Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson

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Parasha: I Robot: November 23rd reading

What, me forget about the Parasha reading until reading desdenova's post? Madness! *shifty eyes*

*ahem* Anyhow, I enjoyed this one more than most of the others. It was a three laws story, but not in the same formula really as the others, which was helpful. Rather than be faced with a problem in set laboratory conditions and having Our Heroic Researchers have to figure a way out of it using the Laws, instead we're faced with a human story that just happens to involve robots and the Laws, and figure out how they work into it.

I think that probably doesn't make much sense typed out, but I know what I mean!

Anyhow, there's still a bunch of name-dropping of uber-scientific concepts that aren't explained at all, which is still a bit jarring to my literary sensibilities that have gotten used to modern sci-fi explaining the hell out of everything. On the other hand, reading about a political campaign where "issues" about the actual candidate are raised and artificially focused on to try to divert the campaign in one direction or another, as opposed to focusing on platforms... that's totally familiar.

Some other points:

1) It's interesting that really, we're talking about cyborgs here, in a way, rather than actual robots. Or maybe not... since cyborgs are usually more like human minds in a machine body, not machine brains and structure, encased by a human shell. So... I dunno? But at any rate it was a non-issue at the time, since robots as a concept were still so new and being sounded out and developed, and I guess the further evolution into sub-concepts like cyborgs or androids/replicants or whatever was still way off.

2) The whole concept of growing a human shell using human ova and so on is just... creepy. Eek!

3) Not having a sciencey background myself, I am not even going to attempt to comment on X-ray reflection or what have you. I have no idea how it would work, or how plausible it is.

4) Did anyone read this story *not* figuring that Stephen was a robot, and just trying to figure out how he was going to pull off some hoodwinking? Although I did find myself wondering maybe if the issue would turn out to be that he was gay, when "John" was introduced, knowing how non-well that go over even in comparison to today. But I didn't find it very likely, especially since I couldn't imagine how that would work into him not eating in public, sleeping often, etc., very well.

5) Yargh, MORE seesawing on the First Law. So now a robot *would* be able to kill a human being if it would help larger numbers of them. I... I... argh. Just... blah.

Hrm, it seems like there was something else, since I'm feeling rushed now due to having forgotten at first, so I guess if I think of anything I'll have to add it in comments.

Link to the whole one more story in the schedule!
Tags: books, parasha, parasha_i_robot
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