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How to fight robots and computers

Hardly a day goes by without some robot or computer going berserk and threatening to destroy the earth. If you find yourself having to deal with this problem -- and don't we all, from time to time -- remember that there are good ways and bad ways to defeat these mad machines.


GOOD WAYS

1: Cause the robot to fall in love
Robots and computers are creatures of pure reason. Despite this, they readily fall in love, and when they do, they erupt in a shower of sparks and smoke. The best way to cause the robot to fall in love with you is to kiss it, but jiggling a screwdriver around in any of its orifices may also work.

2: Introduce a virus
Despite their advanced intellects, all robots and computers use Microsoft Windows as their operating system, and are subject to all the same computer viruses as any desktop computer. Load the virus using a standard floppy disk, or via the Internet. (All robots and computers now have permanent Internet connections.)

3. Describe a paradox
If you can't be bothered to create a computer virus, an even simpler approach is to give the computer a paradox to deal with -- something along the lines of "Everything I say is a lie -- including this!" After you've said this, be prepared to run. All computers are filled with volatile substances, and they explode violently when they are terminally confused.

4: Tell the robot to calculate pi to the last digit
Calculating pi is such a difficult problem for robots that their circuits will soon overheat, and they will stagger around the room swiping at light fixtures until they explode. (This is why, if you have a calculator with a pi button, you should never press it.) When using this method, it is vitally important to know the value of pi yourself, because a clever robot will merely pretend to calculate pi, while actually just spouting some series of random digits that will do no harm to its circuits? See our pi page for help memorizing pi.


BAD WAYS

1: Use your pistol
As the robot approaches, fire your pistol at it. When the first bullets bounce uselessly off the machines metal casing, do not attempt to turn and flee, but rather continue to shoot until you are crushed by the robot.

2: Scream
As the robot approaches, bring one hand up to your face and scream. Don't run away; just scream. Continue screaming until you have been crushed by the robot. Note that your screaming will certainly summon help, but it will not arrive until after you are dead, and the robot has gone. 

3: Command the robot to stop
This method works best (or worst) if you are the person who created the robot. The procedure is simple. Just walk in front of the robot, remind it that you are its creator, and tell it to stop. It will then destroy you. An equally ineffective variant on this technique is to stand in front of the robot with a crucifix, trusting in the power of God to save you. God doesn't like to intervene in battles with robots.

4: Use the army
Assemble a group of soldiers and one or two tanks. Use conventional weapons against the robot, continually firing and reloading, heedless of the fact that your comrades are being destroyed one by one. The tank should use its machine guns, but not the big gun on the turret. Continue until the robot destroys you all and melts the tank.  

5: Block the robot with a high tech barrier
Assemble a barrier made of something high-tech but fundamentally flimsy. An electric fence is a good choice, or a barrier made of laser beams. Be astounded as the robot forces its way through the barrier, swiping aside wires and brave but foolish men with each powerful sweep of its mighty arms.

6: Use fire -- the ultimate weapon
Trick the robot so that it walks into an area that you then cause to be engulfed in flame. Cheer, clap and celebrate your victory -- until the robot emerges from the flames unscathed.

7: Treat all sleeping robots as dead
If the robot or computer appears to be deactivated, relax. Turn your back on it while you conduct other experiments or talk on the telephone. If a robot, it will creep up behind you and bash you; if a computer, it will light up its camera lens, then inexplicably raise one of its cables from the ground and strangle you.

8: Give it too much of a good thing
Attempt to overload the robot's circuitry using vast amounts of electricity, atomic radiation or data. Stare in disbelief as you realize your efforts have made the machine more powerful than ever before!

9: Release the hounds
Send your two hound dogs to bark at the robot. When they are killed, try to avenge their deaths with your shotgun.

10: Plan for the future
Use any plan you like, but before executing it, talk about the things you plan to do in the future -- eg, open a little bar by the beach. The plan will fail, and you will be killed by the robot. Consequently, you will not open your little bar by the beach.

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