Sun Ra - Column for 12/1

Spin-Bot

"So what's that?"

"That's my Spin-Bot."

"A Spin-Bot?"

"Yep."

"What's it do?"

"It spins."

"It spins?"

"Yep. Watch. Spin, Spin-Bot! Spin!"

"...wow."

"Yeah."

"You made it?"

"Yep."

"And it spins."

"Yep."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why does it spin?"

"Because it's a Spin-Bot."

"Okay, why's it a Spin-Bot?"

"Because it spins. It wouldn't be much of a Spin-Bot if it made milkshakes or something."

"*sigh*. Okay, Mr. Circular Logic, why did you make a Spin-Bot?"

"Dunno. I felt like it."

"What good is it?"

"What do you mean?"

"What good does the Spin-Bot's spinning do?"

"It makes it happy."

"Happy?"

"Sure. Look at it."

"Wait - you made a robot that has emotions?"

"Sure. Watch. Spin, Spin-Bot! Spin!"

"...huh. It does look happy."

"Told you."

"So why does it stop?"

"Huh?"

"I mean, it's a Spin-Bot. Why doesn't it just spin all the time?"

"It would get dizzy."

"It can get dizzy?"

"Sure."

"Isn't that a, uh, a bad idea for a Spin-Bot?"

"Naw. I mean, if it spun all the time, it wouldn't be happy. There has to be some not-spinning for it to know what spinning is. You know?"

"That didn't make any sense."

"Oh, well. Spin, Spin-Bot! Spin! Good Spin-Bot."

"So, uh, is that all it does?"

"What, spin?"

"Yeah."

"Well, yeah. It's a Spin-Bot."

"And you made it for what reason again?"

"Dunno. Makes me happy."

"It does?"

"Sure. Spin, Spin-Bot! Spin! See? Look how happy it is."

"That's it being happy. How does that make you happy?"

"Dunno. It just does."

"So you made a Spin-Bot, that loves to spin."

"Well, sure. What, you think I'd make a Spin-Bot that hated to spin? How cruel would that be? What sort of monster are you?"

"Hey, it wasn't a suggestion."

"Well, good."

"It is pretty good at spinning."

"I should hope so. That would almost be worse, a Spin-Bot that couldn't spin. That would be terrible. You're really on a mean kick today."

"I am not."

"Are too. I spent a lot of time getting Spin-Bot to spin. It took hours to get the balance right. It would start to spin then tip over and crash. That made Spin-Bot really sad. But it's better now, aren't you, Spin-Bot? Spin, Spin-Bot! Spin!"

"So you made a robot that spins, and enjoys spinning."

"Yeah."

"Doesn't do anything else."

"No, not really."

"You're weird."

"But happy."

"I guess."

"Well, I'm gonna get back to work."

"What are you doing?"

"Making a robot that can tell Spin-Bot to spin. I'm getting tired of having to do it myself."

- Sun Ra

Columns by Sun Ra