Sunday, January 22, 2012

The value of the last breath of air

A comment about price vs. cost vs. value triggered a lingering thought experiment:

Suppose the intergalactic bypass got built and Earth was destroyed to make room, and you were one of the few survivors of the demolition. Let's further suppose that you were one of two trillionaires (infinitaires even) bidding in an auction for a can containing the last breath of air, that only one of you can breathe. After that, you die; the only question here is whether to postpone your demise by half a minute. There are no heirs (they either are dead or soon will be too), no charitable causes (the poor are dead, so are charismatic megafauna), and no liabilities (the revenue service is no more, and the phone company is out of business).

What is that can of air (as likely to be "fresh" as it is to be a sample taken from a sewer) worth? You might want to say it has infinite value, but I'm not so sure. Life seems of infinite value only if you don't know how much of it you have. Somehow I can't see myself spending my entire personal worth for one last breath of air. OTOH, a cool trillion is pointless if you can't spend it.

So much for the last breath of air. What about the one you're taking this very moment? What is it worth?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Conversation with a spammer

I'm eating homemade pizza with one hand and entertaining myself with a spammer in Gtalk with the other:

 cuteyxtinaz3:  hey there
 Sent at 6:42 AM on Friday
 me:  hi
 cuteyxtinaz3:  well hello i've been sitting around sooo bored and figured i'd say helllo.... hope i didn't bother u
there is like no one online to talk to anymore... 22.f here how bout u??
 me:  no it's all turtles
 cuteyxtinaz3:  oh ok so whats up????
 me:  my dog says hi
 cuteyxtinaz3:  it's so lame on here now i can't stand it
 me:  what are you going to do?
 cuteyxtinaz3:  well l have an idea if u wanna have sum fun!!! i was gonna get on my cam and "relax" a lil u should cumm join
l joined this really great sitethat is just like fbook but w/o the annoying kids.. wanna see??
 me:  yeah sure no problem how much $$$ do you want
 cuteyxtinaz3:  lt only takes asec. to signup and it's 100% free 2!!! just click the ''Join FREE'' at the top of thepage
once u signup u'll be allgood and u can join my private chat and tell me what 2 do
 me:  why don't you take some of those skimmed credit cards and shove them
 cuteyxtinaz3:  yeah u do need a card of sum kind but they wiII not charge u a penny!!!!!!
 me:  you fail the turing test
 cuteyxtinaz3:  l can't wait this is going to be sooo much fun. wait till u see what i'm wearing right now lol i think u'll like it;)
 me:  yeah i bet it's a nice hypervisor
 cuteyxtinaz3:  are u in hun??? i'm going to go get some "toys" but ill brb and hopefully u'll be in when i get back hurry uppp
 me:  yeah sure just my card details to nigeria
they need it

It looks like this script just doesn't care at all what nonsense I write. Next time, I'll try typing gibberish.

UPDATE: They really don't care how you reply. Even ELIZA is smarter. This time it's in MSN:

(23:34:32) gabriella: hiiii i've been looking for u!
(23:34:50) of cousk qcuwy qsnakz di
(23:35:01) gabriella: Hey there, hope ya dont mind chatting with a spiteful horny girl, so how are u??
(23:35:21) nquq ydy ajaje fllw uw cyaabef
(23:35:31) gabriella: yeaa I know it's random, but my dbag EX cheated on ME so I'm on a MANhunt haha... I got ur username on a hotmail male directory, I'm gabby, you are? ;)
(23:35:56) d'q iivuw wv ojve uv uehv lsa
(23:36:09) gabriella: I see.. where do you live? I am bored in my apartment...and this usually gets me in trouble ;) esp since I'm single and sexually deprived :-(
(23:37:18) ia uch u veuhejs vjhdjvhdj Bakje ve kvjdv
(23:37:28) gabriella: R ya signed up to any online dating sites?? You seem cool. i just took sum naughty pics and put them on my comehookup page.. want to see? haha
(23:37:50) u ckeciej jcveruz ak sfakjk e!
(23:38:00) gabriella: k, here, lemme know what you think .. you might have to make a profile if u dont have one already. It takes seriously 1 minute and its completely free.

And almost simultaneously, another:

(23:39:19) Watcha doin??
(23:40:09) i't kjuq ksuucw kjvial kjakkei
(23:40:20) have we chatted before?? im 23/f u ?
(23:40:50) kiuw laus gujanbu we!
(23:41:00) i'm sorry ... i get to be forgetful at times!! how're you?
(23:41:12) sduwa!
(23:41:22) Just finished taking a bath..long day been kind of busy but i'm feeling a little naughty now! so what's up?? ... want to have some fun? ;)
(23:42:08) ei do markvo kajviw generatskbuye
(23:42:19) long day i was in the shower forever just playin around and it always gets me horny lolz .. gonna change my clothes want to see ? ;) lol
(23:42:33) laiud wiha
(23:42:44) I'm kinda horny lolz :x wanna play on cam ??
(23:43:20) nastidana wekali - ukrino navawu
(23:43:31) nice place..never been ..maybe one day ;P