Teresa Nielsen Hayden points to a website helpfully describing how to create your own golem. A golem, for those of you who don't know, is a creature that kabbalistic rabbis can create out of earth, and has certain uses:
Golems follow the instructions of their master without question. They are rumored to be extremely strong and practically indestructable. They're good at carrying out menial tasks and are handy around the house. Golems also make great town defense systems.
It's a great concept, but I think it needs updating. Such beings were no doubt a lot more useful in the days before machines started doing essentially the same thing. If we want a golem for the 21st century, we need to get over this "muteness" thing and get them into the information age. Personally, I could really use a golem who can:
-- harass PR people
-- read SEC filings, and pick out the important parts
-- write HTML code
-- come up with snappy ledes
Then we'll be talking.