Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You can program The Teleprompter Jesus, but you can't program its audience

Last week, some of the spokesmodels for The Teleprompter Jesus got booed and jeered at the lefty-ish Netroots convention. 
Now people are starting to laugh at the content of the programs that are projected through The Teleprompter's neural interface, also known as Barack Obama. 

According to Politico, The Teleprompter and its Obama hardware were sent to a fundraiser and programmed to broadcast the following statement:

"Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs."

Granted, this is an idiotic statement.  For instance, I now employ about 20 good temp employees.  But because of their dismal public school educations, I've had to go through about 60 temp employees to find these 20 decent workers.  40 of them either couldn't read, couldn't write, or couldn't remember the "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" rule for using an end wrench.  I had to release those 40 people back to the marketplace. 

The Teleprompter Programmers are counting situations like those 40 short-term jobs, some of which ended at 10:00 a.m. on the day they began, as a "job created".  (That's what they did with census workers who were re-hired for the same job multiple times.)  This is total bullshit.  The "jobs created" statistic doesn't matter.  The unemployment rate is all that matters. 

Sorry for the digression.  Back to my point....

Programmers, for the most part, are very literal people.  If you ask them to write lines of code that will cause one of the animatronic Barack Obamas to recite sentences like "Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs", that's what you'll get. 

And dammit, if you ask them to record the reaction to the speech in an official White House transcript, that's what you'll get.  This is from the official transcript of Monday's fundraiser, which went out to the press around 11:30 Monday night:

"Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs. (Laughter.)"


According to Politico 44, this brought on a frenzy of wagering amongst the White House Press Corps, many of them betting on how long it would take the programmers to correct the reality-based transcript of the event. 
Whoever wagered closest to 4:04 p.m. Tuesday won the bets; that's when the program was altered to state "applause" instead of "laughter". 

I came of age hearing the following mantra from computer programmers:  "Computers cannot make a mistake.  People make mistakes". 

In this case, who made the mistake?  The programmers, by allowing The Teleprompter Jesus to display and broadcast an idiotic statement?  Or the audience, with their inappropriate laughter? 

Dammit, why aren't people following the program?  When can they be replaced with voters whose software doesn't have a "laughter" glitch? 

I had some really cool pictures selected to accompany this post, but the Blogspot software I use has a programming problem this morning.  Either that, or the White House programmers are already intervening and working on the "inappropriate laughter" bug that has infected the citizenry. 

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