Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cylons Need Not Apply

I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine. I have a vampire for a son, but other than that, I'm fine. To quote my doctor today: my breast isn't diseased, it's just experiencing mechanical problems. In other words: there's nothing wrong with my breast that wouldn't go away if LL were a little more gentle and a little less bloodthirsty. Both the medical assistant (once) and the doctor (twice) looked at my breast, cringed a little, and then asked me how long I was planning on breastfeeding. Which makes me laugh a little, since I'm not sure that it's totally up to me, given my strong-willed baby. But the medical opinion from my doctor is that I should, um, proceed with caution. And not let LL anywhere near my right breast for the time being, at least until it heals a bit. Which might be the final straw in our breastfeeding journey, since he prefers the right to the left. So we'll see.

Moving on... I've had way too many angsty breast feeding posts lately, which doesn't do justice to the fact that I'm having so much fun with LL these days. Time for a new topic!

A while back, I agreed to take part in a short robotics study. As it turned out, though, I needed to do the study on a day when I didn't have any childcare. The woman running the study (a friend of mine) told me to just bring LL along, and they'd help to watch him while I did the study. (They were a bit desperate because they were short on female computer scientist study participants -- go figure!) So I went in, handed LL off to some friends, and started the study.

While LL got a guided tour of the robotics lab, shook hands with one of the robots, and played with some (relatively safe) spare robot parts in someone's office, I did the study. (They didn't let him chew on lasers or anything, but movable non-pinching robot joints are fun for babies, apparently.) There were several parts to the study, but the last part was a written questionnaire testing for attitudes and biases towards robots. It's a standard survey in the robotics field, and there are a lot of oddities that should really be fixed but haven't been, so it was amusing to read through. But I laughed out loud when I got to this question:

"To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement: 'I am concerned that robots would be a bad influence on children.'"

Heh. Yes, clearly I'm concerned. That's why I didn't even know at that moment exactly which robot was essentially baby-sitting my six-month-old.

I've heard about people not wanting children to watch television, or surf the web, or, I don't know, hang out in bars or something. But are robots really high on the list of bad influences? And what exactly are these people concerned that the robots are going to influence their children to do?

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that your fine. Iam sorry you have a bloodthristy lil LL.

    HAhah, I am still laughing. LL needs a shirt that said "Beware of the Robots"


Talk To Me!