Maripat Robison

Maripat Robison

Oct 10, 2013

It's Official - I'm A Bot

I've just made a horrible discovery about myself. 

Since I married John and started hanging out with the Aspergers crowd, I've gotten used to being maybe the 150th smartest person in a room of 150 people. It's no big deal, even though I started out with such promise, skipping the 3rd grade and all.  I know that's a sad intellectual claim to fame, but I can admit that I don't have the brainpower my mate has. So what if I'm not good at puzzles, pattern recognition, or logic tests?  I'm a great speller: *ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM*. 
It used to be that when I was alone in the room, I was the smartest in the room. Really, really smart. 

I'm sorry to say that's now been spoiled for me as well. You might know what I'm talking about. It's that horrible CAPTCHA test I have to keep taking over and over to prove my intelligence is not artificial. I fail it all the time. 

The first time it happened, I was outraged. I had just written a series of witty and insightful remarks countering an imbecilic post about how honesty is important in sex (wait till you are 50+ standing naked in front of a window at 8 am, and we'll see how you feel about sexual honesty then, Zach Rosenberg) and because I couldn't find a way to replicate those squirmy letters, I wasn't able to leave my comment. 

Why? Why was I so bad at these? Unwilling to admit that I had been skating by for years because I could surreptitiously check definitions on my iPhone behind my napkin at the dinner table, I went right to the source...Google Scholar...where I found this:

 Finally, an explanation!  After reading this fascinating chapter,  I understand CAPTCHAs, and I don't have to add failing Turing tests to my list of other insecurities (fatness, wrinkles, something-in-my-nose, shortness, frumpiness, not-being-funny). And if I ever do fail again, I have another acronym: Cannot Actually Print The Crap Here Accurately, so I won't have to feel too bad about being artificially intelligent, either.



  1. Don't feel badly Maripat. I used to feel much the same way that you often do when working with John. His mind is so fast and quick to grasp complex relationships that I once had to ask him if he has a photographic memory. Regarding the CAPTCHA insecurities; a good alternative may be to option for clicking on the audio version when available. ...and don't feel badly about losing your pithy statements. It’s happened to me more than once (I don't think that I made it through your CAPTCHA process here on first attempt) as well and I'm willing to bet that we are hardly to only ones. Here's a good tip that works for me; compose in Word first, spell check and save it and then copy to the comment box of choice. Should that not get through the CAPTCHA process, all is not lost, just cut and paste again.
    By the way...we just had a "Code Red" Bear warning in our town. Seems that the "bear seen in our area" is "attacking livestock." Yikes!! Run for shelter!!!
    Go Peace Pug!

  2. Maripat, you really crack me up!

    (This comment was spell-checked.)

  3. I felt that way when I went to work at Candela Laser. All my life beforehand, I had been smart. I felt smart. Then I went to work at the laser company where all my colleagues were PhD physicists. Not only did I feel stupid, they assured me I was, or at least that they were smarter.

    I consoled myself with the realization that I would still fare better than most of them in a barroom brawl, or in the midst of widespread natural disaster, or stranded deep in the woods.

    Now, almost thirty years have passed. Animal attacks, muggers, hurricanes, and nature has taken its toll. Those guys from the laser company - most of them got eaten back in 11, when the power failed and the animals went wild. And I'm still here.

    I almost didn't leave this comment though. The Captcha thing caught me, and I about ran out of patience

    1. They really got eaten, or is that a figure of speech?

  4. Heidi Ehrenreich10/10/13, 5:10 PM

    OK, I am not alone! Thank goodness. I have no sense of direction, failed FAILED, geography, geometry and sewing. I learned to become a behavior problem just to get out of sewing and be sent to the principal's office who loved me and said " Oh Heidi dear, come in, you must be in sewing. Shall we have some tea?"

  5. John must be posting the money thing. Think I know him a little too well. I can spell. My fingers are just too big for the keys. WOOF!

  6. John quit asking for money. Maripat I'm not as smart as my aspie 17 year old son. Have a master's plus. Glad my son met John. WOOF!

  7. For me, its heaven to be the "dumbest" in the room. I adore smart people. Keep up the great writing and remember, as long as I'm around, you'll always be smarter than at least one person in this particular room!

  8. You are not alone on this, I sometimes want to slam my keyboard on the desk, shattering it into a bunch of small pieces! I can't seem to figure out the letters/number's and then my husband who is photographic, just likes to learn things because and has advanced education in "advanced nerd math", just walks over and does it the first time!

  9. But I think you are probably the most BEAUTIFUL person in that room full of asppeople

    (OK I'm her sister)

  10. I have flown under the radar most of my life, figuring that no one would expect much of me, but life with my Asperger's husband has forced me into the ring, and defending why my way might be better than his way.
    He's brilliant. He works in ballistic missile defense, making sure all the equipment talks to one another and plays nicely, trouble shoots for others on the fly, and helps make our world a safer place, all the while, on a moving ship out on the bounding main. But he can't re-string the weed whacker. That's my job, and I'll take those little victories where ever I find them.

  11. We married half man half machine, we married Spock, we married superior intelligence we married the future, we married a wolf, we married a child........u see there is a spectrum in to the spectrum.The good news is Aspbergers is contagious: )and John, if given the choice i prefer the new electric Porshe;)

  12. In one blog post you work in being dumb and smart, witty and outraged, milling about a party of 150 to standing naked in the window at 8am (which begs some explanation of its own - mirror OK, but window?), and a whole list of insecurities. If in fact you are a bot, you are a VERY clever bot. I know lots of actual people who should be so lucky.

    P.S. - Can you and some of your bot friends please crawl my web site? It's kinda low-ranked.


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