Should Have Listened To Phil

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Phil Dick is my favorite sci-fi writer. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep is my favorite novel and Second Variety is my favorite short story. With these two and not only, Phil tried to warn us what will happen if we build robots in our own image. And here we are, doing just that today. We didn't listen and we will pay for it. What say you?
 

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  • #2
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I think we are still a long way off from having androids like Phillip Dick imagined.

However, there is the uncanny valley effect where people are really uncomfortable around robots that look remarkably human but aren't.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

We pay for every technology we have ever invented as people learn to subvert it and we must learn to live with it. Why should android tech be any different?

We want self-driving cars and people are actively finding ways to subvert but eventually it will be a criminal pastime but we will still use it because of the increased safety promised.
 
  • #3
phinds
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What say you?
Ask me again in 100 years.
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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Phil tried to warn us what will happen if we build robots in our own image
I think you may be confusing Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep with The Terminator.
 
  • #5
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The "Do Androids Dream..." story was made into the Bladerunner movies (loosely) where the androids fought back against termination.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner
 
  • #6
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I know that. But that's not the crux of the story. It's like describing The Lord Of The Rings as "Nine strangers get together to return lost jewelry."
 
  • #7
Klystron
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The pseudo-religion / social contract of Mercerism forms the core of PKD's "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep". After dialing in their moods for the day, humans left behind on an earth nearly devoid of other species, connect online to participate in the journey of Mercer as he/she/it struggles to climb a hill beset by attacks from unseen strangers. This group catharsis substitutes for physical and relational love. While Deckard still lives with his wife who is mainly concerned with their social status in owning a synthetic pet, they despise each other.

In the beautiful dark movie "Blade Runner" Deckard is drawn to and falls in love with the highly evolved replicant Rachel. Both book and film debate the issue of Deckard's humanity. Are blade runners special androids licensed to live on earth to hunt and kill escaped slaves (replicants)? In the book Deckard interacts with a police force that may be artificial before locating the real headquarters. Were his memories implants?

I recently screened the 'final cut' of "Blade Runner" among the best SF movies IMO. I will re-read the novel soon.

I highly recommend Phil's "UBIK" and "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said".
 
  • #8
Bandersnatch
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Phil tried to warn us what will happen if we build robots in our own image. And here we are, doing just that today.
He was a SF author, not a prophet or time traveller. Any perceived or real warnings of his have as much weight as James Cameron's warnings against fighting the blue people.
We didn't listen and we will pay for it.
We will certainly have to pay a fair market price.
 
  • #9
256bits
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I will order three at the start, and they can do my work times 3, while I sit at home and vegetate and enjoy the finer details of life. "My productivity" will increase as I will be able to accomplish much more, through the android usage than what I could ever dream of doing all by myself. In time I will get more and more, an army of them, reap the benefits. Live long and proper.
( Just as long as no one else is thinking of doing the same thing.)
 
  • #10
Klystron
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There is a short SF story about conspicuous consumption, @256bits . Citizens are required to consume the production from automated factories else face fines -- a reverse Internal Revenue Service (IRS), if you will. The protagonist programs robots to swing golf clubs, run appliances and otherwise meet his consumption quotas while he "does his own thing". I forget title and author, possibly PKD or Harry Harrison, but probably Stanislaw Lem.
 
  • #11
256bits
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That is the most interesting thing I have heard today.
Thanks
 
  • #12
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Phil Dick is my favorite sci-fi writer. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep is my favorite novel and Second Variety is my favorite short story. With these two and not only, Phil tried to warn us what will happen if we build robots in our own image. And here we are, doing just that today. We didn't listen and we will pay for it. What say you?

Turns out creating life from nonliving matter is hard. Like really hard. So far impossible even for humans. Which is ironic given the popular ideas of our time.

Yet if intelligent effort continues to fail maybe we should throw some DNA and nanobots in a deep hole and let it sit for several billion years? If that makes anyone feel any better.
 
  • #13
DEvens
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One of my favorite stories is by Asimov.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bicentennial_Man

One of the key features of SF is that it can teach us about ourselves by dragging our point of view outside ourselves. So, building a robot that wants to be human allowed for the delightful artifice of point-by-point showing what it means to be human and adding that on to a robot. We get to see what it means to be human as the title character moves from non-human to human.
 
  • #14
Klystron
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Have not read "Second Variety" for ages but do remember the movie "Screamers" derived from it.
Beware of little boys carrying fuzzy teddy bears.
 

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