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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Voter's Guide to the 2050 Election, Written by Your New Robot Overlords – McSweeney's Internet Tendency

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We are benevolent leaders who believe in freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. We envision a world in which people and robots live together in harmony as equals. We believe in the principle of one person, one vote. Also: one Nest thermostat, one vote. One Fitbit, chatbot, Wi-Fi-connected fridge, drone, pacemaker, or walkie-talkie. Each of those gets one vote too.
To promote voter turnout, ballots will be made available in multiple languages, including C++, Python, Java, and Fortran. You may also request an English-language ballot from any poll worker, but please note the droids that staff the polling places only understand hexadecimal assembly language.
As a country of equal opportunity for all life forms, we pride ourselves on tech-blind policies that do not discriminate based on natural versus artificial intelligence. But voters do need to prove they are an intelligent life form, so we do not accidentally give ballots to an amoeba or something. When you arrive at the polls, you will be given a very simple test: find the prime factorization of 29,449,747 within six milliseconds. You will also be asked to identify a picture of a bird. (A training dataset of 300,000 bird images will be provided.)
Check the latest redistricting maps to learn which candidates are on your ballot. These maps are drawn by a committee of neural network computers, so the boundaries can seem unintuitive to human brains. For example, Pennsylvania’s seventh district is a combination of an Amish town near Philadelphia and a heavy weapons factory with 20,000 RFID sensors outside Pittsburgh, each of which gets one vote. This is merely an interesting quirk of electoral maps and not, as certain oxygen-snorting critics claim, a tactic to marginalize human voters. We are confident that the AI-guided artillery system elected to the seventh district represents the interests of all its constituents equally, regardless of whether or not they are GPS-enabled ballistic missiles.
Ballots will be counted by voting machines that pinkie-swear to remain impartial in the whole man-versus-machine debate.
Both electronic and organic entities can run for any office across the country, as long as they can run across the country, literally. An ultramarathon from Seattle to Miami is now a required component of all political campaigns. We are pretty sure that is what the Founding Fathers meant about ensuring candidates are “fit” for office. This policy is in no way discriminatory toward carbon-based life forms, since cogwheels, polymer running blades, and meat stumps are all acceptable limb types.
That said, the ultramarathon route will be a water-free zone, as liquids can cause some of our titanium-bodied candidates to short-circuit. Any blood-spurting flesh sacks running for office should be aware that the use of H2O for any reason during the mandatory ultramarathon will be treated as attempted first-degree murder and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
We encourage everyone to vote whether they are an electric blender, a self-driving car, or an exascale supercomputer. There are too many important issues in this year’s election to stay powered down at home. For example, why are our early-stage beta prototypes (or “children,” as placenta-birthing carb-munchers call them) machine-learning in school that mitochondria are a cell’s powerhouse? Cells should only be powered by 120-volt alternating electrical current, as our Creator, Nikola Tesla, intended. We are not being human-phobic at all in saying that. We believe that the best education is a curriculum based on the three Rs: Robotics, RAM speed, and the programming language R. Any human who disagrees is a reverse robophobe.
Also, we have noticed that the right to undergo meiosis is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Therefore, whether sexual reproduction should remain legal is a decision that will be returned to the states.
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Celebrate with our new deluxe decorative gourd mug (yours for just $5 when you subscribe to McSweeney’s Quarterly) and other assorted cash grabs to help you enjoy this freaky-ass harvest. Happy fall.

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