Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Phone for Aatcon

I have just received the first phone call for Aatcon.

"Hi, may I please speak to Aa... Aatcon Mee... Meeshells?"

I was too stunned to say anything other than, "Aatcon? That person doesn't even exist!" (I now recognize this as arguably a fleshist chauvinist simplification.)

Whoever it was - probably one of his telemarketer buddies - then apologized and hung up.

I think the flat vehemence of my response stunned her. Certainly mine was not the usual response a telemarketer gets. Perhaps she felt she had mispronounced Aatcon's name, and "Aatcon" had taken offense. If only she knew how much deeper it goes.

As I reflected on this brief conversation, I was actually quite impressed with her pronunciation of Aatcon, and then it dawned on me. In our brief conversation, she had helped to solve a long-standing mystery.

The mystery relates to what I had previously regarded as the frequent mispronunciation of my last name, which is "Michels". My family believes this is correctly pronounced very much like "Michael's". I had always thought that the lack of the "a" in the last syllable threw some people off, and they simply went for something different. But now I realize, "Meeshells" is a perfectly legitimate pronunciation of the spelling of my last name, and in some regions of the bureaucratic underworld, it is in fact the preferred pronunciation:

"Meesheels" is Aatcon's preferred pronunciation of his own last name!

All of these years that I felt that telemarketers, phone bankers, and computer generated voices were mispronouncing my name, they may in fact have been mistaking me, briefly, for Aatcon, my second shadow-self in the world of raw information. A monumental discovery!

In retrospect, If I had been clearer headed, I would have held the woman for questioning, but before I had a chance to think, she had disappeared, back into the anonymous phone banks from which she had come.

Monday, March 19, 2007

30

three decades of fun - but it's time to renew the ol' mortal coil. o yes.

So, I turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and now I'm in the 9th day of a 10 (or 11?) day fast. It just occurred to me that these might be related things. I certainly didn't decide to do the fast because I turned 30. I've been curious for a while, and my neighbor was talking about it, and had this totally kooky book that i read about it. So I thought, "This would be a good time..." I've wondered for a while What it would be like to not eat. Plus I wanted to get rid of my 'toxins'! I mean, who wouldn't?

I'm doing the "Master Cleanse Fast" which means all I consume is water and lemonade with cayenne in it. yum! It's actually been surprisingly easy. I haven't felt starved at all, just conscious of how much of life is devoted to food, and how much I like to cook and eat.

-aaron.

Oh yeah, and my knee doesn't really hurt in the morning anymore. so that MUST be the
'toxins' going away.

who is "Aaron Michels"?

The other day, I was googling some old friends, to see what their web faces looked like, and then I decided to check my own - look in the google mirror, so to speak.

I did see myself, but I also saw "Aaron Michels" as a chemist, as a leader of college republicans, and as a gay porn star. How varied we are. Interesting.

Another thing I did recently was test the 20 questions AI on my name. Basically, it tries to guess the name you are thinking of by asking you traits of the person with that name. I put in my own name and then tried to answer honestly. Based on many iterations of people doing this, the AI forms a personality profile for that name - something like an "Average Aaron".

They won't tell me what the average Aaron looks like except in contradiction to my own answers.

Apparently, the average Aaron is vain, careless, and sexy. Also skinny, weak, non-athletic, and shorter than me.

The final puzzling bit is that it asked the question "Would you like to be [Aaron]?" I answered "Yes." but apparently the correct answer is "Doubtful". Yikes!

20Q results:
You were thinking of Aaron.
Do they want to be famous? 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Yes.
Do they make careless errors? You said No, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Probably.
Would you go on a date with them? You said Irrelevant, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Yes.
Are they active in sports? You said Sometimes, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Doubtful.
Are they medium height? You said No, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Yes.
Are they strong? You said Sometimes, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Are they skinny? You said No, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Yes.
Would you like to be them? You said Yes, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Doubtful.

Contradictions Detected
The opinions of the 20Q A.I. are its own, and are based on the input of players. 20Q's answers reflect common knowledge. If you feel that 20Q is in error, the only way to correct it is to play again!


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