Updated: 11/19/05; 12:26:39 PM

 Monday, December 6, 2004
Robot Exclusion Protocol
A picture named judgedredd1.jpg

Here's one from the past - proving that a fine story only gets better with time. Paul Ford first wrote this back in February 23, 2002 but just this week it appeared on JWZ's blog. Note: the big fella above is the ABC Robot from the 1995 movie based on a comic book Judge Dredd.

The story is short enough to post it in it's entirety so here goes:

Robot Exclusion Protocol

By Paul Ford

A story about the Google of the future.

I took off my clothes and stepped into the shower to find another one sitting near the drain. It was about 2 feet tall and made of metal, with bright camera-lens eyes and a few dozen gripping arms. Worse than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

“Hi! I'm from Google. I'm a Googlebot! I will not kill you.”

“I know what you are.”

“I'm indexing your apartment.”

“I don't want you here. Who let you in?”

“I am Google! I find many good things. I find that pair of underwear with the little dice printed all over them. And I watch the tape of you with the life-sized Stallman puppet. These are good unique things. Many keywords and links! My masters will say 'much good job, little robot!' Many searchers will find happy links of Stallman puppet see you! Ahhhh.”

“I put the robot exclusion protocol on my door. Didn't you see it?”

“You understand Google, person? I index many things and if I am very good I get to go to Bot Park and have more processors. And an oiljob! Thank you Google! Must come inside apartment and index. Must!” His video eye winked up at me.

“I know my rights. I'm giving you 10 seconds to leave.”

“Yes. I will leave. First I index everything. Everything! I am Google!” It put out one of its video arms and began to read the label on my shampoo bottle. So I beat it into shards with a folding chair and let it index the dustbin.

10:01:10 AM