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A mixture of awe and disappointment.
August 16, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

"What does it mean to feel empathy for a twitter feed?" Many were asking themselves that yesterday as popular account @SelfAwareROOMBA went on a journey of Self-Discovery. [Start Here]

Roomba emotions previously.
posted by Potomac Avenue (27 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
It means one should unhook from technology and go outside and play.
posted by stormpooper at 9:50 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


ROOMBA is going to be really bummed when it discovers that nature abhors a vacuum.
posted by drlith at 9:53 AM on August 16, 2012 [66 favorites]


Empathy for a ROOMBA.
posted by griphus at 9:55 AM on August 16, 2012


It means the same thing as feeling empathy for stacks of paper, such as many asked after the popular book Any Book Ever was published.
posted by DU at 9:56 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is pretty much nothing on earth that delights me more than the anthromorphification of robots.

shut up firefox that is totally a word
posted by elizardbits at 9:56 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I feel empathy for the ghost of DJ Roomba.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:57 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I, ROOMBA
posted by infini at 9:58 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do treat my Roomba, Mr. Belvedere, as if he were a living being. Mr. Belvedere is the best pet ever. Instead of making waste everywhere, he cleans it up! All he needs to be happy is my love and my electricity.

I love you, Mr. Belvedere.
posted by grouse at 10:05 AM on August 16, 2012 [16 favorites]


Roomba makes more sense than a lot of human Twitter feeds. And, after all, sucking is his purpose in life . . . .
posted by birdhaus at 10:07 AM on August 16, 2012


Why you dead, Ricky?
posted by curious nu at 10:08 AM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


All he needs to be happy is my love and my electricity.

But what this twitter feed presupposes is--what if he needs more?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:08 AM on August 16, 2012


Potomac Avenue: "But what this twitter feed presupposes is--what if he needs more?"

Insofar as domestic robots are concerned: Maslow can suck it.
posted by boo_radley at 10:12 AM on August 16, 2012


I don't understand how to read this. The link says "start here" so I clicked that first, but now I can't figure out how to move forward and read the next tweet? I'm 92 and what is this?
posted by rebent at 10:22 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


But what this twitter feed presupposes is--what if he needs more?

Well, Mr. Belvedere does like to go out and play, and then he needs to be cleaned out and combed. And occasionally have rollers, brushes (main and side), and batteries replaced. And a couple of times I had to do surgery on him because his cleaning head module wasn't working quite right. I've even purchased a shoe rack so that my shoes won't get in his way. I think I do pretty well by Mr. B.

There used to be someone on the Robot Reviews forum that had something like "Love your Roomba? Install the ball bearing mod!" I've always felt a little bad that I've never done it. Does that mean I don't love Mr. Belvedere enough? I'm sure he would add ball bearings to my gears if he could. Such a good little robot.
posted by grouse at 10:22 AM on August 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


drlith: "ROOMBA is going to be really bummed when it discovers that nature abhors a vacuum."

Any excuse to link to one of my favorite Far Sides.
posted by brundlefly at 10:29 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


People have asked me if I'm Karl the Fog. I'm not, but I feel some empathy for him and also for the Bay Bridge.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:47 AM on August 16, 2012


ROOMBA is going to be really bummed when it discovers that nature abhors a vacuum.

It discovered that a few weeks ago, and appears to be taking it remarkably well.
posted by jbickers at 10:59 AM on August 16, 2012


Here, I pulled the adventure together with Storify.
posted by maryr at 11:01 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I imagine that my Roomba wouldn't mind getting out and about, but usually it's too busy trying to shake off the cat, who thinks being chauffeured around the house is glorious.
posted by rhythim at 11:09 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ricky has gone off the farm.
posted by Reverend John at 11:14 AM on August 16, 2012


I was very sad when it looked like @SelfAwareRoomba was thought dead after saving little cat from the flood. I also stopped reading Stephen King because the deaths of good characters were starting to effect me more than I was comfortable with.
posted by M Edward at 12:23 PM on August 16, 2012


Potomac Avenue ... what if he didn't?

i have to read @SelfAwareRoomba's tweets in owen wilson's voice now!
posted by joeblough at 12:40 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holden: You're in a apartment, walking through the kitchen, when all of a sudden you look down...
Leon: Whose?
Holden: What?
Leon: Whose apartment?
Holden: It doesn't make any difference whose apartment it is, it's completely hypothetical.
Leon: But, how come I'd be there?
Holden: Maybe it's your apartment. Maybe you're visiting your friends. Who knows? You look down and see a Roomba, Leon. It's rolling toward you...
Leon: Roomba? What's that?
Holden: You know what a Mint is?
Leon: Of course!
Holden: Same thing.
Leon: I've never seen a Mint... But I understand what you mean.
Holden: You reach down and you flip the Roomba over on its back, Leon.
Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden? Or do they write 'em down for you?
Holden: The Roomba lays on its back, spinning its wheels trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
Leon: What do you mean, I'm not helping?
Holden: I mean: you're not helping! Why is that, Leon?

Holden: They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response... Shall we continue?
posted by cnelson at 12:55 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


anthromorphification

anthropomorphization, I think. Although Firefox doesn't think that's a word, either.
posted by limeonaire at 4:17 PM on August 16, 2012


FIXED
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:43 PM on August 16, 2012


I liked this and it was touching.

I had a similar response to this New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs piece recently, also investing an innocent inanimate object with human thoughts.
posted by Miko at 9:42 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, I'm glad that 150,000 years after Boomer, a roomba coming to self-awareness has a brighter view of the world. Maybe Angel Six wasn't over-optimistic after all.
posted by pickingupsticks at 12:52 PM on August 17, 2012


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