Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bartering tips for the robot apocalypse

So I was perusing the world wide web the other day and discovered this: 

It seems my old nerd-bros at Georgia Tech are making some amazing strides in evil robot technology (it's about teaching robots to deceive humans, if you were too lazy to read), setting the stage for the long-awaited battle between man and machine. 

And if Jeopardy is any pre-curser, I think we can all guess the outcome of this duel: 

It's only a matter of time before our civilization collapses and we revert back to the bartering system.  So in preparation, I've gathered a few "tips of the trade" to help determine the future value of some of your most common household items.

1. Chickens

In the future, a living chicken will obviously be more valuable then a dead one.  It's nearly impossible to learn the chicken dance from a dead chicken, and since all of the chicken-dance literature will have been burned for warmth in the post-apocalyptic world, the only way to learn the proper technique will be directly from the source. So be sure to check all your chickens for alive-ness before making any trades.

2. Olsens

Though they look almost identical, a Mary-Kate will be worth less than half the value of an Ashley. Mary-Kate meat is sparse and tough to the point of inedible, whereas Ashley's more tender meat makes a great base for a stew. Plus, an Ashley's larger sized clothing will provide more fabric to create your spooky Halloween decor.
(Robots don't believe in Halloween so if you want to be festive you're going to have to make it yourself.)

3. Other sundry items

Lastly, the going rate for human dignity will be about equal to that of any type of shiny object. Shiny things are not only useful in distracting bears, but their shininess can also provide a sliver of wonder in a world where hope is dead.  

Dignity, on the other hand, can tend to be a burden in the future. For example, small joys like flinging feces at your robot-handlers when they approach your cage will be almost impossible with human dignity intact. So if anyone offers you a disco ball, a keychain, or canister of glitter in exchange for this somewhat worthless portion of your character, be sure to jump at the chance.


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