Tapping into some strange AI zeitgeist, the post asking what exactly he should print has blown up. The thread has produced 3875 comments and hundreds of suggestions, with the overwhelming favorite being this “Ghost In The Machine” inspired approach:
Give the printer ‘sentience’ gradually. Start off with just some errors like random alt & unicode letters & symbols. Slowly get on track to printing roman alphabets mixed in. Then, mix in some simple words like ‘hi’, ‘help’, ‘do’, etc,. Simple sentences come next. Nothing extravagant, maybe, ‘can you read this’ ‘i am printer’, etc,. Move up in complexity til you reach perfect grammar and longer sentences. Talking printer.
The thread goes on to provide many variations on this theme, as the concept of an anthropomorphic printer is somehow extremely resonant with the Redditors and beyond. “This is beautiful,” wrote one commenter. “When the machines finally take over I hope they remember those little acts of decency.”
It’s great to see a technological spin on the age-old art of pranking, like streaking or prank calling, an art that threatens to be lost in a world where all names and facts are Googlable. Prank printing.
And I hope H3K9me2 actually prints all of the suggestions one by one: While the very meta “Print pictures of printers” has won my heart and “I think I’m finally getting the hang of this texting thing. -Grandma” is solid, I have to say that my favorite currently is “Blown up pic of nicholas cage (sic),” because pictures of Nicolas Cage are always hilarious.
No seriously, what would you do if your printer just randomly printed out a pic of Nicolas Cage? You’d be a monster if you didn’t laugh.