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Klaatu barada Santa: Cyper St. Entropy enters museum space

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog
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My co-authors for this year’s Xmas post are John Simmons and Sally Shelton. We firmly maintain that we have not and will never be replaced by cheaply constructed androids.

‘Twas the Night before Christmas, a snowy cold night,
While making my rounds I’d just turned off the light.
The exhibits were lovely, with faint dustings of snow―
Oh, wait. That’s just arsenic. (at least it’s not blow!)
The loans had been processed, the donations accessioned,
Documents filed, requests re-refreshened.
And, after arranging the hors-d’oeuvres by size,
The curators left early to un-socialize.
(They had not much to do in the way of curation—
Our objects had been through full digitization.
Reality morphed into bits and to bytes—
The managers shifted to researching rights.)
No creature was stirring in any direction—
Our mice were all wireless, no cords there for flexion.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
(with good 3D glasses they appeared to be there).
And I, in a case study, studying cases,
Wondered if we had all covered our bases.
If anyone came in to see the real thing,
All we could offer was pixels and bling.
And what if visitors didn’t have smart phones or iPads?
If our fancy-pants apps went the way of all fads?
When, what to my bloodshot eyes suddenly glared
But an actinic light at the top of the stairs.
(It’s a good thing we didn’t use retinal scans
In our high-tech and high-price security plans.)
And then, in an instant, I heard on my phone
Scraping sounds made by a pilot-less drone.
As I turned to find ammo, I heard a strange sound,
As Cyber St. Entropy crashed to the ground.
His eyes, they were lasers. His face, much like Gort’s.
He was shiny and sleek, and just lousy with ports.
Whirring sounds came from his joints and his belly,
Which could have held gallons of holiday jelly.
He had a small bag, nothing much, nothing finer—
It turns out the elves had been outsourced to China.
All of its contents beeped, hummed, glowed, or sparked,
And his sleigh flashed erratically where it was parked.
He spoke not a word at first, then started talking,
Sounding a bit too much like Stephen Hawking.
He reprogrammed our systems, access and entry,
To keep out the riff-raff but let in the gentry
He added great handfuls of memory freely,
So our digital holdings could for once be seen clearly.
He lit up the galleries in LED modes,
And replaced all the labels with new QR-Codes
Making use of the latest Augmented Reality
He programmed our dinos to engage in depravity
While checking our finances’ state of liquidity,
He nuked the AS virus (Artificial Stupidity).
Then, checking his work to see what he’d beget
He pressed down the button labeled “reset.”
And, laying a digital digit to nose,
While blinking all ports, to the ether he rose.
But I heard him exclaim as his drone-sleigh took wing
“Next year I expect you to show the “real thing!””

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