Could Americans put a robot in the White House?by Teddy Wayne / January 25, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
“When making small talk with locals, he peppers the conversation with curious details… Mr Romney has plenty of moments when he wins positive reactions and some when he seems to make a genuine link, undercutting his caricature as robotic… Ms Hebert, who has shown dairy cows, explained that a prize animal produced about 100 pounds of milk a day. He began a series of rapid-fire calculations to determine how many gallons are in a pound: “Eight-point-three pounds per gallon. So 8 into 100 is going to be about 13, 14, gallons. Oh, 12—there you go.”
The New York Times 28th December 2011
Shopkeeper: Welcome to my little shop, Governor Romney. It’s not much, but I’m proud of it.
Romney: Your shop is 755 square feet. The median square footage for shops in this governmental jurisdiction is 625; therefore, you should be 1.208 times as proud as the average shopkeeper.
Shopkeeper: You sure know a lot about shops in our town!
Romney: Governmental jurisdiction. I did not downlo—I do not possess the data set for this specific township.
Shopkeeper: Can I offer you a drink so we can get to know one another? Coffee, tea?
Romney: No! Hot liquids melt my sensory-detection units and—um, although a heated beverage is considered a normative social-bonding mechanism for us humans, my religious affiliation prohibits the intake of caffeine. Furthermore, the correct grammatical usage in this context for two humans is “each other”; with a quantity of three or more, it would be “one another.”
Shopkeeper: How about a decaf iced tea?
Romney: I recognise the phrase “iced tea” but do not compute the word “decaf.”
Shopkeeper: A decaffeinated iced tea?
Romney: Had you employed the standard terminology instead of the vernacular abbreviation, I would have understood you and we would not have wasted 9.43 seconds on this superfluous interaction. Yes, please furnish me with iced water suffused with decaffeinated tea leaves, and I will exchange United States currency and a statement of gratitude.
Shopkeeper: Here ya go! Romney does not take the drink. Governor Romney, here’s the iced tea you asked for.
Romney: I did not recognise “ya.” I will add it to my database. To facilitate the efficiency of our dialogue, please refrain from further colloquialisms. I am currently thanking you for the “decaf” iced tea.
Shopkeeper: So, what do you think of our town?
Romney: This governmental jurisdiction has a GDP per capita of $43,227. The average annual high and low temperatures are 94 and 17 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. In 1997, you experienced the human emotion known as “love” with a 28-year-old female named Joan Natalie Miller, as defined by the local marriage registry, but in 2006 you were extricated from the emotion, according to divorce records.
Shopkeeper: Well, it was more complicated than that. Joanie wanted kids, I wasn’t sure, and—
Romney: As well, I compute the difficulties of achieving a so-called “connection” with another human. Sometimes it is as if I am a “one” and everyone around me is a “zero,” or the inverse numerical values.
Shopkeeper: Yes, it must be tough on the trail every day with—
Romney: My sensors observe you are in possession of a can of oil. I would like to exchange United States currency for it.
Shopkeeper: Oh, that’s almost empty. Let me grab a new one in back—
Romney: I require that can of oil immediately. I have transferred my entire campaign funds to you via PayPal, having observed your email address on your business card behind the counter.
Shopkeeper: How is that possible? You didn’t even take out a phone!
Romney: My version 2.2 upgrade enables—uh, one of my staff members has performed the action in a normative human manner. Pour the oil on this human birthmark on my wrist.
Shopkeeper: One second—
Romney: Pour the oil on this human birthmark on my wrist. Pour the oil on this human birthmark on my wrist. Pour the oil—
The shopkeeper pours the oil on Romney’s wrist.
Shopkeeper: Boy, you looked like you were about to have a breakdown!
Romney: That is a humorous statement of exaggeration, with the logically absurd hypothesis that my human body was prepared to stop functioning due to a lack of lubricating oil. We newly formed friends are being jocular. Ha. Ha.
Shopkeeper: I can’t take your entire war chest for a six-dollar can of oil. Give me a minute to transfer it back to you and—
Romney: The retransfer is completed. Based on the quantity of oil in the can, I owe you one dollar and thirty-three point three three three—
Shopkeeper: I’ll just take a buck.
Romney: For your electoral support in this government jurisdiction, I am currently thanking “ya.” Please wait here; I will return to transfer one male deer.