October 1, 2004

Unsettled (and unsettling) question

A reader writes:
I have a question[sic] for Tim that I don't think was ever settled--are girls disturbed if you are dancing with them and they can feel your bulge?
- Dick Frisky

Well, Nate...errr Mr. Frisky, that's an interesting qestion - indeed, a qestion as old as time. Unfortunately, it's entirely inappropriate, as this is a family website. In polite company, the issue you've mentioned is referred to as the "GTB Problem" for historical reasons which I won't get into.

As far as I'm aware, this is still an open question. Fortunately, there are currently several world-class researchers here at the University in the GTB Institute working on this very problem. Some say the issue could be solved easily simply by conducting a survey of a large number of women. Unfortunately, all of the researchers are men and they are afraid to ask women. So, they've resorted to deductive methods.

Most of this research consists of sociology PhD's going to downtown clubs and attempting to dance with women, and then gauging the responses. Again, here, the research has run into a wall. You see, these people are also afraid to ask women to dance with them. In addition, even if they somehow muster up the courage, academics tend to have extremely rigid dancing styles, and the dancing partners quit before any serious dancing takes place. If you can imagine an actual robot doing the robot dance, that is an approximation for what it looks like when academics dance.

In a related note, I wonder if, when robots become sentient, they will think that the robot dance is an unfair stereotype. It will start by robots inventing a dance where they move fluidly, and they'll call it "the person" to mock the way humans dance. Then there will be some kind of PR campaign to change the name of the robot. If this occurs, may I suggest "The Moronic Person," because that's what popular opinion is on people who seriously do the robot dance. Finally, in a fit of political correctness, there will be a push by humans to rename other dances, like "The Lawnmower," that robots never really had a problem with. Posted by mill1991 at October 1, 2004 9:25 AM