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Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 13:35:23 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) Sawyer's bio/chem war of annihilation

Rostrum wrote, quoting Roy:
>Regarding the Asimov story:
>> I haven't read the story but, based on mantis's synopsis, that girl did
>> the right thing. Lest that robot "become like one of us". 
>That may be the crux of our disagreement.  Killing the robot might have
>been "right" in the sense of "looking out for our interests,"  possibly
>even "right" in the sense that a time traveller murdering the baby Hitler
>would be "right" (although, if I recall the story correctly, I don't think
>Susan has enough information to be sure a robot uprising would mean war
>and death for humans), but it is not "right" because robots as Man's
>"creation" could never have the moral status of humans.

I myself have not read the story, either.  But Robert J. Sawyer, who wrote
the article, seems to be saying (in the entire article) that the
competition between robots and humans is an evolutionary one which must
eventually lead to a war of annihiliation, or the more merciful option of
slavery (of humans by robots).  How much of this is to promote his own
brand of product, I do not know.  How much he may be, in fact, distorting
the source texts to make his case, I do not know (but I do relish his
unusual interpretation of Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey").

(Yeah, yeah, we can trivialize such meat vs. metal megadeath match by
invoking the Terminator series of movies, trotting out our Ahnold
impersonations, etc.  But it has been in genre since long before those
movies and seems to be still going on.)

To that end, I found the revelation of Dr. Calvin's elimination of Elvex to
be quite shocking, based upon what I remembered of Asimov's Robot stories.
(Then again, I find second-hand details of what Asimov did to expand his
Foundation series beyond the original trilogy even more shocking and

And Roy seems to understand this Sawyer platform quite well.



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