Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Award at ICRA 2012

The giving of awards is a pernicious habit that ought to be stamped out. Famous people, rich people, don’t need some hunk of shiny tin praising their charity or intellect or sport prowess. No, those kind of folks have already got enough of the good things of the earth and never take care of their awards and trophies anyways. Just go into any pawnshop around and you’ll see the shelves are littered with all sorts of dusty awards, medals, and such other abandoned bric-a-brac. Why gild the lily; why try to brown nose famous rich people who will only look down their noses at the rest of us while they laze away the hours on a Bahama beach?

What I say is, start passing out awards to the homeless and shiftless, the criminally ignorant and chronically lazy. Those are the folks who could use a loving cup or medal pinned on their seedy breast. It would give them a new lease on life, help them turn over a new leaf, maybe even turn them into Republicans. Once a man, or woman, has a gaudy trinket they can show off to others they feel motivated to live up to it — at least some of them do. Most of them will just try to pawn it, but hey — that’s what happens when you give an award to a rich guy or Hollywood starlet anyways. So let’s eliminate the middleman — give the downtrodden an assortment of awards, cash prizes, and maybe an all-expenses-paid trip to Phuket, Thailand, for their improvident lifestyle and narrow prejudices.

It beats putting ’em the White House . . .