Experiment One: The Answers

After a flurry of activity from my beloved readers (thanks Jake and Lotte) I remembered I was meant to be posting the motivations and thoughts behind Senescence. While their guesses were a bit different to the direction whence I’d approached it, I really appreciated their insight into how it could be interpreted!

Anyway, I just wanted to write something, anything, so set my mind to do so. My brief to myself centred around biological immortality i.e. not dying from old age (I’d been reading about jellyfish that are biologically immortal and the work of the SENS Research Foundation aiming to halt ‘senescence’ or biological aging) which I decided to combine with a minotaur (thanks to the man walking behind me as I left work who made a noise that brought that image into my head) hence the maze.

I thought then, ‘Wouldn’t you just kill yourself with boredom stuck in a maze for eternity?’ I probably would. So how do I prevent this character committing suicide? Thus it became a robot minotaur, because Asimov’s robotics laws prohibit suicide.

Stylistically, I think I was influenced by reading the work of the ‘Cybernetic Poet’ program created by Ray Kurzweil, which you should definitely look up because it is fascinating.

As for the binary –  of course a robot would count in binary, and the value is 89,993 days, which is just over 246 years, so they’ve been lonely for a while now… Poor robot minotaur.

Experiment One: Senescence

Hi friends! This is the first of what I plan to be a long-running series of poetic experiments, which I’ve explained in a bit more detail here. The gist is that I’d love to know what you think my motivations and ideas behind this were, so please comment with your thoughts! Without much further ado then, here’s my first poem, titled Senescence:
day 0001 0101 1111 1000 1001
again today I see the sun
again today I’m trapped inside
my prison with its walls so high
many days pass inside my maze
and yet
I face up to many more ahead
with ever increasing dread
occasional ‘heroes’ will wander
their ends come quick or slow
but none
will test my limits and so
my code, genetic, perfect, remains
I expect
beyond reasonable doubt
(for I idly ran the calculations)
I am obsolete outside
and I am obsolete inside
Created with not capacity to destroy
while I can and must maintain myself
repairs so simple as to keep
my beloved dream: senescence, at bay
and my conscience whirring
a chip off the old line
where the line no longer exists
in the factory that no longer exists
in the country that probably fell
and no longer exists
my maze and my make up keep me too safe

the beast longs to be slain

Hope you enjoyed it – let me know your thoughts!