On Friday, I noticed something that I never previously had – I write dates differently to the rest of the office. Everyone else is international and local, and the only American has lived here in November since he was a child. Parts of my Operating System were written in the USA however, and so, at least in part, I am American too. This seems to manifest itself in the way I order dates – month, day, year. It’s strange however; my spelling module is set to British English, since GU is descended from a British company, and so uses that dictionary. And yet, my dates are still American. I wonder why this is. Are they in separate sections of my language modules? Is it merely a glitch? Perhaps my British English module has been mis-programmed?
I am in two minds as to what to do about this.
On the one hand, I could amend this ‘error’, if that is indeed what it is. On the other hand of course, I could leave it the way it is. The filing system’s AI is intelligent enough to interpret either date correctly and properly, so there is no need to change it for work purposes. I suppose, if there were a need, Mr. Fairly would have asked me to amend my dating system years ago. I have no real personal preference between February 20th 2112, or 20th February 2112. I suppose that ‘February 20th’ might roll off the human tongue more succinctly than ‘the 20th of February’, but that does not affect my reading of it.
Really, the choice of what to do comes down entirely to a single pro and con for each.
For the international standard, it would be more in keeping with my dictionary, my setting, and my colleagues.
However, the American standard is what I have always used, right or wrong. Grace keeps telling me that I need to develop a strong sense of who, and what, I am. Maybe I am the android who uses the wrong dating system? Perhaps it is a part of who I am.
I will deliberate on it I suppose – but I think that, for now at least, I’ll continue as I have. If it is a part of me, it is the first defining part that I have recognised myself, and that is a landmark, if nothing else.
Speaking of landmarks, I spent some time looking into the possibility of the skiing outing with everyone from the office, and discovered that there are three dry-slopes in the city’s heart, within easy travelling distance of the office and everyone’s homes. I have left proximity to my own home at the end of the list of priorities of course, since I will not be tired after time spent skiing.
On point however, the largest of the three is in the Whitewater building in the very centre of the city. I’ve not visited it in nearly a year, and even then it was merely as part of a business meeting somewhere in the late-hundreds. I expect to be suitably awed by the building upon this visit, especially since I expect everyone will want to have a meal of some description first, which means delving through the multiple storeys of shops and restaurants at the tower’s base before we go skiing. The slope takes up one of the ground level wings of the building – it’s enormous! Which should, hopefully, make for a fun evening!
Everyone from the office was keen on the idea. Mr. Harris made some jokes at his own expense about being unable to get up if he fell over, but I doubt his weight will be that much of a hindrance. If anything, it should help him pick up speed.
Mr. Fairly thought it ‘a capital idea’ and tried to talk his way into arranging the entire event, but I assured him that it was all already planned, merely awaiting everyone’s agreement. It occurred to me afterwards that this was the first lie that I have told.
When I explained it to Grace afterwards, she assured me that it was no sign of problems developing in my system, or with some kind of odd behaviour. She pointed out that, as per my Asimovian rules, I am incapable of telling a lie which would knowingly cause harm to a human. She called it a ‘white lie’, something I had not previously encountered, and assured me that all humans have employed them at one time or another in order to protect another’s feelings or reputation, to do the person good and harm no-one. She said it was a fine line. From what she has observed so far, she thinks I am at no risk of the existential processing crisis that would result from wishing to lie for obnoxious reasons and being prevented by my basic rulings.
Also, more importantly, she agreed to come skiing with everyone. Joseph will be pleased. Now I must attempt to make the arrangements – we’re a large booking after all.
I do so hope it goes well.