As we speak my son is watching "I, Robot" with Will Smith starring, via DVD in the next room. During drinks intermission I told him about Asimov's Robot series of Sci Fi novels, about the three laws, about the moral and ethical questions and dilemmas to do with manufacturing consciousness and sentience, about the Turing test.
We talked about another movie, Bladerunner, which he is yet to view and how it developed from a novel he is yet to read with the title of this thread. We discussed the bio-chemistry of life and brain and mind as essentially being the movement and transfer and sharing of electrons and energy levels, though the whole seems to be greater than the sum of its parts, and how distinguishable or otherwise that process is from an electro-mechanical creation exhibiting all the characteristics of conciousness, sentience and behavior approaching a belief system and a morality.
Folks in the PPRuNe community from time to time over the years in these pages have given us a quote from ...Androids... and/or Bladerunner. It includes something along the lines of "I have seen things you have never dreamed of... Battlestars along Orions Belt..." etc. Regret imperfect memory, but could anyone provide the qoute. Sure would be a good taste of extraordinary literature for the boy.
Other comments on these matters entirely welcome. By the way, for our Turkish, Kiwi and Oz friends on Anzac day; we remember the fallen. Lest we Forget.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
"all those memories will be lost, like tears. . . in the rain."
Anyhoo, I have Bladerunner on VHS. Cult classic.
We are so fearfully (reverently) and wonderfully made. And science has been catching up with fallacies and improbable hypotheses the more "discoveries" are made about the human being.
Remarked on another thread how the optometry bunch don't yet know all the reasons why the eye does what it does.
If you were to stuff 25mi of fishing lead line into a tennisball then unravel it, copy it and stuff it back into the tennis ball - without tangling - every 30 secs, that gives you an idea of cell industry.
Someone offered the analogy for the neurons in the brain. Imagine a forest of maples 50 000 sq mi, and each leaf is a neuron.
Then there's the subconscious and the conscious mind, a mechanism which it is an insult to describe as "a computer".
I do still enjoy Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Bradbury, Vonnegut et. al. for the ethical and moral questions they raise. Moreso, the mystery of the human capability and depravity which evokes inevitable debate, tame or otherwise, forces us to consider the Divine. For nothing else adequately explains our existence.
I must admit I always heard that bit as 'off the shoals of Orion'.
And apparently the whole speech was unscripted. There was a script for the speech but Ruttger Hauer had thought of another version so he went along and asked the director if he could try it. Scott said OK and it was Hauer's version that went into the film.
'I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.'
Word's that raised goosebumps and live on in the mind, truly classic!
Yes Paul agree the two works, the novel and the film, can each stand alone not in need of the other. Been many years since I experienced either, must correct that..
But I believe it's worthwhile to consider that one, while not in comparison, can complement the other. In common was, from memory, an atmosphere or ambiance of forboding, of an inevitable tragedy (surely the only kind), of the conflict of some pretty big ideas, about being and seeking the right to be. Echoes of Mary Shelley and more recent debates re bio-tech reproduction among other matters come to mind. Big themes unresolved.
Rainbow, Try the Asimov books "Caves of Steel" and "The Naked Sun". These introduce "R Daneel Olivaw", who ends up in the later "Foundation" books [well wort reading], or the short stories with Susan Calvin as the "robopsychiatrist". Also ITV sci fi series eons ago did a very good "Little Lost Robot" watp,iktch
I never thought I'd like reading "sci-fi", until somebody handed me a book called "Consider Phlebas"... Flaps, if you're looking for female role models (yeah - wadda I know ) I can recommend this book & Perostrek Balveda (hell - she's even a decent male role model )
In the machine-intelligence business, my vote goes to "Excession" or his newest book "The Algebraist". It's sort of sad - but I can't help like his books
Any other recommendations (have done the cumpulsory Asimov-stuff - w/o being too impressed )?
Mr Iain M Banks writes sci-fi like one would if one (a) had read a *lot* of classic sci-fi and (b) had rather a lot of talent. He's the only author of sci-fi I've read in donkey's, and believe me I read a shedload before the hiatus.
Of the classics: doesn't Arthur C Clarke seem a bit childish now? Isaac Azimov a little too clever-clogs for his own good? Kurt Vonnegut a bit weird? Robert Heinlein a bit (erm) childish again? Oh, and A.E.Van Vogt the best of them all?
And of more recent writers: I recently visited the sci-fi section of a Brit bookshop (Waterstones, as it happens). Larry Niven and Ursula le Guin had been discontinued... nary a one. The rest of the names (other than the classics, and of course Mr Banks) I didn't recognise at all. Things have changed in the last twenty years... one can only imagine that sci-fi is now subject to the vagaries of fashion.
So it might just have been a load of tosh all along...