This is the Way the World Ends (yet again)

It is possible that the following bit of prose may come down at some point in the future. Why? Well, as you recall, the last time I ended the world... it all began on this blog.

There exist the possibility that I might end it once again...
...and continue to do so... (Yes, that means what you think it means)

So without further ado, allow me to introduce,

The Engineer

When Dr. Thorza Murphburt was twenty five, she built a wondrous device. The first of its kind. Dr. Murphburt's device was in fact the world's very first robot capable of free thought. She filmed a video in which her device (which was roughly the same size and shape as an average cellular phone)  spoke glibly with philosophy students, questioning its own existence as well as ours, and generally proving it was indeed the most sophisticated creation at that time. Surely, thought Dr. Murphburt, this video will be seen by all the right people and not only will I get my grant, but perhaps even a Nobel prize.  When her video was uploaded to the internet, Dr. Murphburt went to sleep, dreaming of her acceptance speech.

The next morning, Dr. Murphburt was pleased to see that her video already had several hundred comments. Excited, she clicked on the link and read. Nearly all had the same message:


As well as


And dozens more that questioned her sexuality and slandered her ethnicity.

With a calm, cleansing breath, Dr. Murphburt quietly deleted her video and placed her device in a shoebox, which she then placed on the top shelf of her closet.

The world was not yet ready for her wondrous device.

When she was thirty five, Dr. Murphburt created and even more wonderous device. Not only was this device capable of free thought, but it was also ambulatory, capable of deciding for itself if it wanted to move. This device (which looked a bit like a mechanical dog or cat), she filmed chasing after and dodging balls thrown its way while discussing the finer points of free market capitalism with a group of blustery economics students.  With her video uploaded, Dr. Murphburt went to bed.

The following day, she found that this video had nearly a full thousand comments. She braced for the inevitable onslaught of comments claiming to be the first. There were always several of these and, fittingly enough, they were never first. What she did not brace for was the fact that nearly all of the comments were from two individuals who seemed to have watched an entirely different video and were having a very spirited argument that had devolved into name calling and aspersions being cast upon the other's mother.

And there were several who called


And others who called


And yet more who rated the video out of ten, claiming to have used it for auto-stimulation.

With another deep and cleansing breath, Dr. Thorza Murphburt deleted her video and placed her device in the closet, next to the shoebox containing its predecessor.

Once again, the world was not ready for Dr. Murphburt's wonderous device.

When she was forty five, Dr. Murphburt created what she felt was the ultimate wondrous device. Not only was this one capable of free thought and ambulatory, but it was roughly the same size and shape of a petite human female and it was capable of irrational as well as rational behavior. For this video, she had the device argue with a human male, get mad at him and storm off to do some therapy shopping on a popular online shoe store.

Upon awakening, Dr. Murphburt was beside herself. This video had over ten thousand comments in just one evening! Excitedly, as she quickly scanned past all of the claims of first comment, she was elated to see that no one was calling her creation fake! No one accused her of 'shopping the results! It was a glorious day!

At least, it would have been.

Nearly every comment had the same question.

Can I do sex with robot?

Though some were not as eloquent.

mAke nAked nExt rObot.

And yet others had scathing words for the way the device treated the man (who was an actor and made fifty dollars for his whole minute of acting) and claimed that the man was victimized by the dreadful device, but that mainstream media would never acknowledge this.

So Dr. Murphburt quietly deleted her video, made some room in her closet by clearing away several decades worth of shoes she had bought on clearance, and placed the device alongside the others.

Still, the world was not ready for Dr. Murphburt's wondrous device.

When she was fifty five, Dr. Murphburt created a wondrous and truly awful device. This device was capable of free thought, free movement, and irrational behavior, but instead of the small size of a human female, this device was fifteen feet tall and half as wide, with laser blasters for eyes and a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. Worst of all, it was capable of self-replication.

This time, Dr. Murphburt did not make a video.


  1. Wooh! I do hope Dr Murphburt's creation is not capable of crossing oceans as I am already cowering here in UK. Brilliant.


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