Dream of a talking rooster
We were having lively discussion in a park, sitting around a few bottles of beer. The discussion was surrounding the topic of whether we could, eventually, model human reasoning in a computer program. The discussion seemed to flow directly from the conversation in The Cambridge Quintet by John L. Casti.
One of the participants suddenly said: “Actually, it is not very hard. Not at all.”
Every head turned around, facing the interlocutor. All seemed very interested.
The interlocutor said: “I have been able to switch easily between human reasoning mode and chicken reasoning mode. We even have systematic methodologies to teach human reasoning to our chicks. Every word, every concept, every idea in human knowledge has been semantically mapped to chicken language. To a human, a chicken language is probably not very different from a computer programming language…”
Something suddenly hit me. Our guest here was not human, he is a rooster. I interrupted in a hurry: “Hold on, hold on, just hold on please. Someone please give me a camcorder, I need to record the conversation.”
We were looking in our bags to see if there was a camcorder available, another person was twiddling with his mobile phone to see if it could record live video. Out of the blue, a few pedestrians on the street started running and shouting in panic: “Flood! Flood! Flood!”. We all turned around, into in the direction where the pedestrians were running away from. A huge muddy wave was roaring towards us, swallowing along the way, trees, bicycles, and something that from a distance, looked like babies.
Despite the numbness in our legs, we rushed to our apartment very quickly. Standing on the second floor balcony, we had the impression that the building was shaking, as the flood still thundered below. However, it didn’t take very long to calm down. As the white foam withdrew and revealed the muddy water, greenish eyes popped from below the water. The head of crocodiles, or alligators, we could not differentiate anyways, floated up. Lots of them.
We watched with amazement. I looked around, and saw a few rocks in the plant pot. I picked one up, threw it hard on the head of a crocodile, right in between the eyes. The crocodile cocked its head, squinted at me with its greenish and yellowish eyes. It was the color of the muddy water, but crystal clear. I grinned mischievously. The crocodile groaned with a low-pitched voice, which, amid the surrounding noises, sounded indistinctly to me like: “You bastard!”.
The crocodile swam slowly in our direction, and was now right below us. With a great whoosh sound, it suddenly jumped out of water, trying to bite us. We could smell the bad breadth out of its mouth…
I woke up in sweat.