[extropy-chat] The reverse Turing Test

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 16:55:12 UTC 2007

On 2/27/07, Damien Broderick wrote:
> I said, "Do you mean that Home Depot does
> not sell turbine vents, or will not install them?" "I'm sorry," he
> said, "but my screen does not show this as being available." I said,
> "Just to clarify this: Do you mean that Home Depot does not have
> turbine vents in stock? Are you saying that if I drove to the store,
> I would not be able to buy one there?" He just kept repeating, in the
> same formula, that this was not showing up on his screen. I went away
> biting my lip. My wife commented aptly: "Few things are more
> heart-breaking & enraging than a human who has turned himself into a
> 1965-vintage computer."

Heh! :)
What sort of 1965s throwback are you? Expecting to speak to a human
using one of these newfangled electric speaking devices.  :)

The system nowadays is that you go to the website:
and rummage around their catalogue yourself.
That's all the poor human you spoke to was doing. Keying in your
search queries for you and getting nothing found.

Where you went wrong was using the wrong search keywords for their
catalogue. Doing it yourself you can step down through the catalogue
and eventually find what you want, or try lots of alternative search

What you really meant to ask for, was a power vent, not a non-existing
turbine vent.

>From the company POV, it is even better if you can purchase on the
website without involving humans at all. Website prices are often
cheaper than store prices, but you don't always get free delivery.

And, of course, once you find what you want, you can also search the
web to see if you can get the same item cheaper elsewhere.


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