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This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

A 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman

     Today in the  Gizmodo.com article "A Computer Program Has Passed the Turing Test For the First Time,"  I learned that a computer has convinced a room full of human judges that it is a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman.  At this moment the article already has 169 comments after only 8 hours on Facebook.  Many are concerned with the possible implications for cyber crime.  I am thinking of science fiction warnings from great writers like Kurt Vonnegut, and the implications for the human race.  I am thinking of Hitler and other attempts to purify race.  I am asking what steps toward peace destroy reasons to live?  Here is my poem in progress. In addition to the 2 versions below, I made a 13-line version for my prompt at Poets United:  Midweek Motif ~ The Number 13.  I hope I made it become more scary, a one-page horror film of a poem.

Thirteen (revised)
(read the final 13-line version HERE.)


Thirteen year-old intelligence is
quicksand and popcorn tricks,
fertile ground for video fashion
consumerism and hiding in conformity
as if self-doubt were bi-product
of the best days of opening,
puberty and bar mitzvah

Thirteen, she wants to walk through eighth grade
graduation unscathed--and
thirteen, they plug in a boy named
Eugene Goostman to fool human
engineer judges into believing he is
real as she, he too remembers the wounds
of junior high school competition

Picture a film combining the Thirteen
of piercings and hormones and
the thirteen of computer
intelligence cloned and  cloned
to replace the thirteens we birth
with ones of reason and angelic cleanliness,
requiring only oil and puffs of air, not food

Nor ice cream nor growing pains
nor parental pride, hugs, laughter—
a teen still learning, but not dance
nor how to be resilient
not youth who gets sick, costs money
or battles morality to discover what he or she
believes in with brain and heart

Picture a world in which corporate
wealth no longer needs life
to create life and to trudge
obediently to sweat shops
Picture a world in which tests determine
humanity’s worth as in today's schools
but without accidents of birth

Don't be fooled by promises of
more humane work, less abuse
and better working conditions—
think instead of empty homes
and upper classes deciding
to eliminate the rest, to smooth out popcorn
problems under the quicksand of greed.



Thirteen  (original)


Thirteen year-old intelligence is quicksand and popcorn tricks,
fertile ground for video fashion consumerism and
hiding in conformity as if self-doubt were bi-product
of the best days of opening, puberty and bar mitzvah

Thirteen, she wants to walk through eighth grade graduation unscathed
thirteen, plugs in a boy named Eugene Goostman fooling human
engineer judges into believing he is real as she
and remembers the wounds of junior high school competitions

Picture a film combining the thirteen of piercings and hormones
and the thirteen of computer intelligence cloned and  cloned
to replace the thirteens we birth with reason and angelic
cleanliness, requiring only oil and puffs of air, not food

Not ice cream nor growing pains nor parental pride, hugs, laughter—
A child still learning, but not dance or how to be resilient
Not one who gets sick, costs money, or battles morality
to discover what he or she believes in with brain and heart

Picture a world in which corporate wealth no longer needs life
to create life and to trudge obediently to sweat shops
Picture a world in which tests determine humanity’s worth
Like today's schools, but eliminating accidents of birth

Don't be fooled by promises of more humane work, less abuse
and better working conditions--think instead of empty homes
and upper classes deciding to eliminate the rest
smoothing out the popcorn problems under the quicksand of greed.

There has to be another way to peace besides breaking faith
and eliminating spirit, besides destroying warring 
nations, besides erasing God altogether and merging
all disagreement to make lives both easier and sterile.




Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast




2 comments:

  1. Of course, now the media is saying this is such a partial truth that it's an untruth. It would still make for good scifi.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think your judgment is a little harsh but the very exercise of writing such a program clearly reveals the existence of some of the areas we still don't understand.

    ReplyDelete

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