If typists were robots, what would they type?
"To Serve Humanity" was the first title that came to mind. Any other possibilities?
The robot in the ad was a 1930s-era model that went by a number of names including Mary Ann, The Roboter, Alpha, and Astra.
Read more about her here
Posted By: Alex -
Sat Aug 11, 2012
More weirdness from the WU archive:
The curious tradition of 'telling the bees'
How many megabytes is your brain?
Is this the worst music video ever?
"To Serve Humanity" dredged up memories of the old
To Serve Man
but that came 30 years later.
The "Alpha" robot had potato mashers for eyes?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/11/12 at 11:51 AM
I thought of that too Expat! Prolly type a bunch of zeros and ones, that is their language isn't it?
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 08/12/12 at 12:02 AM
Ok, it's Sunday, traffic is low (non existent?) so I'm going to elucidate on zeros and ones.
No, computers don't know jack about zeros and ones. The digits are used by humans to graphically illustrate the condition of a particular bit's state. Each bit can be charged or not. If it is charged it is seen to be holding a single "bit" of information. If it is not charged then it is "empty".
To illustrate: A "nibble" is 4 bits of information. It is traditionally represented with 4 digits (1s and 0s) but any opposing combination of characters can be used. XOXO works just as well as 1010.
So, by arranging our opposing characters one can quickly see that there would be 16 different patterns that can be produced. Mathematically, using binary notation, these patters represent the values zero thru fifteen. OOOO = zero, OOOX = 1, OOXO = 2, and XXXX = 15. You'll note that binary notation reads from the right in exponentially higher orders as one moves left. OOOX = 1, OOXO = 2, OXOO = 4, XOOO = 8.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/12/12 at 12:19 AM
It was a joke dear, get it? Although I did not know binary code was a one to fifteen scale, and that is interesting, I do know it is a human produced computer language. If computers go AI on us and develop their own language they will most likely take over and make us extinct. We have thrown out the old ways of doing things to the point that nothing can be accomplished if the computers go down for the day. Ninety percent of the kids I work with couldn't make change if the register didn't tell them what to give. The just do not understand how to count up from the amount of the sale to the amount given. Pretty simple stuff, but the computer does it so why bother to learn. You know, come to think of it, computers may make us extinct without developing independent will. In a few generations, humanity will be so dumbed down that, like domesticated turkeys, humans will look up at the rain and drown.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 08/12/12 at 06:57 AM
Binary doesn't stop at 15 it's just that every position is double the value of the one to the right of it. Thus...
0100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 could represent a number like 4,611,686,018,427,387,900
IIRC, that's 4 quintillion six hundred eleven quadrillion six hundred eighty six trillion eightteen billion four hundred twenty seven million three hundred eighty seven thousand nine hundred
Obama's target bailout total!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/12/12 at 09:10 AM
Or the amount of the tax breaks that Mittens & Ryan will dish out to their corporate pals!
On a related note, my SIL wrote a book called "Swimming in the Steno Pool" about the history of the role of secretaries in American business. Note that in the ad above, it is assumed that the secretary is a woman. In the early days of big business, secretaries were all men, but during the Civil War women took over that role since the men were busy shooting at each other. When the men came back they reclaimed their jobs, but same phenomenon occurred during WWI. By that time, however, the business owners (see above) had figured out that they would keep the gals and pay them less than they had been willing to pay the men, and VOILA! the modern "gal Friday" was born. Plus, most of the execs preferred having lovely young women sit on their laps taking memos rather than strapping young veterans taking dictation.
Posted by ScoutC on 08/12/12 at 12:25 PM
Expat, you're off by 4...
Good description of binary.
Hexadecimal (or hex) uses the same principal, but it groups digits into fours. Since we only have 10 digits (since your average Arab has 8 fingers and two thumbs), we use the letters a through f to make up the shortfall. So hex digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, a, b, c, d, e and f. You can use upper and lower case letters, as you wish. This makes larger numbers easier to read. Expat's number is 4000,0000,0000,0000 in hex.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 08/12/12 at 06:51 PM
And, we're not getting into Octal.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/12/12 at 11:28 PM
Not yet anyway, this is still August honey.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 08/13/12 at 12:18 AM
If we lived in a cartoon world our number system would be octal. I made a bet with my 10 year old grand niece that I could count to over 1000 on my fingers. She had to wash my truck!
Posted by BMN on 08/13/12 at 12:13 PM
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