[Cyborg] safe graduated pain administration ?

David Molnar dmolnar at gmail.com
Thu Sep 30 07:22:42 UTC 2010


I've had an idea in my head for a little bit, which was inspired by
the xkcd irc bot ROBOT9000 and the PainStation[0,1]. Thought I would
ask here about a question concerning it... Suppose you had a thing
that could listen to what you were saying, determine if you are saying
a phrase that you had already said in the past. If you are in fact
repeating yourself, administer pain.

The idea is to encourage original speech and to discourage idle talk.

Let's leave aside the tricky questions of how to understand human
language exactly or how to exactly chop up phrases to quantify
originality. For now.

What method should be used for pain administration?

Electric shock is the classic, but I'm not sure if that will be safe
when applied repeatedly through the day. In particular, I'm worried
about heart arrythmias. I have some family history here that makes me
specifically cautious.

The PainStation uses heat and flogging in addition to electric shock.
Flogging is ok but kind of bulky and requires some mechanical
engineering. Heat may have a problem if the thing is worn under
clothes, and I expect it is not energy efficient.

The requirements that come to mind

1) Noticeable pain -- you need to realize that you said something unoriginal
2) Graduated pain -- if you continue to be unoriginal, you can
experience more pain
3) Safety --  if you administer pain at all unoriginal utterances
during the day, you will still be alive and healthy at the end of the
day, no long term ill effects
4) Hidden or overt -- works both in a thing that announces the pain
administration and in a thing that is hidden from others
5) Cost effective -- can be incorporated into a thing for a reasonable price
6) Mobile energy friendly -- will last all day in a thing that has
some ``reasonable" battery

Thanks much for any thoughts!

David Molnar

[0] http://blag.xkcd.com/2008/01/14/robot9000-and-xkcd-signal-attacking-noise-in-chat/
[1] http://www.painstation.de/peu.html

More information about the Cyborg mailing list