Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
While I’ve never conducted formal research on the question, it has always seemed to me that America’s favorite poem is Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” (AmericanPoems.com says it’s number three, and frankly, I’d like a look at their methodology. “i carry your heart with me” and “Messy Room” at one and two? Seriously?)
Even people who neither know nor care a whit about poetry are familiar with the work, at least in passing, and I’m sometimes surprised to find them smiling as they think of it. Why, I wonder. Read more
I used to work with a HAL 9000. Back when I was at US West in the late ’90s we had a voice system into which we would record the day’s company news so that employees without Internet access could dial in and keep up with the latest events. As with any such system there was a dial-in sequence, buttons that had to be pressed in a certain order, etc.
One day, as I was working through the first stage of the sequence, our phone system apparently achieved sentience. For reasons that I still can’t explain, a decade later, and that nobody at the time had any clue about, the machine sort of … intuited what I was about to do. It performed an action or two that, put simply, it could not do. Read more