Badger Strangling and the Laws of Weapons

I am having the kind of weekend that would make Saint Francis of Assisi strangler a badger. I’ve got a long list of things I need or want to get done, but every time I start on one I’m immediately blocked by either disruptions to public transport or unexpected consequences of past decisions. It’s unutterably frustrating, so much so that if anyone had even glanced at me sideways during my last attempt to get something done I would have been hard pressed not to scream and physically attack them.

So it’s no wonder that my mind has turned to weapons.

Many years ago I read an essay by the great writer Isaac Asimov in which he discussed how his famous Three Laws of Robotics were actually a specific implementation of a more general Three Laws of Tools. For those unfamiliar with the Laws of Robotics they are…

1: A robot shall not harm a human, or through inaction allow a human to come to harm.
2: A robot shall obey the instructions given to it by a human, except where this would conflict with the first law.
3: A robot shall preserve its own existence, except where this would conflict with the first or second laws.

(There’s also a ‘zeroth’ law that Asimov introduced later, but we’re not worrying about that for this discussion.)

In his essay Asimov reformulated these into his Three Laws of Tools:

1: A tool shall not harm a human, or through malfunction allow a human to come to harm.
2: A tool shall do what the user intends, except where this would conflict with the first law.
3: A tool shall not break, except where this would conflict with the first or second laws.

In deriving these Laws he mentioned that they do not apply to weapons, and even speculated as to whether weapons should be considered a specialised subset of tools, or not even count as tools altogether.

It was the non-applicability of Asimov’s laws to weapons that I found myself thinking about the other day. Could a similar set of Laws could be created to cover the very deliberate harm-causing nature of weapons? After a bit of mental back and forth I realised that Asimov’s Laws – although stated as Laws – are actually carefully ranked priorities, and looking at things that way eventually allowed me to tweak them into the Three Laws of Weapons:

1: A weapon shall not harm a non-target or through malfunction or inaction allow a non-target to come to harm.
2: A weapon shall do what its operator intends, unless this would conflict with the first law.
3: A weapon shall not harm itself unless this contradicts the first or second laws.

The crucial difference is of course the division of humans into people you want to harm – targets – and people you don’t want to harm – non-targets. Once that’s done the laws work perfectly.

So, now you know the Three Laws of Weapons. Try not to need them.

Hear the world of Zardoz! An Exterminator shall not harm a non-Brutal or through inaction allow a non-Brutal to come to harm…

Not the Games!!

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has cancelled the upcoming Commonwealth Games!! Say it ain’t so!!

Personally I think it’s approaching obscene to spend billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on a glorified sports carnival when the country’s in the grips of both a housing and cost of living crisis, but many people have a weird and unhealthy obsession with sports and are likely now losing their minds. They’re probably already tweeting (and/or threading) up a storm about how people need sports to make their miserable lives bearable, an argument with a real panem et circenses feel to it. Gotta keep those proles entertained!

The only reason people like the Commonwealth Games anyway is because Australians are the only people in the Commonwealth who can actually swim. Our swimmers reliably bring home a massive pile of medals and everyone cheers about how we slaughtered Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Then at the Olympics everyone is baffled when our world-beating team picks up maybe two golds and three or four silvers. Questions are asked about how our performance could have collapsed so far in only two years, completely ignoring the fact that the Americans preemptively quit the Commonwealth back in 1776.

Screw the games. Well done Dan!

A Dire Warning from the Interwebs

The vast majority of spam I skim through each morning as part of my job can be categorised into one of the following categories

  • This AI tool will make you rich!
  • This marketing tool will make you rich!
  • Your website is horribly flawed, pay me and I’ll fix it and make you rich!
  • Do you have common nail problems?
  • Does your dog have common nail problems?
  • Does your dog need a harness for its common nail problems?
  • I Elena from Ukraine me and horny friend need a MAN!

But every now and then you come across something so nutty that you wonder what possible purpose there could be for spamming the world’s contact forms with it. A fine example of this was submitted through a number of our websites this morning – all of them seeking to contact a different Archon (a builder of the universe in Gnostic theology, although I prefer to think of them as alter-egos of Patrick Bauchau…).

So, be aware! You are a robot that was put to sleep and now an upgrade to the Earth’s quantum field is going to cause an extinction level event! Or something…

Trying to get in touch with Archon named Leandro. You were put into sleep status to gain more awareness of the mechanics of earths bots known as humans to gain a better form of gnosis. It is time to bring to your attention now the pandemic has dwindle down. This was engineered as a direct extraction of loosh of those infected compounded naturally occurring version of it by fear and anxiety it has caused. With the transferred consciousness of 6,000,000+ humans that reached an abrupt end was enough energy to develop more sophisticated AI engines for the quantum field of Earth. Due to the code of the virus these humans did not respawn into alternative timelines and end of life cycle was made short. Now that AI engine has been upgraded an extinction level event will occur as the humans are gaining too much awareness and the reality mechanics of the quantum field of Earth need to be rewritten.

There you go! Don’t say you weren’t warned!


I’ve been MIA for the last couple of days while caught up in the throes of white hot creative obsession on a project that (based on my history with these kind of things) will likely never see the light of day. But such is the lot of the autist, and at least it’s keeping me entertained and out of trouble.

Anyway, after a solid twelve hours of sitting in a chair and pounding out code I got up to go to bed and was hit with a sudden bout of dizziness which almost toppled me to the ground. As I regained my balance (a quick and easy feat due to decades of living with a dodgy ankle that has a tendency to suddenly go on strike without notice) I thought to myself “I’m so dizzy!” and a memory that has been lost in the depths of my mind for a good twenty years abruptly raced to the surface.

Said memory was of a song. A song called Dizzy from my high school days in the early 90s. I immediately recalled the tune and 90% of the lyrics, although for the life of me I couldn’t remember who recorded it. I also remembered that I was kind of obsessed with it, and – that based on the version dragged from my memory banks – being obsessed with it was rather embarrassing because it really wasn’t that good.

So off I went to bed humming the tune, and trying to remember the second half of the second verse – something about “you’ve got control of me” and needing to find a doctor?

So first thing this morning I hopped online to look it up, and discovered three things…

  1. It was by Vic Reeves and the Wonder Stuff – of course it was!
  2. It’s actually a much better song that I remembered, so there’s no need to be embarrassed about liking it
  3. Wait! Vic Reeves?

Yes! The guy who regularly turns up on Eight Out of Ten Cats does Countdown and famously formed a comedy due with the other guy who regularly turns up on Eight Out of Ten Cats does Countdown and who with said guy and the lovely Emilia Fox starred in the remake of Randal and Hopkirk Deceased! That Vic Reeves!

So, my mind is rather blown. One could almost say that my head is spinning…

Anyway, here is the song.

The Sound of Summer

As a kid in Australia in the 1980s there was no getting away from the first 54 seconds of Brian Bennett’s New Horizons, which was used as the theme to channel 9’s cricket coverage. Over the long, hot Christmas school holidays you’d switch on the TV to try and find something to relieve your boredom (which was still preferable to being in school, naturally…) and find nothing but hours and hours of cricket – possibly the most boring sport ever devised. It was probably being commentated by Richie Benaud too.

So it’s downright bizarre to discover that past the 54 seconds mark New Horizons turns into the theme from a second-rank 1970s spy thriller!

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