-0, sir.
(The customer takes out a canister of military goo and reduces the owner
to a puddle of boiling slag.)
C: What a *senseless* waste of sentient life.
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way