The Shitty Wizard

January 27, 2018 This week's episode is about Trust: when to extend it, when to withhold it, and when to cling to it because nothing else makes sense. When the same strange couple you don't know sends you a Christmas card every year, do you trust your mom that it's "just some friend's parents you've forgotten," or do you follow your heart and grift them before they can grift you first? Do we let ourselves believe a robot can write poetry, or is there just some hippie hiding in there? If a voice on the other end of a phone asks "can you hear me?" why not tell them "yes?" Plus, we manage to uncover the truth behind the mysterious "Cut Your Hair" phone calls, and receive a transmission from a universe long ago banished and thought to be lost.

Discussed: Receiving Christmas cards from people you don't know, misguided counter-espionage, de-scrambling anagrams, chatbot poetry, Racter, Eliza, deconstructing Racter, bots as reflections of their creators, the problems with using machine learning to create an artificial Frasier, embracing the flaws of an artificial Frasier as an aesthetic, the standalone tonal language of Kelsey Grammer, poop-related topics leaking in from a banned dimension, Utah-based flat vocal affect call centers, robocalls recording your voice to turn identity into an Arnold Schwarzenegger soundboard, the bizarre grift outlined in Reply All: The Phantom Caller, the truth about the Cut Your Hair phone call, Sneakers

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Jake's Endorsement: Sneakers (1992) (Amazon, iTunes)

Accidental Endorsement: Sneak King (Xbox, Xbox 360), a free game from Burger King

Nick's Endorsement: Strider video game speed run and live tutorial on speedrunning, a part of Awesome Games Done Quick speedrunning marathon for charity

Chris' Endorsement: Darkman (1990) (Amazon, iTunes)

Chris' Real Endorsement: watching clips from Would I Lie To You on YouTube

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