30min before the PM, Wife of PM shown at the end
But isn't it a little too early to make plans when no deal has been signed yet?
-----Never mind that. It isn't going to be a problem! We've got a
wonderful legal team to handle everything.
-----Start taking notes, though. I think I've got a few things I want
changed before we move in.
The rest of their conversation gets lost in the chatter of our other
I don't want to make any assumptions yet, but their sheer interest is enough to give me some semblance of hope.
Oh, please, please, please let these guys be the one!
Eventually, our group reaches the kitchen.
I never had a guidance counselor who thought this was a legitimate career path, that thought you could major in trivia or be a professional ex-game show contestant. And so I sold out way too young. I didn't try to figure out what one does with that. I studied computers because I heard that was the thing, and I became a computer programmer -- not an especially good one, not an especially happy one at the time when I was first on "Jeopardy" in 2004. But that's what I was doing.
and memory also, if I may add to that.
Please? Humor me just this once?
She clasps her hand together in front of her, eyes pleading for
And I do understand!
...To some extent.
That doesn't mean I'll feel any less awful!
Whether at myself, at the unlucky turn the situation has taken, or for her, I don't really know.
Fine. Okay. I'll step aside for now.
Those are the two choices we have. I know which future I would rather be living in. And we can all make that choice. We make that choice by being curious, inquisitive people who like to learn, who don't just say, "Well, as soon as the bell has rung and the class is over, I don't have to learn anymore," or "Thank goodness I have my diploma. I'm done learning for a lifetime. I don't have to learn new things anymore." No, every day we should be striving to learn something new. We should have this unquenchable curiosity for the world around us. That's where the people you see on "Jeopardy" come from. These know-it-alls, they're not Rainman-style savants sitting at home memorizing the phone book. I've met a lot of them. For the most part, they are just normal folks who are universally interested in the world around them, curious about everything, thirsty for this knowledge about whatever subject.
But yet again! Is it television we are watching? what about that then?
OK... Nothing. Just forget about it.
——How are you?
——I am good ,How are you ?
——Good.Do you speak English?
——A little.Are you American?
——Where are you from?
——I am from California.
——Nice to meet you.
——Nice to meet you too.
——Excuse me,are you American?
——Do you speak English？
——A little，but not very well.
——How long have you been here?
——What do you do for work?
——I am a student.How about you?
——I am a student too.
——Excuse me,what's your name?
——My name is Jessica.What's yours?
——You speak English very well.
——Do you know what time it is?
——Sure.It's 5:10 PM.
——What did you say?
——I said it's 5:10 PM.
——Hi Amy.What's up?
——I am looking for the airport.Can you tell me how to get there?
——No,sorry.I don't know.
——I think I can take the subway to the airport.Do you know where the subway is?
——sure,it's over there.
——Where?I don't see it.
——Across the street.
——Oh,I see it now.Thanks.
——Do you know if there's a restroom around here?
——Yes,there's one here.It's in the store.
——Hi Sarah,how are you?
——Fine,how are you doing?
——What do you want to do?
——I'm hungry.I'd like to eat something.
——Where do you want to go?
——I'd like to go to an Italian restaurant.
——what king of Italian food do you like?
——I like spaghetti.(意大利面）Do you like spaghetti?
——No,I don't,but I like pizza.
——David,would you like something to eat?
——No I'm full.
——Do you want something to drink?
——Yes,I'd like some coffee.
——Sorry,I don't have any coffee.
——That's OK.I'll have a glass of water.
——A small glass or a big one?
——Here you go.
——You are welcome.
——Mary,would like to get something to eat with me?
——At 10 O'clock.
——10 in the morning?
——Sorry,that's too late.I usually go to bed around 10:00 PM.
——OK,how about 1:30 PM?
——No,that's too early.I'll still be at work then.
——How about 5:00 PM.
——OK,see you then.
——Sam,would you like to have dinner with me?
——Yes.That would be nice.When do you want to go?
——Is today OK?
——Sorry,i can't go today.
——How about tomorrow night?
——Is 9:00 PM all right?
——I think that's too late.
——Is 6:00 PM OK?
——Yes,that's good.Where would you like to go?
——The restaurant on 5th street.
——Oh,I don't know that Restaurant.I don't want to go there.
——How about the Chinese restaurant next to it?
——OK,I like that place.
——What are you planning to do today?
——I'm not sure yet.
——Would you like to have lunch with me?
——Is 11:30 AM OK?
——Sorry,I didn't hear you.Can you say that again please?
——I said,11:30 AM.
——Oh,I'm busy then.Can we meet a little later?
——OK,how about 12:30 PM?
——How about Bill's Seafood Restaurant?
——Oh,Where is that?
——It's on 7th Street.
——OK,I'll meet you there.
——Hello sir,welcome to the French Garden Restaurant.How many?
——Right this way.Please have a seat.Your waitress will be with you in a moment.
——Hello sir,would you like to order now?
——What would you like to drink?
——What do you have?
——We have bottled water,juice,and Coke.
——I'll have a bottle of water please.
——What would you like to eat?
——I'll have a tuna fish sandwich and a bowl of vegetable soup.
——Chris,where are you going?
——I'm going to the store.I need to buy something.
——Really?I need to go to the store too.
——Would you like to come with me?
——Yeah,let's go together.
——Would you like to go now or later?
——Now would be better.
——Should we walk?
——No,it's too far.Let's drive.
——Laura,what are going to do today?
——I'm going shopping.
——What time are you leaving?
——I'm going to leave around 4 O'clock.
——Will you buy a ham sandwich for me at the store?
——Do you have enough money?
——I'm not sure.
——How much do you have?
——25 dollars.Do you think that's enough?
——That's not very much.
——I think it's OK.I also have two credit cards.
——Let me give you another ten dollars.
——Thanks.See you later.
——How have you been?
——Not too good.
——Sorry to hear that.
——It's OK.It's not serious.
——That's good.How's your wife?
——She is good.
——Is she in America now?
——No,she is not here yet.
——Where is she?
——She's in Canada with our kids.
——I see.I have to go now.Please tell your wife I said hi.
——OK,I'll talk to you later.
——I hope you feel better.
——Robert,this is my friend,Mrs.Smith.
——Hi,Nice to meet you.
——Nice to meet you too.
——Mrs.Smith,what do you do for work?
——I'm a doctor.
——Oh.Where do you work?
——New York University hospital in New York City.What do you do?
——I'm a teacher.
——What do you teach?
——I teach English.
——At a high school in New Jersey.
——That's nice.How old are you?
——Hello sir,may I help you?
——Yes.Can I see that shirt on the top shelf please?
——Sure.Here it is.
——How much does it cost?
——50 dollars.That's too much.
——How about this one?It's on sale for only 35 dollars.
——I don't like that one.
——How about the one next to the black gloves?It's very similar to the one you like.
——That's nice.How much is it?
——That'll be fine.
——Is this color OK,or would you like a different color?
——That blue one's fine.
——Do you need any more of these shirts?
——How many do you want?
——I'll take two more,a red one and a white one.
——Excuse me,I'm looking for the Holiday Inn.Do you know where it is?
——sure.It's down this street on the left.
——Is it far from here?
——No,it's not far.
——How far is it?
——About a mile and a half.
——How long does it take to get there?
——5 minutes or so.
——Is it close to the subway station?
——Yes,it's very close.The subway station is next to the hotel.You can walk there.
——Thanks a lot.
——Excuse me.Do you know how to get to the mall?
——Sure,I used to work there.Go straight for about a mile,then turn left at the light.The mall will be on the right.
——Do you know the address?
——Yes,the address is 541 Main street.
——Can you write it down for me please?
——Is it faster if I take Highland avenue?
——No,that way is longer.There are more stop lights on that street.
——I think you're right.Thank you.
——What's today's date?
——It's July 5th.
——when are you going on vacation?
——I'm leaving on Sunday.We're going to Canada.
——Really?The day after tomorrow?That's very soon.
——Yeah I know.
——How long are you going to stay there?
——About 2 weeks.
——When are you coming back?
——I'm coming back on the 17th.
——Alright.Have a nice trip.
——Joseph,who is that woman?
——What does she do for work?
——She's a lawyer.
——Is she American?
——No,but she speaks English fluently.
——She's really tall.Do you know her?
——Yes,I know her.We're friends.
——Who's that man standing next to her?
——That short guy on her right.What's his name?
——He's really good looking.
——Do you know him?
——I don't know him,but I think my sister does.
——Is he married?
——I remember now.I met him before.
——Brian,do you know how to speak English?
——Where did you learn?
——I learned in college.
——You speak really well.
——How long have you been in the US?
——Is your wife with you?
——Yes,she just got here yesterday.
——Have you been to California before?
——No.I have never been there.
——Have you ever been to Las Vegas?
——Yes.I went there once on a business trip.
Color hasn't even returned to your cheeks, yet! Just stay here, alright? Don't even think of going anywhere.
The third reason I said yes is because I was pretty confident that I was going to win. I had taken some artificial intelligence classes. I knew there were no computers that could do what you need to do to win on "Jeopardy." People don't realize how tough it is to write that kind of program that can read a "Jeopardy" clue in a natural language like English and understand all the double meanings, the puns, the red herrings, unpack the meaning of the clue. The kind of thing that a three- or four-year-old human, little kid could do, very hard for a computer. And I thought, well this is going to be child's play. Yes, I will come destroy the computer and defend my species. (Laughter)
Sorry, I'm talking about Julian Barnes here.
That's it from his A History of the World in 10 1/2 chapters:
We'll be taking a tour of the mansion in two groups. Please make sure you've filled up our sign-in forms before joining a specific group.
Those who want to look around the first floor, please follow my partner. I will be guiding the ones who wish to see the ground floor.
Hearing this, a few wander towards me. They are mostly old ladies who seem daunted at the idea of climbing all those stairs.
~~~~~Miss McCollough also joins our group. But what really catches my
eye is the elegantly-dressed pair she approaches.
???~It's so nice to finally meet you! When Chief Inspector Lee
mentioned that a famous interior designer is in town, I knew I had to
~~~~~Your... confidence in my skills is very flattering, ma'am.
???I'm sure you won't disappoint, Marianne.
'???~' Oh. You know each other?
~~~~~Not at all, Ma'am.
???You mentioned something about a 'Marianne' on our way here,
???~Oh... yes. I think I did.
Ah. They must be the clients she was talking about.
I might have seen their faces somewhere before... some magazine? Or the television? I can't quite remember.
But then again, most of our guests have likely ended up on the news, one way or another! I won't be surprised if these two have, too!
For people who are popular, though, they aren't dressed as... loudly as the others, and in their simplicity, the couple stands out.
The woman, in particular, is stunning enough to turn the heads of most people in my group, especially the men with wandering eyes.
The guy standing beside her doesn't seem to mind, though.
And if I'm going to be a bit bolder with my assumptions, I'll say he's basking in the attention.
Both of them, in fact! Peas in a pod.
I'll think they are brother and sister if it isn't for their public display of affection!
The matching rings on their fingers just cement the fact that they are, indeed, a couple.
Couple or not, what's important is we get this deal closed, before the current owners can even think of cancelling the listing agreement.
I just hope one of the people in my or Rose's group is brave and generous enough to buy this mansion.
And so, with papers in hand, I lead the way.
So me and the other human player wound up at this secret IBM research lab in the middle of these snowy woods in Westchester County to play the computer. And we realized right away that the computer had a big home court advantage. There was a big Watson logo in the middle of the stage. Like you're going to play the Chicago Bulls, and there's the thing in the middle of their court. And the crowd was full of IBM V.P.s and programmers cheering on their little darling, having poured millions of dollars into this hoping against hope that the humans screw up, and holding up "Go Watson" signs and just applauding like pageant moms every time their little darling got one right. I think guys had "W-A-T-S-O-N" written on their bellies in grease paint. If you can imagine computer programmers with the letters "W-A-T-S-O-N" written on their gut, it's an unpleasant sight.
'We make up a story to cover the facts we don't know or can't accept; we keep a few true facts and spin a new story round them. Our panic and our our pain are only eased by soothing fabulation; we call it history.'
Hey, I'm not angry.
I know. I'm sorry I ruined this for you.
Trivia whiz Ken Jennings has made a career as a keeper of facts; he holds the longest winning streak in history on the US quiz show Jeopardy. But in 2011, he played a challenge match against IBM's supercomputer Watson -- and lost. With humor and humility, Jennings tells us how it felt to have a computer literally beat him at his own game, and makes the case for good old-fashioned human knowledge.Published: Fri Apr 05 2013
Love, For what we live？Updated OS？New Apps？Or just a snap of moment, a flick of delight?
No, I'm not!
The great 18th-century British theologian and thinker, friend of Dr. Johnson, Samuel Parr once said, "It's always better to know a thing than not to know it." And if I have lived my life by any kind of creed, it's probably that. I have always believed that the things we know -- that knowledge is an absolute good, that the things we have learned and carry with us in our heads are what make us who we are, as individuals and as a species. I don't know if I want to live in a world where knowledge is obsolete. I don't want to live in a world where cultural literacy has been replaced by these little bubbles of specialty, so that none of us know about the common associations that used to bind our civilization together. I don't want to be the last trivia know-it-all sitting on a mountain somewhere, reciting to himself the state capitals and the names of "Simpsons" episodes and the lyrics of Abba songs. I feel like our civilization works when this is a vast cultural heritage that we all share and that we know without having to outsource it to our devices, to our search engines and our smartphones.
Isabella, we've already had a conversation about this weeks ago! Those are just stories!
And I'm telling you that it's not! I saw something in there. It's not… it's not human at all!
I thought it was just nothing, but isn't this letter proof enough—
She gently reaches out to pluck the paper off my hand.
Without even taking a glance at it, she folds it back neatly.
And I can't complain about this. I feel like that was always sort of my destiny, although I had for many years been pretty deeply in the trivia closet. If nothing else, you realize very quickly as a teenager, it is not a hit with girls to know Captain Kirk's middle name. (Laughter) And as a result, I was sort of the deeply closeted kind of know-it-all for many years. But if you go further back, if you look at it, it's all there. I was the kind of kid who was always bugging Mom and Dad with whatever great fact I had just read about -- Haley's comet or giant squids or the size of the world's biggest pumpkin pie or whatever it was. I now have a 10-year-old of my own who's exactly the same. And I know how deeply annoying it is, so karma does work. (Laughter)
What about without MIlk? Is it the Milk? Or is it ourselves?
October 21, Friday | Ermengarde Mansion | Afternoon
I'm not sure whether I should feel baffled or underdressed, standing in
Men and women of wealth and status, all dressed to the nines in fancy suits and lovely dresses of varying colors, compose the medium-sized crowd.
Their necks, arms, and fingers are adorned with silver and gold, glinting in the afternoon sun. Some even have ridiculously fancy feathered hats on their heads!
I really hope there aren't any magpies living nearby like in the stories. Those birds will have a field day in this!
They are murmuring among themselves, looking at the estate's facade appraisingly, with some arguing about whose mansion has the superior architecture.
They don't look too pleased at being ordered around, but what can they do about it?
We can live in one of these two worlds. We can live in a world where our brains, the things that we know, continue to be the thing that makes us special, or a world in which we've outsourced all of that to evil supercomputers from the future like Watson. Ladies and gentlemen, the choice is yours.
I know you want us to get this sale so badly. And we've made a lot of plans on how to go about this.
And I loved game shows, fascinated with game shows. I remember crying on my first day of kindergarten back in 1979 because it had just hit me, as badly as I wanted to go to school, that I was also going to miss "Hollywood Squares" and "Family Feud." I was going to miss my game shows. And later, in the mid-'80s, when "Jeopardy" came back on the air, I remember running home from school every day to watch the show. It was my favorite show, even before it paid for my house. And we lived overseas, we lived in South Korea where my dad was working, where there was only one English language TV channel. There was Armed Forces TV, and if you didn't speak Korean, that's what you were watching. So me and all my friends would run home every day and watch "Jeopardy."
My voice-->Star-->whose voice?
That's what you said earlier. I let it go because I thought, 'Hey, it's your own body and you should know more than anyone how you feel!'
The advantage of volume, first, just has to do with the complexity of the world nowadays. There's so much information out there. Being a Renaissance man or woman, that's something that was only possible in the Renaissance. Now it's really not possible to be reasonably educated on every field of human endeavor. There's just too much. They say that the scope of human information is now doubling every 18 months or so, the sum total of human information. That means between now and late 2014, we will generate as much information, in terms of gigabytes, as all of humanity has in all the previous millenia put together. It's doubling every 18 months now. This is terrifying because a lot of the big decisions we make require the mastery of lots of different kinds of facts. A decision like where do I go to school? What should I major in? Who do I vote for? Do I take this job or that one? These are the decisions that require correct judgments about many different kinds of facts. If we have those facts at our mental fingertips, we're going to be able to make informed decisions. If, on the other hand, we need to look them all up, we may be in trouble. According to a National Geographic survey I just saw, somewhere along the lines of 80 percent of the people who vote in a U.S. presidential election about issues like foreign policy cannot find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map. If you can't do that first step, are you really going to look up the other thousand facts you're going to need to know to master your knowledge of U.S. foreign policy? Quite probably not. At some point you're just going to be like, "You know what? There's too much to know. Screw it." And you'll make a less informed decision.
You're clearly not yourself. And I honestly could use some time not worrying when you'll fall over or not.
In two weeks time, that's the ninth anniversary of the day I first stepped out onto that hallowed "Jeopardy" set. I mean, nine years is a long time. And given "Jeopardy's" average demographics, I think what that means is most of the people who saw me on that show are now dead. (Laughter) But not all, a few are still alive. Occasionally I still get recognized at the mall or whatever. And when I do, it's as a bit of a know-it-all. I think that ship has sailed, it's too late for me. For better or for worse, that's what I'm going to be known as, as the guy who knew a lot of weird stuff.
Something reminds me of the Episode ONE! history?
(It was a nice night, used to be)
Isabella, do you need me to call that ambulance?
She offers me a drink but I push it away.
I need to get out of here before I cause an even bigger commotion; clear my head, take a breath of fresh air—
Anything to take my mind off things.
No one is going to believe me anyway.
No. I—I'm just feeling a bit out of it.
Excuse me, I'll be back. I just... need to catch my breath.
Now when facts come in handy like that -- I love that story because it shows you the power of one fact, one remembered fact in exactly the right place at the right time -- normally something that's easier to see on game shows than in real life. But in this case it happened in real life. And it happens in real life all the time. It's not always a tsunami, often it's a social situation. It's a meeting or job interview or first date or some relationship that gets lubricated because two people realize they share some common piece of knowledge. You say where you're from, and I say, "Oh, yeah." Or your alma mater or your job, and I know just a little something about it, enough to get the ball rolling. People love that shared connection that gets created when somebody knows something about you. It's like they took the time to get to know you before you even met. That's often the advantage of time. And it's not effective if you say, "Well, hold on. You're from Fargo, North Dakota. Let me see what comes up. Oh, yeah. Roger Maris was from Fargo." That doesn't work. That's just annoying. (Laughter)
The penguin! （我最喜欢的就是企鹅哈哈！赞飞了）
So, are we good?
I'm still not okay with it, but...
Rose has a point.
It's better for me to step out of this one for now.
I won't be able to help you anyways if I keep getting distracted like this. Maybe I'll just take a walk outside or something, while I wait for you to wrap things up.
But as the years went on, as IBM started throwing money and manpower and processor speed at this, I started to get occasional updates from them, and I started to get a little more worried. I remember a journal article about this new question answering software that had a graph. It was a scatter chart showing performance on "Jeopardy," tens of thousands of dots representing "Jeopardy" champions up at the top with their performance plotted on number of -- I was going to say questions answered, but answers questioned, I guess, clues responded to -- versus the accuracy of those answers. So there's a certain performance level that the computer would need to get to. And at first, it was very low. There was no software that could compete at this kind of arena. But then you see the line start to go up. And it's getting very close to what they call the winner's cloud. And I noticed in the upper right of the scatter chart some darker dots, some black dots, that were a different color. And thought, what are these? "The black dots in the upper right represent 74-time 'Jeopardy' champion Ken Jennings." And I saw this line coming for me. And I realized, this is it. This is what it looks like when the future comes for you. (Laughter) It's not the Terminator's gun sight; it's a little line coming closer and closer to the thing you can do, the only thing that makes you special, the thing you're best at.
The Milk before th performance, Cuppliance
To be A star?
'AUthenticity is in woefully short supply.' Hope
I mean, who wouldn't? This is the first time I've been assigned to a property like this.
If you watch the news, you'll see occasionally -- and I see this all the time -- that pharmacists now, there's a machine that can fill prescriptions automatically without actually needing a human pharmacist. And a lot of law firms are getting rid of paralegals because there's software that can sum up case laws and legal briefs and decisions. You don't need human assistants for that anymore. I read the other day about a program where you feed it a box score from a baseball or football game and it spits out a news article as if a human had watched the game and was commenting on it. And obviously these new technologies can't do as clever or creative a job as the humans they're replacing, but they're faster, and crucially, they're much, much cheaper. So it makes me wonder what the economic effects of this might be. I've read economists saying that, as a result of these new technologies, we'll enter a new golden age of leisure when we'll all have time for the things we really love because all these onerous tasks will be taken over by Watson and his digital brethren. I've heard other people say quite the opposite, that this is yet another tier of the middle class that's having the thing they can do taken away from them by a new technology and that this is actually something ominous, something that we should worry about.
It's different for different people, and there's hardly the absolute truth but relative ones.
It is splendid, Ma'am.
The other issue is the advantage of time that you have if you have all these things at your fingertips. I always think of the story of a little girl named Tilly Smith. She was a 10-year-old girl from Surrey, England on vacation with her parents a few years ago in Phuket, Thailand. She runs up to them on the beach one morning and says, "Mom, Dad, we've got to get off the beach." And they say, "What do you mean? We just got here." And she said, "In Mr. Kearney's geography class last month, he told us that when the tide goes out abruptly out to sea and you see the waves churning way out there, that's the sign of a tsunami, and you need to clear the beach." What would you do if your 10-year-old daughter came up to you with this? Her parents thought about it, and they finally, to their credit, decided to believe her. They told the lifeguard, they went back to the hotel, and the lifeguard cleared over 100 people off the beach, luckily, because that was the day of the Boxing Day tsunami, the day after Christmas, 2004, that killed thousands of people in Southeast Asia and around the Indian Ocean. But not on that beach, not on Mai Khao Beach, because this little girl had remembered one fact from her geography teacher a month before.
You clearly have not seen how you looked earlier.
It's not that bad.
I'm not an economist myself. All I know is how it felt to be the guy put out of work. And it was friggin' demoralizing. It was terrible. Here's the one thing that I was ever good at, and all it took was IBM pouring tens of millions of dollars and its smartest people and thousands of processors working in parallel and they could do the same thing. They could do it a little bit faster and a little better on national TV, and "I'm sorry, Ken. We don't need you anymore." And it made me think, what does this mean, if we're going to be able to start outsourcing, not just lower unimportant brain functions. I'm sure many of you remember a distant time when we had to know phone numbers, when we knew our friends' phone numbers. And suddenly there was a machine that did that, and now we don't need to remember that anymore. I have read that there's now actually evidence that the hippocampus, the part of our brain that handles spacial relationships, physically shrinks and atrophies in people who use tools like GPS, because we're not exercising our sense of direction anymore. We're just obeying a little talking voice on our dashboard. And as a result, a part of our brain that's supposed to do that kind of stuff gets smaller and dumber. And it made me think, what happens when computers are now better at knowing and remembering stuff than we are? Is all of our brain going to start to shrink and atrophy like that? Are we as a culture going to start to value knowledge less? As somebody who has always believed in the importance of the stuff that we know, this was a terrifying idea to me.
The day's not even over and I'm already feeling the stress!
But they were right. They were exactly right. I don't want to spoil it, if you still have this sitting on your DVR, but Watson won handily. And I remember standing there behind the podium as I could hear that little insectoid thumb clicking. It had a robot thumb that was clicking on the buzzer. And you could hear that little tick, tick, tick, tick. And I remember thinking, this is it. I felt obsolete. I felt like a Detroit factory worker of the '80s seeing a robot that could now do his job on the assembly line. I felt like quiz show contestant was now the first job that had become obsolete under this new regime of thinking computers. And it hasn't been the last.
HAHA! That is brilliant!
Close reading of memory!
That's new Literature? haha, expectable!
The words are stuck in my throat.
I want to tell her. I really do.
But is she going to believe me?
She already dismissed me earlier.
It's a concussion, she said.
There really is something in this house, in that attic, in that letter. It's going to go after us.
Please... believe me.
-----Dear me. Is Isabelle alright?
Ma'am Hannah's voice breaks through the haze beginning to cloud my
Rose is looking down on me, worry etched on her features.
I don't even notice when she has removed the wrinkled paper from my hands and pushed me down to sit on a nearby chair.
From the edge of my vision, I can also make out Miss McCollough asking a passing food server for a glass of water.
Mister Wright stands in the sidelines. Although curious, he appears more inclined to watch the scene than help.
They are all as likely to believe me as Rose does.
To everyone, whatever's in this house is just a hoax—a cautionary tale for children.
And it made it doubly ironic -- my computer background -- a few years later, I think 2009 or so, when I got another phone call from "Jeopardy" saying, "It's early days yet, but IBM tells us they want to build a supercomputer to beat you at 'Jeopardy.' Are you up for this?" This was the first I'd heard of it. And of course I said yes, for several reasons. One, because playing "Jeopardy" is a great time. It's fun. It's the most fun you can have with your pants on. (Laughter) And I would do it for nothing. I don't think they know that, luckily, but I would go back and play for Arby's coupons. I just love "Jeopardy," and I always have. And second of all, because I'm a nerdy guy and this seemed like the future. People playing computers on game shows was the kind of thing I always imagined would happen in the future, and now I could be on the stage with it. I was not going to say no.
Nothing, sir! I just had to clarify a few things with my colleague.
/Well, it certainly seems… intense. A smile fits the two of you
better, in my opinion.
/Especially darling Little Lily here.
He gives my shoulder a gentle squeeze, an inscrutable smile spreading on his mouth at the same time.
It's Isabella, sir.
/Of course, of course. But my point still stands. And with two
beautiful ladies here, I'm sure—
The pressure on my shoulder lifts as soon as those words leave his
wife's lips, while the scowl on her face is like a splash of cold water
It is also impossible to miss the displeased frown on Miss McCollough's face.
The realization that we might lose this sale, because of my outburst, dawns on me.
Rose will be beyond pissed!
I—I think I need to step out for a while. I'll be back.
And when the game eventually happened about a year later, it was very different than the "Jeopardy" games I'd been used to. We were not playing in L.A. on the regular "Jeopardy" set. Watson does not travel. Watson's actually huge. It's thousands of processors, a terabyte of memory, trillions of bytes of memory. We got to walk through his climate-controlled server room. The only other "Jeopardy" contestant to this day I've ever been inside. And so Watson does not travel. You must come to it; you must make the pilgrimage.
Look: I'm really getting worried about you. I know you want to see this open house through, but your condition is more important.
Please. Just stay put. I insist.
I'm not an invalid, Rose!
The more I thought about it, I realized, no, it's still important. The things we know are still important. I came to believe there were two advantages that those of us who have these things in our head have over somebody who says, "Oh, yeah. I can Google that. Hold on a second." There's an advantage of volume, and there's an advantage of time.
But after this, I really think you should take a break.
You're... you're kicking me out?!
I was always that kind of obsessed trivia kid. I remember being able to play Trivial Pursuit against my parents back in the '80s and holding my own, back when that was a fad. There's a weird sense of mastery you get when you know some bit of boomer trivia that Mom and Dad don't know. You know some Beatles factoid that Dad didn't know. And you think, ah hah, knowledge really is power -- the right fact deployed at exactly the right place.
I've sold plenty of houses before, but nothing like what we have here! It's a beautiful house. I'd love to get one of my own if I ever win the lottery!
Thank you very much.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Rose Cooper and this is my partner, Isabella Santos.
In the movies, when computers like Watson start to think, things don't always end well. Those movies are never about beautiful utopias. It's always a terminator or a matrix or an astronaut getting sucked out an airlock in "2001." Things always go terribly wrong. And I feel like we're sort of at the point now where we need to make that choice of what kind of future we want to be living in. This is a question of leadership, because it becomes a question of who leads the future. On the one hand, we can choose between a new golden age where information is more universally available than it's ever been in human history, where we all have the answers to our questions at our fingertips. And on the other hand, we have the potential to be living in some gloomy dystopia where the machines have taken over and we've all decided it's not important what we know anymore, that knowledge isn't valuable because it's all out there in the cloud, and why would we ever bother learning anything new.
October 21, Friday | Mansion Kitchen | Afternoon
Much like the rest of the house, a great deal of effort has been put
into retaining the room's classical appeal.
The open hearth at the end of the room, in particular, looks amazing; like the ones I only see in fairytale books before!
And mad props to the cleaning crew!
Seriously. After overhearing hundreds of their complaints about the soot and tar staining the bricks, and how much of a ‘pain in the arse' cleaning this'll be, they still managed to pull this off.
Or make it look presentable, at least!
The highlight of the room, however, is what's underneath this hatch here…
/ Oh, don't say anything, yet! An underground wine cellar?
This is the first time the guy in gray speaks up. Mister "Luke Wright", my memory supplies from the forms they signed earlier.
His sudden attentiveness catches me off-guard. Since the start of the tour, only his wife has shown any form of genuine interest in the place.
But this time, something lights up in his eyes at the mention of the undercroft.
What's so interesting about a basement? I really don't understand rich people sometimes.
Right now, he just gives me the impression of a child who has just seen what he absolutely wants for Christmas.
I've always found it cute whenever I see children act that way—my younger siblings, especially.
On a grown man?
It's almost funny!
Yes, sir! It could house around seven thousand to eleven thousand bottles of wine!
/truly? And the room? How was it built?
The bricks that were used to build the cellar have been carefully picked for the purpose of maintaining and preserving a constant temperature and humidity in the room.
It's a good place to keep your private collection in, if you have one, sir!
/It keeps the corks in good condition.
/You know we're going to need space for that, darling.
And this isn't big enough?!
If it's space you're worried about, sir, the Ermengarde Mansion sits on a forty-six acre lot. There's plenty of room for it.
We were told that the original owners had a horse stable built here before, too.
澳门太阳神网站，There's a contemplative expression on Mister Wright's face, but he
doesn't say anything further. His wife, however, seems really pleased
that he has started to show interest, if only a little.
I smile to myself.
I may not completely understand how these people's minds work, but I sure as hell know how to spot a buyer with sincere interest.
I can't wait to tell Rose!
The rest of the tour goes by without a hitch.
Funny. The first time we surveyed the property, I kept complaining to
Rose how big it is.
Now, I can't even bring myself to care, no matter how much my feet hurt.
Maybe this is just my excitement over a prospective sale?
But I think— Look. Here's the thing, Isabella: if we are going to do this, work on something, I don't know… this big, I need you in top shape. And the way you are now...
My mind stops.
What? Wait. No! I can still work! I just need to get myself together…
If we don't get a deal today, we can always try on a different day.
Come on. You didn't ruin anything. It's not like we haven't ran into any problems before.
Or at least wait for me to call someone who'll fetch you, m'kay?
Look, all I'm asking is for you to take a seat somewhere I can see you, and let me handle this for now.
Give me a few minutes to wrap things up here, and I'll drive you to the nearest hospital.
No! No! You don't understand! There isn't a condition, Rose! No concussion at all! I'm fine!
But this place isn't! And you're being stubborn about it!
/Now, now, ladies. What seems to be the problem here?
Let me finish what I'm doing here, and then I'll take you back to Luxbourne, myself, to have that "minor bump" checked.
A little, yeah, obviously!
October 21, Friday | Mansion Parlour | Afternoon
It starts off as small goosebumps on my skin; a feeling of being watched intently.
Whispers in my ear and shadows dancing, lurking in the corner of my
Dark silhouettes that are gone when I turn to look to see what it is.
A chill that settles down my spine, making me feel sick, and I start to break into a cold sweat.
I... I can't do this.
I need to sit down for a moment. The old ladies in the group have been requesting for a break, anyway.
If I can just—
Excuse me? Everyone? We—We will be taking a fifteen-minute rest here before we visit the first floor.
In the meantime, please help yourselves to the refreshments and snacks we've prepared.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to approach me. I'd be happy to help you!
I let them sit while I retreat to a quiet corner to recover.
It's not what you think.
Don't think about it.
It's not what you think.
I've probably just caught Becca's cold. Don't think about it.
I'm left alone for a good while, the same words spilling out of my lips in a silent prayer...
…Until a hand taps my shoulder.
-----Oh, look at you! Having to show a group around a mansion this big
must be exhausting.
Not a problem, ma'am. I'm just doing my job.
-----What a hard worker! Anyway, Isabelle, right?
Isabella, actually. But yes, what can I help you with, Ma'am Wright?
-----Please. Just Hannah. Call me, Hannah!
-----I just wanted to ask: How soon are we able to move in?
My brain completely stops. The sick feeling plaguing me is suddenly gone, replaced by utter bewilderment.
Is she being serious?
She looks at me expectantly as I struggle to come up with an answer.
But we haven't even negotiated a price yet, ma'am. We haven't even finished touring the rest of the mansion.
A sale would be great and all, but—
She stops me from speaking any further, putting a hand on my shoulder.
For a moment, with her tight smile, she looks as if she has tasted a particularly sour lemon.
-----Oh, please, sweetie, don't insult me. Money is not a problem.
-----And, just between you and me, this place is better off with us
than with some old lady, who'll probably just fill it up with cats.
I... personally don't think there's anything wrong with having cats here, Ma'am Hannah. I'm sure there's more than enough space here if you want pets.
Perhaps I'm still not feeling well. But, really, what's wrong with
More importantly, why is she talking about moving in already?
-----Well, I'm more of a dog person.
-----But, you see, this is going to be a gift to my darling. It's
going to be our anniversary soon.
-----And it would be so wonderful if you can secure its purchase for
-----Why, I can even offer something extra if you help us out with the
I—We actually have a process for this, ma'am.
I don't really think that would be… necessary.
???And, just what are you two lovely ladies talking about here?
Leaving me and our lovely interior designer to talk here by ourselves?
/What would the people think, darling?
-----Oh, it's just small talk, 'luv. I was asking if she could help me
with, uh… paperwork!
I struggle not to wince when her nails dig into my shoulder.
I can't help but send an imploring look at Miss McCollough, who only gives me an apologetic smile and a shrug.
I can't help but send an imploring look at Miss McCollough, who only looks away with a sigh.
She wastes no time in taking the papers from my hand and shuffles
through the bunch.
Oh, man. Rose is going to be so angry at me for letting her do that!
-----And Mary Anne, I'd really love to talk to you about those
changes. You took some notes earlier, yes?
~~~~~I did, ma'am. But I really hope that this time—
-----Excellent! Hopefully you can help us out too, Isabelle!
-----Right, right. It's a lovely name, Isabelle.
Yes, that's great. We'll be more than happy to put in a good word to your superiors, too, and…
-----That's... ah, an interesting work of art. Not to my taste,
though. I'm sorry.
/Darling… Buttercup, 'art' is a complete overstatement for this
garbage. It looks like a cheap prop from a D-list horror film.
-----Shush, ‘luv. Let the girl do what she pleases with, ah, what do
they call this?
-----Oh, forget about it. At the very least, it's not as… dreadful as
that one art exhibit I was forced to attend last month.
-----You should've seen it, Mary Anne. Even you would've been
-----But I'm sure you'll know what to do with our walls once we get
~~~~~~I highly doubt it is as bad as you say, ma'am.
~~~~~Nevertheless, you can be assured that my team will only pick
whatever suits your tastes.
~~~~~Nothing of this… chain letter sort, of course. It has to always
work with a palette.
/I'm quite sure 'chain letters' these days don't come in this… form.
It's my turn to be puzzled.
What do they mean? Rose and I double-checked everything earlier!
Are… Are the papers I handed not enough?
I want to ask what I did wrong. I don't want to mess this up!
But with the way Ma'am Hannah's leading the conversation, I'm afraid that's exactly what will happen if I do interrupt her.
-----See, darling? Isn't she an absolute delight to work with? I can't
wait to see how this place will look once she's done with it!
/You don't have to tell me that, Buttercup.
-----I would still put it away if I were you, though. Otherwise,
people might get the wrong impression.
-----Anyway, as I was saying…
I don't hear the rest of what she says after that.
I can only stare down at the paper, at the letter, in my hands.
The sides crinkle in my grip and my breathing grows labored.
Dread quickly fills my mind.
???Isabella? Isabella? Are you alright?
???You're looking pale.
I want nothing more than to say that, no, I'm not alright.
I want to leave this place.
Because I remember everything as clear as day.
This letter and that woman in the attic.
This letter and those blood-soaked limbs in the attic.
The letter, I—I'm sorry, I didn't know—!
Careless. I've been so careless!`
How do I even tell them that without looking like I've gone mad?
Should I even tell them?
I blurt it out before I can think twice about what I'm going to say.
Rose, we need to get out of here! This place is cursed!
Rose casts a nervous glance at the people near us.
Most are still engaged in a conversation with their peers. But those curious enough to turn their heads in the direction of our little group, have been given her trademark saleswoman smile.
A tight expression is on her face when she pulls me aside.
Bowing my head, I mutter a quick apology and gather my stuff to make
It doesn't matter if this place is haunted or not. I've caused trouble and Rose can be quite unforgiving of behavior like this.
I'm almost at the door of the parlor when she catches up to me.
If it's any consolation, I won't tell the boss about today? You know how he is.
Please don't. I don't want a repeat of the lecture I got during my first assignment!
He called me a "noob", and I don't even know what that means!
At the memory, she dissolves into helpless giggles, which I also join
in; earning us strange looks from the guests milling about the door.
Talking and laughing like this, it's easy to forget any mishaps that happened.
Little things you learn to appreciate, I guess?
She hesitates, completely trailing off, before shifting her gaze down to
her hands. A small gesture to stall.
Her fingers are fiddling with a piece of folded paper.
It's that stupid letter again.
My hands stiffen when she gives it back, but I take it, nevertheless. More as an automatic response than any desire to have it back.
I'll throw it away if I can.
But I have this nagging feeling that, one way or another, it'll find its way back to me regardless of what I do about it.
Rose, this is—you have to let them know about—
The apprehension must have been quite obvious on my face, because her expression instantly shifts to something gentler—eyes softer, a fond smile spreading on her lips.
October 21, Friday | Mansion Foyer | Afternoon
From how the restoration process went to the history of the place, I
answer them all; more than happy to talk about the art pieces and
However, I am careful not to mention anything about the urban legend.
Not a good material for sales talk, even if the entire population of Luxbourne knows about it.
Some of the furnishings here are actually the 17th-century originals. All of which have undergone a painstaking restoration process, just to return its original beauty.
Especially that one, ma'am! It is said to be a gift commissioned by the fiancé of Lady Charlotte Ermengarde.
The mansion's current owners have specifically requested that the restoration crew take great care in handling it.
It's a priceless work of art and the most distinctive feature of the mansion.
By the time I've stopped talking, her attention is already elsewhere.