Very funny. Wise. But it’s strange how he can mix self-importance so slyly with self-deprecation.
Jack B Quick is the thing which, since Bojeffries, made me laugh the most when I was writing it. There’s a story called I, Robert where he comes up with an artificial intelligence which is just a scarecrow, a tape recorder and some junk in a wheelbarrow. But it passes the Turing test authentically, so these things are mass-produced all over the world and eventually they take over. Even though they’re just a scarecrow. So eventually Jack comes up with the solution as to how to overthrow the robots — the ‘Roberts’ — which is: if we just stop pushing the wheelbarrows… they’ll be helpless. When I wrote it I thought, actually I’ve just said something profound there. Probably the answer to all mankind’s technological problems. If we just stop pushing the wheelbarrows they’ll be helpless.