Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Cake

Cornelius crashed into the doughnut man, sending red jelly into the air and strewing loosened sprinkles all over the floor.

"Are you gonna say excuse me?!" the doughnut man shouted after Cornelius' back.

"I have to make sure that we don't all die!" Cornelius yelled. His white lab coat flapped behind him as he lunged for the door to the Robotics Bay, which wooshed open. He scampered up the steps to the prototyping lab and flew down the hallway, yelling the name of his colleague.

"Victooooor doooon't tuuuuurn that robooooooot oooooon!"

His loafers slid on the floor as he rocketed into the room to find Victor standing before an enormous robot with enormous saw blades for hands and spikes along its chassis.

"Ah, Cornelius, you're just in time for me to turn it on!"

"Don't turn it on!" Cornelius gasped.

"Why not?"

"Because, because, hang on, whew, because I just noticed something in the schematics!"

"What is that?"

"Logic gate 813!"

"What about - oh yes, logic gate 813!" Victor said, smiling.

"If it's open, then the robots are programmed to go about their normal business of baking cakes."

"Yes," Victor said.

"...and if it's closed, they kill all humans!"

"Yes," Victor said.

Cornelius stood there for a moment, wondering if the lack of oxygen in his brain made him mis-hear his colleague.

"I said that, depending on that switch, they'll either bake cakes for all humans or kill all humans!"

"Yes. I did that on purpose."


"It's on purpose. Oh, and that logic gate, 813? That's the date that I got married to my ex-wife," Victor said with a chortle.

"Why would you do that?"

"Because I hated her."

"No, why would you have a logic gate control it?"

"Oh, right. Because it's a simple test to determine whether the logic schematic is successful or not. When they're activated, we'll either all be full of cake or dead."

Cornelius' mouth opened.

"It's putting our butts on the line to make sure that we know what we're doing! Our actions have consequences, you know. Someday you'll learn that. Here goes," Victor said, throwing the switch on the robot.

The saws wound up and let out a whine like a pack of hellhounds in cages that could smell the smoky, meaty souls of the damned. The robot began to swing them from side to side. Victor fell backwards, trying to get out of the way.

But they never came close to him, as several eggs were ejected into the air from egg cannons and the saws moved up to intercept them and crack the shells and fling the yokes into a bowl that now came out of the robot's chest on a spindly actuator.

Hours later, when Victor and Cornelius had eaten themselves sick with cake, they toasted.

"To death or cake!"

The Moral: less is more - when devising a robot to crack eggs, you really only need one sawblade.

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