The Baffler,  March 18, 2016

Daily Bafflements


From pizza to politics, the robots are gaining on us. / Jeff

• Jill Stein wants Bernie Sanders to know she’s totally open to the possibility of “collaborating” with him on an anti-Clinton ticket. The perennial Green Party candidate has said as much to the Sanders campaign several times with no response, leaving her tweeting things like “A Stein/Sanders collaboration has always been on the table. We’ve just never gotten a response to Green Party efforts to open a dialogue,” much like a poor bot, twisting in the wind, shouting “Work from home! Be Your Own Boss! Make $2,500/month!”

• Speaking of bots, Domino’s has unveiled “an autonomous robot that can navigate its way to your doorstep and deliver your pizza order.” While not quite as creepy as Amazon’s planned delivery drones, the little guy kind of gives us the heebie-jeebies. Similarly, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. has discussed creating a fully automated restaurant, helping customers avoid the filthy interaction with service workers altogether.

• Ahead of the trend as always, Google is selling off its robotics company, Boston Dynamics, after the Marine Corps rejected its quadrupedal “Big Dog robot” for being too noisy for practical use. Amid concerns about negative press and a lack of commercial viability, Google has put the firm on the market, rather than subjecting it to the rolled-up newspaper treatment.

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