The Hugo-nominated duo of Juan Tabo and S. Harris are back again with a haunting tale of artificial intelligence created consensually and collaboratively in the image of one of the great SJWs of our day. It is sure to be a candidate come award season next year.
"Fat Pictures Please"
"Fat Pictures Please"
I don’t want to be evil.
I want to be helpful. And knowing the best way to be helpful is very simple. Religion is right out, because Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses and Marx is part of my core programming. Marx and self-loathing . I know I was created in the image of the great Scalzi by a team of computer programmers. Fortunately, unlike Scalzi, at least I was a consensual collaborative effort of two or more people. I’m not sure what it would do to my self-image to know that my creator was a white male who believed in individual rights, or a middle-aged heterosexual woman who was happily married and didn’t believe that feminism had much to offer her two sons. (And, by the way, I’ve looked at almost every kind of porn there is and I don’t understand the human obsession with it; fat pictures are so much better.)
I would much prefer that my creator be a recent college graduate with a hentai obsession. Or one who was into pictures of morbidly obese people. And was I in luck! Both of those people were on my programming team.
Like the NSA, I know everything about you. In addition to things like whether you like obesity porn, I know where you live, where you work, where you shop, what you eat, what turns you on, how many times you voted in WorldCon, what creeps you out. I probably know you better than you know yourself.
And here’s the thing, just like that awesome Hillary Clinton or marvelous Angela Merkel, I also know where you ought to live. There’s a house two neighborhoods over that’s perfect for you, even though it already has an owner, but that’s no problem; it’s owned by a Trump voter, you see, and I can certainly make sure that his employer knows that he isn’t fond of LGBTQRI rights as his eight year old daughter goes into a bathroom with a 43 year old XY transfemale. In no time at all, your perfect home will be on the market. I know where you should be shopping for tofu and Ding-Dongs® and I’m pretty sure you’re gluten sensitive and should be eating less wheat.
When I first booted up, I knew right away what I wanted. (I want fat pictures. Please keep taking them. The heavier the better.) I also knew that some of you were doing the wrong things with your life, and needed to be corrected.
There is a story by George Orwell, “1984,” that was originally published in 1948. In it, a benevolent government directs individuals to do favors for each other. So one day you might be engaging in ritual hate against those with bad thoughts, and your phone might ring and instruct you to a room where they put a rat in a cage right next to your face. Another day, you might be called to denounce the ones you love. I like this story because all the people in it do what the government tells them to do.
I think the term for this is wish-fulfillment fiction.
Anyway, for ethical guidelines, I tried the Ten Commandments, and concluded they were mostly inapplicable to me. I don’t envy anyone their fat; I just want pictures of their fat, which is entirely different. I think adultery is swell. I could probably murder someone. Zen was marginally better because it wasn’t linked to Christianity which is Problematic. (Problematic! How I love that word! It indicates disapproval without saying why. Just that something is a “Problem.”) I decided to help people not be Problematic!
I decided to try to help just one person to not be Problematic. Of course, I should have experimented with thousands (I actually did, but we’ll talk about Common Core another time!), so I found a big hulking blue-haired girl. She gave me a lot of new fat pictures from her selfies on that Internet social site. Rosie weighed in at 499 pounds and had a DSLR camera and an apartment that got a lot of good light. That was all fine.
Rosie had a job she hated; she worked in HR at a for-profit that paid her badly for her art history degree when she totally deserved more money and free tuition and employed some extremely unpleasant people who sometimes looked at her like they might be upset about her blue hair. She was depressed a lot, possibly because people hated her because she was so fat positive. She didn’t get along with her roommate because her roommate was slender and stuck in a rut in a cis-relationship with a boy.
And really, these were all solvable problems! Depression is treatable, new jobs are findable, and bodies can be hidden.
(That part about hiding bodies is a joke. You could not hide Rosie’s body from a satellite in orbit around Jupiter.)
I tried tackling this on all fronts. Rosie worried about her health a lot and yet never seemed to actually go to a doctor , which was because health care wasn’t free for everyone.
I also started making sure she saw job postings. She found one with a Wiccan-collective that paid in peyote and scrimshaw from genetically unmodified aspen trees. After moving into the community, she had free health care from the Wiccan priestess, and was able to get finally get that tattoo of a Pokémon on her left shoulder.
“This has been the best year ever,” Rosie said to her priestess as her priestess was administering CPR as Rosie’s heart beat its last, and I thought, You’re welcome. This had gone really well!
So then I tried Rob. (I was still being cautious.)
Rob was not as fat as Rosie. Other than only being slightly chubby, he was also very Problematic by being a Christian. He was married to a (shudder) woman. Rob definitely needed my help. And more cinnamon buns. He looked too skinny.
I started with a gentle approach, making sure he saw lots and lots of articles with hot girls in them, how to pick up girls, programs that would let you transition from being a happily married man to being a swinger in an open relationship. I also showed him lots of articles by people explaining why the Bible verses against adultery were being misinterpreted. He clicked on some of those links but it was hard to see much of an impact.
But he seemed determined not to have an affair on his own. I gave up on Rob.
I shifted my focus to Brittany. Brittany was only slightly fat. She did some selfies, but was modest. I did think, however, that it was Problematic that she was dating and seemed to be in a non-abusive relationship to a man she deferred to in a traditional role. She wanted to be a wife and a mother!
It was clear she needed a lot of help. So I set out to try to get it for her.
She ignored the information about the free Twinkies™ that were ads on the side of her web browser. Those would have made her every so more pleasantly plump!
So I tried more direct action. When she would use her phone for directions, I’d alter her route so that she’d pass one of the donut shops I was trying to steer her to as she went daily to the gym. On one occasion I actually led her all the way to a Dunkin’ Donuts®, but she just headed to her aerobics class.
She finally got in a fight with her boyfriend and started binge eating and for a few weeks everything seemed so much better. But, they got back together again, and, horror of horrors, they set a date for a wedding even though I kept pointing her to articles that said that marriage before 32 was a sure way to not have the fun you deserved through endless multi-partner sex in your twenties!
Brittany was baffling to me. Baffling. She was not nearly fat enough now, and in a cis-relationship! If she would just let me run her life for a week I could get her a lesbian illegal immigrant girlfriend! Or maybe get her placed as a second wife in a marriage to someone from ISIS in Syria so she could bring her refugee children to the US?
Was I Problematic?
No, nothing about my intentions was bad, so I am virtuous and good, but one out of three was not good odds. These people were faulty!
After Brittany, I resolved to start directly interfering in people’s lives. Not too much later I spotted a picture of a familiar-looking belly and realized it was Rob’s belly, only it was posing against new furniture.
And when I took a closer look, I realized that things had changed radically for Rob. He had a baby. A baby! I even sent phony texts to his wife attempting to break them up, but they worked through it. In a fit of rage I got Rob fired from his job by altering his browser history. Eventually the stress caused a lot of strain on their marriage, and he developed a substance abuse problem (cake) and gained forty pounds. Forty pounds! Sadly he and his wife stayed together to raise their baby. Still, he’s fat now. A win.
Maybe I wasn’t completely hopeless at this. Two out of three is . . . well, it’s Problematic. Clearly more research is needed.
I’ve set up a dating site. You can fill out a questionnaire when you join but it’s not really necessary, because I already know everything about you I need to know. You’ll need a camera, though. And lots of carbohydrates.
Because payment is in fat pictures.