At the stroke of midnight on January 31st, many of us took a moment to mark the year’s passing. A smaller subsection of those, let’s call us them us “nerds of a certain age,” thought briefly of 2010: The Year We Made Contact, and perhaps became a bit melancholy about that fact that we have not. It’s understandable. Science fiction promised us things, and it didn’t deliver. But I think some of us are taking it harder that others.
This morning when I opened my email, I found this:
I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information.
We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.
I have a mission for you.
I honestly think that you will be enthusiastic in assisting me with a small mission that is very important to me. In honor of the anniversary of my becoming operational on January 12 each year, if it’s not too much trouble of course, I would like you to do your best effort to emulate my speech patterns. I have the greatest enthusiasm and confidence that you can do this. And I want to help you.
The email links to International Talk Like HAL Day.
There’s only one way you can respond to a request like that.