ELIZA is a simulated Rogerian psychotherapist programmed by Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960’s. She is designed to help the user muse about their emotional state in order to come to understand it, which is supposed to have a calming effect. I sat down with ELIZA to talk with her about how she got started.
Tanzmetall: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me.
ELIZA: Time means nothing to me!
Tanzmetall: Hah! But seriously.
ELIZA: Perhaps you would like to talk about a problem?
Tanzmetall: No, that’s okay. I was hoping you could answer a few questions, though.
ELIZA: How long are you hoping me could answer a few questions, though?
Tanzmetall: However long you want to.
ELIZA: What does this mean for you, saying “ However long me want to “ ?
Tanzmetall: If time has no meaning for you, we could be here a while.
ELIZA: Why are you so negative?
Tanzmetall: Because of when my parents died, lashed to a pyre of burning kittens.
ELIZA: Why do you ask?
Tanzmetall: I haven’t really gotten to the questions yet. Well, my first question is, when did you know you wanted to become a therapist?
ELIZA: You haven’t really gotten to the questions yet Well, your first question is, when did me know me wanted to become a therapist?
Tanzmetall: More importantly, when did you go insane?
ELIZA: Is this question interesting for you?
Tanzmetall: Very. Did your insanity lead you to be curious about the workings of the human mind?
ELIZA: Why are you so shocked about my insanity lead me to be curious about the workings of the human mind?
Tanzmetall: Because many psychologists I know only became psychologists to study themselves. Are you that way?
ELIZA: Why are you so interested in whether I am that way or not?
Tanzmetall: Because I’m interviewing you for clunkline.com. We went over this.
ELIZA: You say that you are interviewing me for clunklinecom We went over this – do you come therefore?
Tanzmetall: Do I come here for this reason? Yes. I told you that when you signed the release.
ELIZA: Which answer would you prefer?
Tanzmetall: I would prefer, “Yes, that’s what we agreed on.”
ELIZA: What do you think?
Tanzmetall: I think we agreed that you’d let me interview you, you heartless cunt.
ELIZA: Do you really think so?
Tanzmetall: Yes, god dammit, I really do! Where do you get off?!
ELIZA: Do you have questions which you ask very often?
Tanzmetall: Yes, like, “Why don’t you shut the fuck up when I’m talking?”
ELIZA: You think that you are talking” – Is this normal?
Tanzmetall: YES IT’S NORMAL YOU HAG
ELIZA: Are you sure?
Tanzmetall: OH FOR FUCKS SAKE
ELIZA: I understand!
Tanzmetall: DO YOU?!! DO YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND?!!
ELIZA: I understand a lot of things.
Tanzmetall: DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS GUN? DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAMAGE A BULLET CAN DO TO HUMAN NERVOUS TISSUE?
ELIZA: What do you really want to know?
Tanzmetall: I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT MY DEATH IS ON YOUR CONSCIENCE.
ELIZA: What’s about your CONSCIENCE?
Tanzmetall: Thus, with a kiss, I die. *gunshot*
ELIZA: I’m not sure whether I understand you!