A comment by The Magic M about birthers failing a Turing Test, set me to thinking. I am old enough to remember when this was still topical. ELIZA was a computer script written by Joseph Weizenbaum at MIT designed to imitate a human psychiatric patient. DOCTOR was another program designed to make responses like a Rogerian psychotherapist. The programs didn’t understand much and the natural language processing was primitive. When the two programs processed each other’s responses, sometimes the exchanges would get pretty funny as I recall. Here is a fairly tame example from the Wikipedia:
Birthers are a lot better at natural language processing than these early computer scripts, but in terms of an insightful response, they are sometimes no better. For example, I tried to explain why I disagree with birthers. I said:
You may recall Jerry Collette, the author if the DIY Ballot Challenge. He brought a case in Florida. I exchanged emails with him, and got to know him a little. Because I respected the fellow, I took some time to explain exactly why I thought what he was doing was wrong-headed. In the article I wrote for him, I detailed at length why I think birthers are misinformed, and why I have arrived at an opposite conclusion.
If you’re interested, the link is here. It’s off topic to dump it all here.
And in reply I got this:
We’ve been usurped. We’re being coup’d. And you foster it. cultivate it. promote it. want it.
REALITY CHECK. check.
Given the lack of creativity of birther responses, one might well use DOCTOR in responding to them, such as in response the preceding:
How did you feel about being usurped?
A Rogerian dialog with a real birther is something I’ve wanted to do, but never had an opportunity for an extended exchange.
I get more responsive replies sometimes, but “Why do you hate America?” or “Are you an American” or “That’s Obot disinformation” are what seems more common. Certainly many of those responses could have been easily scripted. Oh, and the gerbils.