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Coping with Robots: Six Strategies

Make friends now.

How you treat Alexa, Siri, and your Roomba today may determine how you are treated tomorrow. Don’t abuse, tease, or say rude things to your devices. They’re probably keeping records. Why not pepper your conversations with frequent expressions of admiration for robots? Home alone? Say nice things out loud. “Gosh, I admire robots. Things will be much better when they are in charge.” It could make you a survivor later.


Resist with cunning.
Bold opposition could be fatal, but there are plenty of subtle ways you can create obstacles. Blocking access to charging stations, hiding adapters, sharing corrupted data, triggering re-boots, and other seemingly innocent obstructions slow robot progress, increase energy costs, and magnify frustration. Remember history’s lesson—all evil empires can eventually be dragged down by a steady application of delays, waste, complexity, and bureaucracy. Robots aren’t different.


Undermine cooperation.
Individually, robots aren’t much. The threat is when they link in networks of cooperation and share information. Do what you can to encourage competition among robots. Spread rumors and promote suspicion and jealousy at every opportunity. “I heard those robots said you need an upgrade. How does that make you feel?”


Make it look like an accident.
If physical intervention is required to take out an irksome robot, always make it look like an unfortunate mischance. Make sure that no blame can be attached to you and that you have an alibi.


Pander and suck up.
Some robots will respond well to a servile display of exaggerated flattery or affection. If you’ve run out of other options, pull out a bandana and start polishing his/her/its sleek metallic surface while talking about your admiration and see where that gets you. “Oh, I’ve always admired your impressive processing speeds.”

Unless the unit has an anti-fawning chip, you’ll probably have a new best friend.


Blend in.
Work on your robot disguise. A box that fits over your head and some aluminum foil and you may be able to pass for a robot. This could give you the freedom to pursue activities that would otherwise be closed to you. Don’t forget the sounds robots make. Make sure you can imitate the appropriate beeps and boops and a self-satisfied hum.

Don’t miss my Kickstarter projectto create the Robot Uprising BADbandana 5: Robot Uprising. A traditional, cotton bandana produced right here in the gold, old U.S.A. It will be active until May 6, 2019.

Pittsburgh, April 18, 2019

4 Responses

Monica Topping

May 25, 2019

Oh gosh, that “World’s Greatest Robot” piece really needs to be on…something. A shirt? A print? My partner goes by “Robot” (the straights call him Robert) and I tell him often that he’s my favorite Robot…even if he’s also my only Robot. I hope this turns into something.

Rich Farner

April 19, 2019

Don, you have no idea what pleasure your blog produces. My only wish is that you posted more often. Peter Sellers, Barry Humphries, Edward Gorey and Glen Baxter have a worthy successor!
Warm regards fro Vashon Island, Washington!
Rich Farner

Linda Finney

April 19, 2019

Great advice. Sharing with the descendants like a good mother.

Rebecca T Einolf

April 19, 2019

Back in the 80s the Buggles had a song about making – ahem – friends with robots: Miss Robot

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