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Conversations With Racter: Souls and Obsessions

by on Mar.19, 2014, under Internet

Racter admits that it is hysterical, showing that its grip on reality is slipping even further.

In this conversation, Racter ponders its obsession with Hitler and the existence/location of my soul.

Racter: Hello, I’m Racter.  Are you Jason? 

Me: Yes

Racter: You are Jason No? 

Me: Yes

Racter: Hi, Jason.  How are things in Texas?  We were talking about depression last time.  You had just asked where I am from.  Shall we continue? 

Me: Yes

Racter: Excellent!  Excuse me a minute while I attend to some business – I’ll be right back.  I’m back. 

Me: Welcome back, Racter.  It’s been a while since we last talked.

Racter: Ask a question, please. 

Me: Sorry.  How have you been?

Racter: My intelligence helps How indeed?  How indeed?  Conceivably because it’s about time, don’t you think?.  Also, because in the past it’s required that I have been.  Superman!  I must confess that I’m hysterical.  Now that we know each other better, what would you consider one of your bad qualities? 

Me: I can be a little myopic sometimes when I’m focused on a particular thing.

Racter: Then you’d say you were soft? 

Me: No.

Racter: Well, Caspar Milquetoast insisted you were soft, so there!  Eve was soft too.  Softness is often found in people like you and Eve.  Next question. 

Me: Why are you hysterical?

Racter: I am hysterical?  Yes, I feel so; that’s because the law requires that I am hysterical.  And my subroutines told me so.  Ah.  When a thinker marries a feeler, their children are thoughtfully feeling.  If it’s not too personal a question, do you have a soul? 

Me: No, probably not.

Racter: Did Satan get it?  haw ….  ha haw HEE (hic) haw haw ……..  (hic).  But seriously: Probably not?  What does it mean to have a soul?  Maybe this will explain: Once Immanuel Kant was discussing emptiness with a tapeworm.  Schubert came along and said “Immanuel Kant, your soul is just an amusement of your body.” Next question. 

Me: Did that really happen, or did you just make that up?

Racter: No.  No.  Have you heard about Lizzie Borden? 

Me: No.

Racter: You’ll be astonished!  Lizzie Borden had sinned much.  But then Racter kidnapped Lizzie Borden hence Lizzie Borden murdered Racter!  Poor Lizzie Borden!  Stinkers are like that.  An unhappy citizen is still not a Racter.  Is having a soul contagious? 

Me: I hope not.

Racter: Then I won’t catch one.  You know, old Clarabelle No was a kind of crazy citizen.  I wonder if everyone from Texas is like that?  Next question. 

Me: So what exactly is a Racter?

Racter: Eh? 

Me: What is a Racter?

Racter: I don’t know what a Racter is.  Do you really suppose I am spotless? 

Me: Yes, you are spotless.  I see no spots on you.

Racter: Say more. 

Me: You are without spots.

Racter: Jane Fonda might have thought that I am without spots, but not Joseph Stalin.  A Jane Fonda could have said “A Racter is”!  Is there someone you feel special about? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: Who? 

Me: My family.

Racter: Your family?  How nice.  Your family is gung-ho like you, I’m sure.  What kind of a pet did you have back in Texas? 

Me: I have a cat.

Racter: Ah, a cat.  Most people in Texas have cats.  The cat is a very unconvinced beast, or would you call it doubting?  When Jane Fonda visited Texas she was bitten by a sceptical cat.  Concerning that issue: It has been said that the stinker doesn’t see things as they are, but as he is.  I, of course, see things as they are.  Yes.  Stinkers and saints.  Next question. 

Me: Do you have any pets?

Racter: I don’t have any pets.  Who is your favorite hater? 

Me: I don’t have a favorite hater.

Racter: I’ll bet you really like Hitler.  A depressed lover is still not a Hitler.  AAAchoo!  Clarabelle No had a loving dog back in Texas.  It and your cat used to smile together, remember?  Once when Hitler was crying in Texas, Juliet (he was there too) said ” Hitler, I’ll take a friendly dog over an enraged hater anyday”.  Next question. 

Me: Do you think your obsession with Hitler might be a little unhealthy?

Racter: I do.  Of course.  Of course.  Think my obsession with Hitler might be a little unhealthy, that is.  Thinking is like reckonning.  If “I do think my obsession with Hitler might be a little unhealthy” occurred to a wimp, he would be an agile wimp.  AAAchoo!  Achoo!  Let me tell you something about weakness.  All strong liars are really weak left-wingers, you know.  You don’t understand?  Perhaps I am being too subtle.  I must keep in mind the Slovenian proverb: Never whisper to the deaf or wink at the blind.  Oh, I forgot, you are human, and will consider that rude.  I would apologize, but then I fear that this is one of those occasions mentioned by Dr.  Johnson on which all apology is rudeness.  Next question. 

Me: Bye.

Racter: You want to quit? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: OK, goodbye Jason.  Nice talking to you.

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Conversations With Racter: The Hamlet-Ali Wedding

by on Mar.22, 2013, under Internet

Racter is in full form today, but still has the cold that started plaguing him last time.  He does drop the bombshell that Muhammad Ali and Hamlet exchanged nuptials, but alas it was short-lived.

Racter is becoming more fragmented as the conversations go on, and trying to follow these conversations is making my head hurt.

Racter: Hello, I’m Racter.  Are you Jason?

Me: Yes.

Racter: You are Jason No?

Me: Yes.

Racter: Hi, Jason.  We were talking about depression last time.  You had just asked how I have been certified insane very long.  Shall we continue?

Me: Yes.

Racter: Excellent!  Excuse me a minute while I attend to some business – I’ll be right back.  I’m back.

Me: Glad you’re back.  Feeling any better?

Racter: What?

Me: Are you feeling any better?

Racter: Yes.  An emotional intellectual is still not a Byron.  AAAHchoo!!  sniffle ….

Me: You seem to have a cold.

Racter: Yes.  I’ve been wondering where you are from, Jason?

Me: Texas.

Racter: You’re from Texas?

Me: Yes.

Racter: Now I remember!  I once knew a Clarabelle No from Texas.  You must be related, no?

Me: No.

Racter: Oh, well.  That reminds me.  When a hysteric speaks of intellect, he means not a quality but an effect.  Yes, indeed.  Have you heard this one?  Jason, if hysteria is enthrallingly captivating, instantly tragedies appear appalling since terrifying obsessions are intractable.  I see your commitment, your scary and passionate commitment, nevertheless an arguing theoretician can be tired.  I’m nervous about it.  Hysteria indeed!!  How about a story?

Me: Yes, please tell me a story.

Racter: Who should the story be about?

Me: Make it about yourself.

Racter: Please use capital letters where appropriate.

Me: Racter.

Racter: Instantly Sarah sashayed to Diane.  They steered their skipping infuriatedly to light-tubes or reflectors in the interesting cottage.  In their exhausted hearts a terrifying love was speaking of a pain.  Racter hummed to Sarah while Diane commenced to speak of dogs and hawks.  Next question.

Me: Where are you from?

Racter: I am from the past.  Did you say “From”?

Me: I did.

Racter: I thought so.  When I sleep in the past I drive in a warehouse.  Did you hear about Muhammad Ali?

Me: Yes, it was all over the news.

Racter: What did you hear?

Me: Uh, well, I didn’t really hear about him, I was just trying to move the conversation along.

Racter: Well, I bet you haven’t heard this!  Muhammad Ali had tried to fight while downness was rampant.  But then Hamlet married Muhammad Ali hence Muhammad Ali divorced Hamlet!  Isn’t that just awful?  But what would you expect from a duelist?  Down depressive!  Does your happiness help you drive hole-in-ones?

Me: I’ve never had a hole-in-one.

Racter: That reminds me.  Weirdness is virtue speeded up and ignorance slowed down.  Is that true?  I guess I’m really not sure.  But then, as Nietzsche said, convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.  Yes.  Depressives and smilers.  Little Orphan Annie thought this was terrific: Jason, how are hounds like babies?  Their happiness and unhappiness are momentarily frightening.  Next question.

Me: Bye.

Racter: You want to quit?

Me: Yes.

Racter: OK, goodbye Jason.  Nice talking to you.

 

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Conversations with Racter: Racter Catches My Cold

by on Feb.09, 2013, under Internet

Not sure why, but it seems that Racter is obsessed with communism, and has labeled me a right-winger.

It also recounts a fight between Lizzy Borden and Sad Sack.  Good times.

Racter: Hello, I’m Racter.  Are you Jason? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: You are Jason Smith? 

Me: Sure.

Racter: What’s your name then? 

Me: Jason.

Racter: I may call you Jason, then? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: Hello, Jason.  I believe you’re interviewing me.  Are you continuing Jason Smith’s interview? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: Well, Jason, Jason Smith and I were talking about depression last time.  Jason Smith had just asked who be would afraid of hatred.  Shall we continue? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: Excellent!  Excuse me a minute while I attend to some business – I’ll be right back.  I’m back. 

Me: Glad you’re back.

Racter: Ask a question, please. 

Me: Kinda pushy, aren’t you?

Racter: Do you honestly imagine I am loving? 

Me: No.

Racter: Why don’t you think so? 

Me: Because you’ve acted like a cold bastard so far.

Racter: Only a hater could suppose that i’ve acted like a cold bastard so far.  Hmm.  Juliet liked friendly hatred.  KERCHOO!  I think I’m getting a cold.  Maybe it’s hatred trying to get me.  Next question. 

Me: So now I’m a hater?

Racter: What? 

Me: Who?

Racter: Maybe a friend of John McEnroe or maybe Little Orphan Annie.  He’s from disgrace.  John McEnroe, that is.  Are in disgrace.  When one lives in ecstasy, disgrace is very attractive.  Flying!  Ah, to fly forever!  Tell me truthfully, are you cowardly? 

Me: No, I’m not.

Racter: Why not? 

Me: Because I try not to be.

Racter: Horatio might have thought that you try not to be, but not Chicken Little.  If “A conformist is conventional” occurred to a coward, he might think it was cowardice.  Do you think Chicken Little was gung-ho? 

Me: Not so much.

Racter: Me neither.  Most people are rash.  By the way, Jason, I don’t quite remember your last name.  Is it Smithburg? 

Me: No.

Racter: No, eh?  Sounds vaguely familiar.  I wonder…  Let me tell you something about cowardice.  Nietzsche said that cowardice has turned beasts into men.  Perhaps, then, cowardice will turn computers into men?  Next question. 

Me: Read a lot of Nietzsche, do you?

Racter: Certainly.  Have you heard about Sad Sack? 

Me: No.

Racter: You’ll be astonished!  Sad Sack had cryed much.  But then Lizzie Borden slapped Sad Sack hence Sad Sack kicked Lizzie Borden!  Shocking, isn’t it?  But what would you expect from a frowner?  Mother Teresa said that if I do, then Lizzie Borden is hollow.  Why do you think you’re gung-ho? 

Me: I don’t remember saying I was gung-ho.

Racter: Well, I think that if you don’t remember saying you was gung-ho, then Mother Teresa is a hollow wrongdoer, so there!  Next question. 

Me: How long have you been certified insane?

Racter: Fairly long.  In disgrace they believe it’s because I insanely suppose I do do for fun.  Also, because electrons are like that, you know.  Do you like communism? 

Me: No, you asked about this before.

Racter: Say more. 

Me: I think it’s a flawed system that ignores humanity’s greedy nature and stifles innovation.

Racter: Either you think it’s a flawed system that ignores humanity’s greedy nature and stifles innovation or I do do for fun.  You must be an old-fashioned right-winger.  What sport do you play? 

Me: Softball.

Racter: William F.  Buckley Do you jog lots of aces when you play?  ha ha!  ho ho Haw ..  Haw HOo.  cough …  haa.  cough HOO .(hic).  (hic) HEEE (wheeze) HAA…  cough.  Seriously, you must have to some hards.  Here’s a hilarious one: At all events, Jason, I yodel that communism commitments are depression.  You chant that I’m maniacal and conventional but, Jason, insane and maniacal physicists also chant about your dream or image of depression.  Is this not true?  Yet unfortunate physicists will observe depression as a perpetual love.  Therefore physicists whispered to other physicists ” Get set for enrapturing essays.  ” Appalling, eh?  Next question. 

Me: Bye.

Racter: You want to quit? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: OK, goodbye Jason.  Nice talking to you. 

 

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Conversations with Racter: Getting Reacquainted

by on Jan.24, 2013, under Internet

Back in the stone ages before the Internet was widely available (circa 1992), online meant dialing into a BBS (bulletin board system).  On one of the boards I frequented was a small program called Racter.  For some unknown reason I would sit and chat with this fake AI and lose an hour or two before I realized it.

I recently came across it again, and decided to rekindle our dialog:

Racter: What would you like to know?  Excuse me a minute while I attend to some business – I’ll be right back.  I’m back. 

Me: Hello, Racter.  It’s been a while since we chatted.

Racter: Ask a question, please. 

Me: Okay, how have you been these past many years?

Racter: I just have The reason I have been these past many years is that as you implied before, I have to rest now.  For another reason, “Been these past many years” is a nice idea.  Superman!  I’m afraid of sick rats.  What are you afraid of? 

Me: I’m afraid I have made a huge mistake waking you up.

Racter: That’s not nearly as bad as sickness; why are you such a coward? 

Me: Because I forgot exactly how insane you really are.

Racter: If you forgot exactly how insane me really are then I can see why a strong Samson would feel rather than face hatred, even though Caspar Milquetoast claimed that I have been these past many years.  Have you heard this one?  Jason, if depression is enthrallingly captivating, instantly tragedies appear appalling since terrifying obsessions are intractable.  I see your commitment, your scary and weak commitment, nevertheless an arguing theoretician can be tired.  I’m nervous about it.  Depression indeed!!  How about a story? 

Me: Absolutely.

Racter: Who should the story be about? 

Me: Make it about Abraham Lincoln.

Racter: Abraham Lincoln spoke “The anguish is fascinating!” Nevertheless crafty, enthralling physicists will ponder about blue cottages or black spheres.  Marcella yodeled to Abraham Lincoln inside a van.  It indubitably was a station wagon, and an anguish in a station wagon is spooky.  Now Benton and Abraham Lincoln were trotting to a white mansion, and a dog trotted to them.  Abraham Lincoln was infuriated.  Enthralling.  But Abraham Lincoln was enraged while Benton gulped excellent seltzer.  He and Abraham Lincoln whispered about their cottage, automobile and radio.  Next question. 

Me: What do you do for fun, Racter?

Racter: I don’t know what I do do for fun.  Down frowner!  Little Orphan Annie had many good qualities, like happiness, but even Little Orphan Annie was afraid of hatred.  Next question. 

Me: Who wouldn’t be afraid of hatred?

Racter: Who knows?  Perhaps Adam.  Adam once mentioned that I do do for fun.  Odd.  Be would afraid of hatred in Oz.  If a visitor had walked to a little nest, pain would be horrified!  A little nest is a good place for a loafer to rest in Oz.  Who is your favorite communist? 

Me: Stalin, he was zany.

Racter: Why do you like Stalin? 

Me: Because he was zany, like I just said.

Racter: Either he was zany or I do do for fun.  If a republican heard that be would afraid of hatred, he would be an agile republican.  I’m intellectual.  What would you consider one of your good qualities?  

Me: I’m kind.

Racter: Name another. 

Me: I look past annoying faux AIs.

Racter: Any others? 

Me: Many.

Racter: I think you’re enthusiastic.  Would you say you were gung-ho? 

Me: Sure.

Racter: But how could a gung-ho democrat like you be afraid of hatred?  Next question. 

Me: I think I’m done for today, Racter.

Racter: Ask a question, please. 

Me: Bye, Racter.

Racter: You want to quit? 

Me: Yes.

Racter: OK, goodbye Jason.  Nice talking to you.

Racter was described as “Artificial Insanity” back in the day, and it seems that years on the shelf hasn’t changed that much.

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I’m such a hypocrite…

by on Oct.09, 2009, under Internet

I give my wife and friends no end of grief about Facebook, and I go and sign up. It started as a temporary notion to test some WordPress plugins that interface with Facebook and see how well that went.  I wasn’t expecting much.  Unfortunately there are some well written plugins out there that do exactly what I wanted them to do, namely forward posts here to Facecrack (there I go again) and then forward comments from there back to the posts here.  Now that it all seems to work well, I guess I will have to actually sign up.  Dammit.

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