Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trolling Box

Ever since the invention of motors, switches, and actuators, a common for-fun invention has been a machine they call the "leave me alone box." It's a box with a switch, and the main purpose of the machine is to turn itself off. Here's a video:

I thought of an improvement to the machine that I dub "The Trolling Box." Like the "leave me alone" box, it would, when turned on, turn itself off. However, the simple field-programmable gate array would be replaced with a more sophisticated computer, one that could track how often the switch was flipped, and as the frequency increases, going from slowly and silently flipping the switch, to making annoyed comments via a speaker as it flips the switch, to cursing the switch flipper (generically though, the box doesn't even know so much as the gender of the switch flipper) culminating with a five-minute rant with language that would make George Carlin blush. Flipping the switch one more time results in the switch retracting into the box and a metal cover preventing its retreval. The box would after a period of about two hours reset itself. If the switch was retracted, the resetting would bring the switch back to the surface. In essence, the box gets "annoyed" when you flip the switch.
I predict this box would be popular among a certain crowd, who would enjoy taunting it until the switch retracted. Unfortunately, this suggests a Hobbesian view of human nature, that all people were created assholish trolls, requiring a strong authority to force them to behave like decent human beings. (Therefore, a country like America is doomed.) I hope Hobbes is wrong.

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